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Payne, John (1784–1848)

Essie Walton Martin Biography Entry

John Payne, Texas pioneer and legislator, was born in North Carolina on March 4, 1784, the son of John and Mildred (Haynes) Payne. He moved to Bibbs County, Georgia, in the early 1800s and married Margaret (Peggy) Rush Williams on March 21, 1805, in Monticello. The couple had six children. Payne was a second sergeant in the Georgia Militia and a veteran of the War of 1812. He and his family left Georgia sometime before 1835 and settled in what is now Sabine County, Texas, on land originally granted by the Spanish in 1794 to Juan Ignacio Perfirmo. After Texas independence Payne became a judge and the first justice of the peace in Sabine County; he was elected in 1837 and again in 1841. He received a league of land in 1838, but it was not in Sabine County, so he subsequently purchased the land where he lived. From 1838 to 1841 Payne was a Sabine County representative to the Third Congress of the republic. With two of his sons he served on a committee to draft a resolution for annexation that met on March 31, 1845. He died on October 14, 1848, and was buried near Geneva in the Payne-William-Cordray-Gray Cemetery, for which he had earlier donated the land. His son, Epperson Duke, served at the siege of Bexar and the battle of San Jacinto.

Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Founders and Patriots of the Republic of Texas (Austin, 1963-). Joe E. Ericson, Judges of the Republic of Texas (1836–1846): A Biographical Directory (Dallas: Taylor, 1980). Mary Smith Fay, War of 1812 Veterans in Texas (New Orleans: Polyanthos, 1979). Mrs. Harry Joseph Morris, comp. and ed., Citizens of the Republic of Texas (Dallas: Texas State Genealogical Society, 1977). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Essie Walton Martin, “Payne, John,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 08, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995