“The home of Nathan Noble was known far and wide for the ample room, good living, welcome cheer and forest hospitality. The entertainment was noble, majestic and grand in its services and welcome in its invitation. A stranger never left the cabin door of these mountaineers hungry, unless it was destitute of food or the wants of the stranger were unknown to the inmates of the cabin.
“Early in the history of the settlement two Methodist preachers came to pass Sunday at the home of Noble, [and they] insisted that all the cooking be done on Saturday for Sunday. Their will in this was granted. Next morning, Sunday, Nathan had his wife prepare for him a warm breakfast and place it on the end of the table where they were to eat and place the cold meals on the other end where the preachers were to eat. Breakfast was called and the parties seated as intended.
Photo mounted on cardboard. Middle Fork/Turkey area of Breathitt County.
“The meal had not proceeded far when the preachers asked that they be served with the warm breakfast whereupon Noble interrupted by telling them that they had requested that this be done and that they must eat the cold breakfast. Noble explained by saying that they had matters as they requested and that he wanted, so far as possible, people who ate at his house to have what they wanted and the way they wanted it.
“Sometimes a new preacher might find his way into the neighborhood. At that time it was almost considered sacrilegeous for the children to play or make a noise while the preacher was there. This quietness proved the breeding and manners of the home. Little Johnny or some other little boy was hard to hold in restraint very long. Something was sure to occur to bring a recital of the grammar or some of the most used words of the home vocabulary— all to the annoyance of the mother or shame of the sister.”
—History of Breathitt County, by E.L. Noble, (publ. 1928 in Jackson Times newspaper of Breathitt County KY)