Born in Santander, Spain, February 15, 1856, when fifteen years old Mr. Noriega left his parents’ home and became errand-boy in a nearby city, but when tired of his work came to California in 1872, his choice of location being influenced by the fact that his godfather, Vincent Noriega, lived in Tulare county. The journey here was an event to the untraveled boy and consumed many weeks, for he immigrated first to New York, and from there came to the coast by way of the Isthmus of Panama reaching San Francisco on October 4, 1872. His first experience of importance was not calculated to impress him favorably with his adopted country, for upon stepping off the train at Oakland he broke his ankle. Recovering, he was taken by friends to Visalia, and in December of the same year he came to Kern county. By working with his cousin at sheep herding he in time managed to save enough money to take up land on his own responsibility. He homesteaded eighty acres and pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres just west of Famoso, which he afterward sold to the Kern County Land Company. In 1879 he became identified with this company as a sheep driver. In 1882 he entered the employ of Miller & Lux and was foreman of their sheep department until 1893. During this time his operations as buyer and seller were conducted on a large scale and he had from thirty to forty men under his charge. That his services were satisfactory in the extreme is evidenced from the fact that he remained with the same employer for twelve years.
In December 1893, Mr. Noriega came to Sumner, now East Bakersfield, and erected on Sumner street the Iberia hotel, now called the Noriega, for which he was obliged to borrow $3,500, and of which he is still the proprietor. He also erected the new brick hotel Pyrenees on Kern street which cost $9,000, and besides is the owner of other houses and property in the town. His interest in sheep continued unabated, as for many years he was half owner of about eight thousand sheep which during the winter were grazed on the plains and in the summer were driven to the mountains of Inyo and Mono counties. He owns one hundred and sixty acres at Saco, about eight miles from Bakersfield, which is devoted to the raising of alfalfa and is under the Beardsley canal, and besides this he owns range land for his stock. Mr. Noriega was one of the organizers of the First Bank of Kern and has been a member of the board of directors and its vice-president from the beginning.
On February 14, 1893, Mr. Noriega married Louise Inda, a native of Basses-Pyrenees, France, and they have five children, Martha Lena, Julia, Christena, Frank and Albert. About 1899 Mr. Noriega erected a large modern brick residence on Baker and Oregon street which the family now occupy.
History of Kern County, California, with biographical sketches
of the leading men and women of the county who have been
identified with its growth and development from the early days
to the present.
Publisher: Los Angeles, Cal., Historic record company, 1914