Murder of George Noble

Of George W. Noble an Aged Lawrence  County Citizen  

Submitted by Peggy A. Wells
George W. Noble, an aged farmer residing alone on Buffalo Creek, about 6 miles back of Burlington, was foully murdered some time Saturday night or Sunday.

Late Sunday afternoon, two young ladies who were driving by Mr. Noble’s residence, stopped to get a drink of water.  Upon entering the gate, they were horrified to find Mr. Noble’s lifeless body lying in the yard.
The ladies gave the alarm and neighbors soon responded.  The body of the murdered man was lying in the position in which he had died, and the hogs had started to feast on the remains, mutilating them to some extent.  A blood-stained coat lying nearby gave evidence of how the murdered man had come to his death.

The house still stands where the murder took place back in 1900.

Inside the house things had been scattered about in wild disorder and splashes of blood here and there indicated that the victim had not sacrificed his life without a terrible struggle with his assailant or assailants.

The condition of the surroundings bore evidence of the fact that the awful crime had robbery as its motive, the house having been thoroughly ransacked for money.  A portion of the aged man’s savings was found by his son-in-law, Martin Canterbury, who lives a mile or more away.

While there is no clew to the identity of the guilty party or parties, it is believed that the crime was committed by someone who knew the local reputation of the deceased as a man who kept his money about the house and who was aware that he had sold horses Saturday for $125.

The deceased was past 65 years of age and lived alone, his wife having died some years ago.  He has a daughter, Mrs. Martin Canterbury, and one son, Ephraim Noble, of Ashland, Ky.

Immediately after the discovery of the body, Squire Joshua Kite was summoned from Getaway and held an inquest, assisted by Dr. Campbell of Burlington.  The verdict was that the deceased came to his death by reason of blows on the head with a blunt instrument in the hands of a party or parties unknown.

Squire Joshua Kite of Getaway came to the city Tuesday with his verdict as acting coroner in the inquest over the remains of George W. Noble, who was murdered at his home on Buffalo Creek Saturday night.  Accompanying the report of the coroner is the postmortem examination and the testimony of witnesses.

Dr. Campbell reports on the post-mortem examination of the remains as follows:

1)      Fracture of skull extending across the frontal portion and extending downward through the root of the nose, allowing the brain to be exposed.

2)      Laceration of soft parts covering this area.

3)      Right ear gone, laceration extending from right ear downward and forward four inches.

4)      Fracture of lower jaw on the right side.

5)      Flesh wound extending from the point of the nose outward and downward to the right angle of the mouth.

6)      Flesh wound on the left side of head, extending from left ear upward and backward for six inches.

7)      Contusion below the left ear.

8)      Left ear missing.

9)      Flesh wound above and to the left of the right eye, two and one-half inches long.

10)   Laceration over the left knuckle.

11)   Heart normal.

The acting coroner’s verdict is that “the deceased came to his death by violence of different wounds on the head, made with a club in the hands of an unknown person or persons.”

While here Squire Kite was in conference with prosecuting Attorney L. R. Andrews, and the latter will see that no effort in overlooked in the search for the guilty parties.

It is the general impression that the murder was committed by two or more parties who were thoroughly conversant with the habits of the murdered man, and already suspicion has been directed toward parties who are under surveillance.  It is believed that arrests will be made before many days elapse.

Concerning the motives of the murderers, Deputy Sheriff Payne states that they did not secure a cent of money, although the house was ransacked.  Several dollars in coins which the murdered man had in his pockets were untouched, and his pocket-book, containing $45 in money and a certificate of deposit for $1350 from a Huntington bank, was found by his son-in-law, where it had been overlooked by the murderers.
—-Ironton Tribune, 27 September 1900, Thursday, Page 1.


Mrs. Eliza Poole and her daughter, Mrs. Florence Moore, were arrested at daylight last Saturday at their home on Buffalo Creek this county, charged with the murder of George W. Noble on Saturday evening, September 22.

The affidavits charging the women with the crime were made in Squire Henry’s court yesterday by Deputy Sheriff J. M. Payne, who has been working untiringly on the case since the day after Noble’s body was found.

The prisoners were brought to this city and lodged in jail at noon today.  With them the deputy sheriff brought two revolvers found at their house, which is about a mile from the scene of the murder.  One of the revolvers had a fleck of blood, or what resembles blood, upon the barrel, and Mrs. Poole claims it was in that condition when returned by a party to whom she had loaned it.  A dress, stained about the skirts with a dark color, supposed to be blood, was also brought in by the officer.

It is the opinion of the authorities that the women know something of the crime, and no effort will be spared to further investigate the case and arrest the real principals in the murder.

Mrs. Poole is a woman about 54 years of age, while her daughter is a young woman.  They lived alone, and it is said that the neighbors in the vicinity objected to their presence as a detriment to the moral atmosphere of the community.
—Ironton Register, 4 October 1900, Thursday, Page 1.



The Newark Daily Advocate, Oct. 1, 1900

Two Women Held

Burlington, O., Oct. 1 – Mrs. Eliza Poole and her daughter, Mrs. Florence Moore, are under arrest and now in jail at Ironton, Ohio.  They are charged with compliance in the murder of George W. Noble, who was found dead in his yard.  Hogs had partly devoured the remains.  Noble lived alone and his house was ransacked.  He was clubbed to death.  A bloody skirt and skirt waist was found at the house which led to the arrest of the women.  Officials believe that men are implicated.


The preliminary hearing of Mrs. Elizabeth Poole and daughter, Mrs. Florence Moore, on the charge of murdering George W. Noble, will be held in Squire Henry’s court Thursday, and a large number of witnesses are being subpoenaed.  The prisoners have retained Attorney W. D. Corn to defend them.  Prosecutor L. R. Andrews will appear for the state.

Nothing new has developed in the case, but another clew is being followed up by parties interested in securing the rewards offered, and is based on the location of a watch supposed to have been taken at the time of the murder. 
—Ironton Register, 4 October 1900, Thursday, Page 1.

The preliminary hearing of Mrs. Elizabeth Poole and daughter, Mrs. Florence Moore, was concluded in Squire Henry’s court early Thursday evening.  The evidence was not deemed sufficient to hold the two women and they were released.

Both the prosecuting attorney and W. D. Corn, attorney for the defense, used every effort to bring out testimony which would point to other parties who are believed to be implicated in the murder of George W. Noble, but nothing tangible was developed.
—–Ironton Register, 11 October 1900, Thursday, Page 5.