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Biography of Hon. William Payne

Farmers who have been elected to positions of trust and honor are not by any means few in America, but it is the exception that the tiller of the soil continues to be such long after he has won success in any sphere outside his regular calling. The allurements of city life in the great majority of cases quickly overcome the inborn love of nature unadorned and the farmer is known by another name. Honorable William Payne has been one of the few. After terms of service in county offices and through twelve years in which he held membership in the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate he remained a farmer. His broad acres in Zuma Township, Rock Island County, he still called home, and there he continued to reside and plant and cultivate and reap and raise live stock till he felt it time to retire from active business and from office. Then he exchanged his farm for city property and became a resident of Rock Island. Mr. Payne was born March 8, 1841, at what is now known as Pleasant Valley, Scott County, Iowa, his parents being Jeremiah and Letitia (Orr) Payne. They located in Scott County in 1837, the father being a native of New York State, and the mother a native of Ohio. The son received his education in the public schools near his home, and in the Winters of 1859. 1860 attended school at Quincy College, and in 1860 taught school in Posey County, Indiana, and Adams County, Illinois. At the outbreak of the Civil war he joined the Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, serving in...

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