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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

PAYNE, HENRY B. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

PAYNE, HENRY B. (30 Nov. 1810-9 Sept. 1896), lawyer and politician, was born in Hamilton, N.Y., to Elisha and Esther Douglass Payne. He graduated from Hamilton College (1832), moved to Cleveland in 1833, studied law with SHERLOCK ANDREWS†, and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1834. After 12 years of practice with HIRAM WILLSON†, Payne had to retire from legal practice because of a lung hemorrhage.

Payne was Cleveland's first solicitor under its municipal charter, and was elected to city council in 1847. In 1856, 1860 and 1872 he was a delegate to the Democratic national conventions. In 1849 he was elected to the state senate. In 1857 he joined Sen. Steven Douglass opposing the Lecompton constitution, and assisted Douglass in his 1858 campaign against Abraham Lincoln. In 1849, Payne, with others, worked for completion of the Cleveland & Columbus Railroad, serving as its president from 1851-54. During the CIVIL WAR, Payne encouraged Army enlistments and advanced monies as a guaranty for the advance of county funds to equip new regiments. In 1862 he became head of the Board of Sinking Funds Commissioners.

Payne was elected to Congress in 1874, serving on the committees on banking and currency, civil-service reform, and on the Electoral Commission determining the electoral votes. A candidate for the presidential nomination in 1880, Payne served 1 term, 1885-91, in the U.S. Senate. Payne married Mary Perry in 1836 and had 6 children: Flora, Oliver, Henry, Howard, Mary, and Nathan. He is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.

Last Modified: 21 Jul 1997 02:31:00 PM

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