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Mr. Payne was born in Clay County, Indiana, in 1851 and was the son of William Benjamin and Malinda (Sturdevant) Payne.
He was reared and educated in Boone County, Iowa. May 18, 1875 he purchased prairie land in Section 20, Hayes Township, Ida County, Iowa. Two years later he erected a small house and began farming the land. In 1890 he built a fine, frame residence.
He assisted in organizing and naming Hayes Township in 1878, which was taken from Corwin Township. He organized the school districts and was Secretary of the Board during the erection of six school buildings. The lumber for the first building was hauled from Denison, Ia. He was one of the original settlers of Hayes Township.
J. T. Payne married Miss Georgiana Friott on February 29, 1880. Georgiana was reared in Massachusetts to the age of 9, lived in Chicago, and in 1878 came to Hayes Township, Ida County, Iowa. They had 5 children: Ruby, Rodney, Armour, Luva, and Cornelius.