William Pierce Payne, son of Samuel and Juliaette Payne, was born near Rutland in Jefferson County, New York, on December 22, 1831. He attended a country school
there and taught school for a time. He attended New York State Normal School
at Albany and graduated in 1854. He then took charge of the school at Sacket’s
Harbor on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. He remained there for three years and then attended Tufts College in Boston and graduated two years later. He was then ordained in the ministry of the Universalist Church and was the pastor at Lynn,
During his pastorate at Lynn, he was married to Adeline M. Brown on January 16, 1859. Adeline was born in 1834. It was also during their residence at Lynn that their only son, William O. Payne, was born.
In 1862, William P. went to Cambridgeport where he attended Harvard for a year. He became pastor in Clinton, New York, and was also an instructor at an
institution there. He remained there for nine years and moved to Nyack-on-the Hudson and stayed for approximately two years. In 1874, Mr. and Mrs. Payne and their son came to Mitchellville. Mr. Payne took charge of the Mitchell Seminary for a
In the spring of 1875, Mr. Payne was principal of the schools of Nevada.
In early November of that year, when the new school was completed, the Payne family became citizens of Nevada.
Mr. Payne, with Mrs. Payne as his assistant, were in charge of the school
for five years. He then left the education field for a career in newspaper work at The Republican in Boone. He worked in that capacity for two years.
In 1882, Mr. Payne returned to Nevada and bought the local paper, the Nevada
Representative. His son, W.O. Payne, soon joined him in business. The newspaper was under the direct supervision of the Paynes until 1917, when
the business was organized into a stock company. The senior Payne retained an interest and continued to give of his time and energy. Aside from his active
work at his newspaper, Mr. Payne devoted much of his time to the Nevada Public Library. He served as the first head of the library board, a position he held
for over ten years. After turning the presidency over to another, he continued to serve the library on the board.
W. P. Payne was widely known over the state because of his long newspaper experience and his library activities. William Pierce Payne died at his home in Nevada on October 21, 1921. Adaline died in 1923. They
are buried in the Nevada Cemetery.
Pioneer Families >