WILLIAM H. PAYNE. One of the best known and generally admired Democrats of Alton, Missouri, is William H. Payne, who is now the most efficient and capable collector of Oregon County, that State. He has earned deserved prominence and an enviable reputation as one of the leading citizens of the county. Oregon County cannot claim him as an original son, but he was only ten years of age when he came here. Mr. Payne was born in Giles County, Tennessee, in 1847, and he is the son of John and Martha (Williamson) Payne, natives also of that county and State.
The parents were married in that county, and there passed their entire lives, the mother dying in 1847, when nineteen years of age, and the father in 1851, when twenty-four years of age. He was a farmer. His father, Charles Payne, died in Tennessee. After the death of his father William H. Payne was taken by his Grandmother Payne and reared in Giles County until ten years of age. The grandmother brought him to Oregon County, Missouri, then, and here received her final summons.
The most of his educational training our subject received in the common schools of Tennessee, for after coming to Missouri he tried to make a living for his grandmother, and his schooling was neglected. The grandmother located near Garfield, and our subject still lives there. He rented land until 1871, when he bought 200 acres, mostly in the woods, and it took many years of hard labor and economy to get a start. He has been farming and stockraising ever since, and owing to his industry and good management has become one of the wealthy men of the county. He owns 330 acres of land in Oak Grove Township in one tract, and has 175 acres under cultivation. He held the office-of coroner of the county, and in 1875 was elected collector, being now the nominee of the Democratic party for the second term. He has filled that position in a most satisfactory manner, and his worth is recognized by his constituents. In the year 1871 he was married to Miss Virgia A. George, a native of Lincoln County, Tennessee, and five children are the result of this union, one son and four daughters, all at home. Mr. and Mrs. Payne are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and he is a steward in the same. In politics he supports the principles and policy of the Democratic party.