According to Mrs. Herbert Haukenberry (in the Noland genealogy book by William Lockett), Francis is named after Francis Marion, also known as the Swamp Fox of Revolutionary War fame. Apparently, Francis' father, James, knew him, served with, under or in proximity of him or respected him. (Mrs. Haukenberry is the niece of Ethel Noland, President Truman's cousin.)
Francis owned part of the land that is now Crackerneck Golf Course and land abutting or through which Noland Road in Jackson County now runs. Thus, he would be a candidate for whom Noland Road is named - there are other candidates, however.