Rose Garden PhotographsMarguerite “Thelma” (Parker) Buchanan Noble was born on January 29, 1910, in the town of Roosevelt, Arizona Territory, where her father furnished mules for the construction of Roosevelt Dam. The waters of Roosevelt Lake eventually inundated this settlement, which had also been known as Tent City.

Her parents, Dan and Mindy Parker from Texas, bought the Bouquet Ranch in Tonto Basin from John Cline in 1903. Marguerite, one of seven children, grew up observing the “cowboy way” and storing memories for her future writing career.

She attended school at Punkin Center, Florence and then Tempe Normal School. Marguerite received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Arizona State University. She taught for thirty years at Creighton School in Phoenix, where she emphasized Arizona history in her classes. She also taught high school and university classes.

Marguerite married Henry Rogers Buchanan in 1936.  Marguerite appears on the 1940 Federal Census for Precinct 17, Maricopa County as Thelma Buchanan. The couple had two children: Roger Buchanan (September 22, 1940) and Cynthia Dee Buchanan Cowley (October 23, 1942). Henry died in Los Angeles in 1963. Marguerite married Charles F. Noble in 1975 and she retired to Payson.

Marguerite was active in many organizations. She was a charter member of the Northern Gila County Historical Society and a member of the Arizona Historical Society, Tonto Cowbelles, Payson Women’s Club, Daughters of Gila County Pioneers, Phoenix Writers Club, National League of American Pen Women and Western Writers of America.

Her writings include Filaree (Random House, 1979). This novel, based on fact, is considered one of the best ever written about Arizona. An account of the life of a pioneer woman who raised a family and helped run a ranch in turn-of-the-century Gila County, it has been widely read by the general public and by college students.

Marguerite published Crossing Trails, which includes a few of the five hundred and thirty historical vignettes she wrote for broadcast over radio station KMOG in Gila County. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Western Horseman and the Arizona Republic.

She has received numerous honors, among them the Purple Sage Award (Zane Grey Western Society), Woman of the Year (Daughters of Gila County Pioneers), Spirit of Arizona 1988 (presented by Governor Rose Mofford), the Sharlot Hall Award, 1992 (Sharlot Hall Museum), and the Al Merito Award from the Arizona Historical Society. She was Payson’s Woman of the Year, and July 4, 1979, was declared Marguerite Noble Day in Payson.  She was Grand Marshal of the Payson Rodeo Parade in 1996.

She has spoken to schools and organizations throughout Arizona, and at local clubs and ceremonies about Arizona history and ranch history. She appeared at the Roosevelt Dam rededication, and she has been on television several times. She was selected as one of Arizona’s first Culture Keepers.

In 2004, Marguerite Noble was still in demand as a storyteller and as an Elderhostel speaker, where she appeared in pioneer dress and her ever-present sunbonnet. Always an advocate of teaching Arizona history in schools, she made lifelong contributions to the awareness of this history that is immeasurable.

She died January 1, 2007 and is buried in the Payson Pioneer Cemetery.

Donor: Mona McCroskey, February 2004
Photo Located: Digital Format Only I-Drive>Rose Garden Photos & Bios>RG TIFF Portraits>Noble, Marguerite - JPEG FORMAT ONLY
Updated: 3/4/2016, Gretchen Hough Eastman