Marion Noble, born at Garner in White County in 1911, was one of three Arkansas men who served in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade during the Spanish Civil War.
Noble’s father was a railroad worker known for treating black and white colleagues equally. After he lost his job, he opened a car repair business where young Marion worked as a mechanic.
Noble attended the University of Arkansas and Illinois State Normal University, where he was shunned after writing a 13,000-word essay on the Soviet Union. He joined the Communist Party in 1933 and remained an active member for nearly 70 years.
In 1937 he traveled to Spain to fight Francisco Franco’s fascist forces. Assigned to the military garage of the International Brigade, he scrounged and cannibalized parts to keep vehicles moving. On being ordered to leave Spain in 1938, he was characterized as “active, excellent attitude, and a very good worker.” He died in Michigan in 2002.
To learn more about Marion Noble, visit the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.