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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


W. L. J. Noble and A. S. Douglas

A visit to the ranch owned and occupied by the gentlemen above named, a few miles from Santa Rosa, gives one a fair impression of the practical and successful methods of these dairymen and chicken-raisers. The large business which they now conduct has been developed from a small beginning, which from the first has had a substantial and healthy growth, the result of untiring and unflagging energy on the part of the proprietors.

The descendant of Scotch ancestry and a native of the east, Mr. Noble was born in St. Lawrence county, N. Y., January 1, 1850, and in that vicinity the years of his boyhood, youth and young manhood were p assed. At the age o twenty-seven, however, feeling the limitations by which he was surrounded in the east, he set out for the west, going as far as Kansas, where, in Cherokee county, he was interested in farming for about four years. Again taking up the westward march at the end of this time, he went to Oregon and was similarly interested in Wallowa county for about ten years. Going to Idaho at the end of this experience, he was located in Boise City for the fur years following, after which, in 1900, he came to Sonoma county, Cal., and purchased a ranch of one-hundred and six acres in close proximity to Santa Rosa. Of this he sold a portion, but still retains forty-six acres. Inquiry and observation had taught him that no better income could be derived from any crops than from the raising of walnuts and fruits, and it was to these two commodities that he planted the greater part of his acreage. In the meantime, before these became income-producing, he engaged in the dairy business and later added the raising of chickens to his other undertakings. As his various ventures grew and his cares and obligations increased he formed a partnership with A. S. Douglas, a man of considerable experience and practical knowledge I the varied lines of agriculture, and the association then formed has continued amicably and profitable ever since. Under their combined management all lines of their business have enlarged, and at the present writing (1910) they have twenty-two head of dairy cattle, twelve head of horses, besides a large number of hogs. The chicken industry is especially satisfactory and remunerative, one thousand chickens supplying the output of eggs, for which they find a ready market at excellent prices.

Mr. Noble’s marriage in 1892 united him with Miss L. A. Webb, and three children have been born of this marriage.

A. S. Douglas was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1882, the son of parents who were born and reared in Scotland. In their early lives they came to the United States, and for many years were associated with the growth of the locality about Cedar Rapids, where they were living at the time of the birth of their son. The father is now deceased, but the mother is still living, making her home in Sonoma county, near Kenwood. In the vicinity of Santa Rosa Mr. Douglas formerly owned a tract of seventy-nine acres, but he has recently sold off all but thirty acres, which he values at $200 an acre. The association formed with Mr. Noble in 1904 is proving all that was expected on the outset, both men being practical agriculturists and indefatigable worker, and as a result their combined efforts are thoroughly satisfactory. Not only are the walnuts and fruit which they raise of superior quality, but they yield abundantly and bring excellent prices, and their dairy and chicken industries are no less satisfactory from a financial standpoint. They well merit the recognition which they receive at the hands of their fellow-citizens, who regard them as substantial upbuilders of the best interests of Sonoma county. Fraternally Mr. Noble is a Mason, having joined the order while a resident of New York state.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011