Golden Noble has lived, and most anyone who knows her can attest to that.
Mrs. Noble was born at Ten Mile Creek in Perry County, and that was where she received her formal education inside a small, one-room school, something today’s students may know about only through stories their grandparents have told. Ten Mile was also where she received her education in life, the lessons her mother would teach as she grew to become a woman inside their “hand-built, three-room wooden house.” It was where she was born in April 1931.
She grew, both physically and spiritually, from humble beginnings there on Ten Mile, and by the time she reached 18 found herself back at the same one-room school, this time as the teacher. For the next 30 years, with some time spent in between in Ohio, she educated young minds in Perry County, one of many teachers who made the transition from those small schools to larger consolidated facilities in later years.
Along with her late husband Emory, Mrs. Noble made her home on Grapevine Creek, where she resides to this day, operating Noble’s Grocery, just a jump from the asphalt of the meandering Highway 28 where cars whiz by today as they have for decades. Her store has been in business for 56 years.
In 2011 she realized a dream when her book, “True Story of the Life and Experiences of a One-Room School Teacher” found itself in print, with the help of her friend and writer, Mindy Beth Miller. Golden Noble had become a published author, but her endeavor into publishing wasn’t something she did to try and reach the heights of literary fame. It was a dream, and though perhaps mundane to those living on the outside world, it was full of purpose for those who would follow her.
“I wish I had my mother tell me a lot, and I said I’m going to tell my children so they’ll know how I was raised, and they see what a good life they have and what I had,” she said recently during an interview at her store. “I mainly wrote it for my family, and the community, my friends. I’ve got all kinds of friends here, because I’ve been in this store since 1957.”
Noble’s book will be a part of her legacy on this earth, and that’s just how she wants it.
Perhaps the younger generation may pick up Noble’s book and muse at the details of life in the 1930s, of the wood-burning stove used to heat bath water which would then be poured into a galvanized tub, of a plot of land set aside for raising sugar cane for molasses, or using horses for transportation or maybe walking the three miles it took to get to school. Those facts of life then made it possible for today’s life of modernity, but the tie that binds her generation and every one that has come since boils down to one word: education.
“My most rewarding experiences were gained during my eight years of attending Ten Mile Grade School,” Noble writes, and it would be those experience that helped guide her to a career in education, to impart on the younger generation the knowledge they would need.
While her book focuses on her time as a teacher, at first making $136 per month, Noble does not omit her life outside of the education system. She details her entrance into River Christian Academy, the night someone decided to mark her parents’ home with gunshots, and the day in 2004 when her store was robbed at gunpoint.
By 1951, after a bout of playing “hard to get,” as she described it, she married Emory Noble, who was a veteran of World War II and eight years her senior. It was a blessed relationship, from which two children were born. She would go on to tour Europe and spend her winters in Florida, but she always returned to her home here in Perry County.
Noble writes that her childhood was “very simple,” but she would prove that even as a life may begin with humble surroundings, it may not always remain that way. And more importantly, anything is possible with an educated mind.