Walter Levi Payne, special assistant state treasurer, was born in Douglas county, Kansas, April 13, 1867. He is a son of Merton Anson Payne, a merchant, born in Montgomery county, Ohio, Dec. 25, 1836. The father of Merton Anson Payne was Dr. Lorenzo Dow Payne, a physician, who removed from Ohio to La Grange county, Indiana, when Merton Anson was one year old and resided there until 1857. He then decided to make his future home in Kansas and removed his family to a place called the "Old Trading Post," in Miami county, but later he located in Douglas county, where he and wife continued to reside until their respective deaths, that of the former occurring on Dec. 22, 1875, and the latter March 3, 1901. The mother of Merton Anson Payne was Mary Ann Wildman, and throughout her long and happy wedded life with Dr. L. D. Payne, she proved a true and loving helpmate. Although Merton Anson Payne did not accompany his father's family to Kansas, in 1857, he did arrive here prior to the Civil war and fought for the Union in the Fourteenth Kansas regiment, and later reënlisted in the Fourth Arkansas infantry. When a young man he was united in marriage with Catharine McCoach, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., and the daughter of John and Mary (Hazelton) McCoach, both natives of County Donegal, Ireland. John McCoach left his native land for America at the age of fifteen, locating in Philadelphia, where he found employment and worked for several years, ere he sent back to Ireland for Mary Hazelton to come over and become his bride. They were married in Philadelphia, came to Kansas, in 1859, locating in Douglas county, where they resided until their respective deaths, having become the parents of five sons and three daughters: John, Jr., William, James, Thomas, George, Mary, Maggie and Catharine. Three of the sons served in the Union army during the Civil war, George, the youngest, being captured, was thrown into Andersonville prison, where he suffered tortures for eleven months.
Walter L. Payne spent his boyhood and youth on the farm, receiving a common school education. He initiated his independent business career by engaging in farming for two years, after which he gave his time and attention to mercantile pursuits, which he followed at Clinton, Kan., for a number of years. He disposed of his business there in 1895, and took charge of a store in Belvoir, Kan. In 1897 he went to Lawrence, where he accepted a clerkship in a clothing store and held that position until January, 1900, when he was tendered the position of deputy county clerk of Douglas county, which he accepted and filled it for three years. In January, 1903, he was appointed special assistant state treasurer and has successfully filled the position since that date.
On May 24, 1883, he was united in marriage with Miss Vienna C. Chilcote, a native of Iowa. Two sons bless this union: Roland Dow, born Aug. 6, 1884, and Lavergne Leslie, born Sept. 18, 1886, both of whom reside at Topeka. Mr. Payne believes in the principles and policies of the Republican party and prior to his present appointment had served his party in various official positions. He and wife are members of the First Presbyterian Church of Topeka, while fraternally he is a Thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, a member of the Modern Woodmen, Fraternal Aid Association and several other organizations.Pages 732-733 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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