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Biography of W. K. Payne

W. K. Payne, retired, Ashmore; although not an early settler of Coles Co., is one of the pioneers in the adjoining county of Edgar, where he was a prominent citizen for forty-six years. He was born in Shelby Co., Ky., May 17, 1807, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Wright) Payne, both natives of Kentucky and descendants of old Virginia families. His early education was limited to such as the schools of that region afforded. In 1822, his father removed with his family to Owen Co., Ind. In 1831, Mr. Payne came to Edgar Co., and engaged in the mercantile business in Grand View; he built a store in that place, and after his marriage occupied it both as a store and dwelling; he afterward erected a substantial store and a fine residence on the same spot; both of these were recently destroyed by fire. Mr. Payne continued in the mercantile business in Grand View for thirty-five years, during which time he held the office of Postmaster for twelve years. In 1866, he retired from active business, and in October, 1877, he removed to Ashmore, where he now lives in the quiet enjoyment of the results of a long and successful business life. He was married Jan. 2, 1834, to Miss Matilda Wampler, who was born in Steubenville, Jefferson Co., Ohio, July 22, 1815; she is a daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Stephens) Wampler, both natives of Baltimore, Md.; she came in 1831 to Illinois with her parents, who settled in Hickory Grove, Edgar Co.; her father, Rev. Joseph Wampler, was a well-known minister of the Methodist Church. In his early life, he was a civil engineer, and in that capacity assisted in the survey of the State of Michigan. Mr. Payne’s family consists of two sons and two daughters-Joseph W., a merchant in Paris, Ill.; Sarah E., wife of Wm. S. Van Meter, of Neosho Co., Kan.; John W., of Oakland, Cal., and Mary E., wife of Joel S. Cary, of Ashmore Tp.

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