|Dr. Noble Martin (sketch, SF Call; Photo Michael Colbruno)|
He was born in Vermont in 1820 as the third of nine boys. As a young man he worked on a farm and as a wagon maker. He came to California in 1852 to mine for gold. After finding only moderate success in the mines at Little York and Red Dog, he studied medicine and was a practicing physician for 25 years in Dutch Flat. The town, which is about 30 miles northeast of Auburn, was once one of the richest mining towns in California. The town is now designated as a "semi-ghost town" and has only 333 residents.
He served in the California State Legislature for 25 years, serving Placer and El Dorado counties. He served on the Assembly Education Committee, where he was an outspoken advocate for creating kindergartens.* He served in the Senate from 1892 until his death.
In 1892, he strongly supported his Republican friend George Perkins* for the United States Senate, despite being a lifelong Democrat. Perkins had served in the State Senate and as Governor of California from 1880-1883. He remained in the U.S. Senate for 22 years.
Dr. Martin died at the home of his daughter in Berkeley after being in failing health.
* Both Emma Marwedel, founder of the kindergarten movement, and Senator George Perkins are buried at Mountain View Cemetery
San Francisco Call, Berkeley Gazette, Oakland Tribune, Journal of the Senate of the State of California