THOMAS J. PAYNE, who since an early period in the reclamation of Montague county for the uses of the white man has followed farming in this part of the state, was born in McMinn county, Tennessee, November 7, 1844. He is descended from English ancestry, the family having been founded in America at an early day. His grandfather was Isaac Payne, a native of South Carolina, who followed the occupation of farming and was a typical old school southern gentleman, wielding a wide influence in community affairs and winning the respect and confidence of all who knew him. He voted with the Democracy and was a member of the Methodist church. In his family were four sons and a daughter: John, James, William, Thomas and Mrs. Polly Harris.
James M. Payne, the second son, was born in South Carolina and accompanied his parents on their removal to Tennessee, where he was reared. In early manhood he wedded Miss Armida Mulka, a native of Georgia, and a daughter of Dr. William Mulka, who was a leading and capable physician of Tennessee, in which state his professional services were regarded as of much value. His death occurred in that state. In his family were seven children: William, Mrs. Mary Patterson, Mrs. Eliza Gregg, Mrs. Besheba Kinser; Mrs. Arminda Payne; Mrs. Nica Howe and Mrs. Nancy Center.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. James Payne settled on a farm in Tennessee and he was connected with agricultural pursuits in that state throughout his remaining days. He voted with the Democracy and while he was never an aspirant for office he at one time served as deputy sheriff. He held membership in the Methodist church and died in 1903, at the advanced age of eighty-two years, while his wife passed away in 1898. This worthy couple were the parents of ten children: Uriah M., of Tennessee; Thomas J., of this review; William, deceased; Leander W., of Oklahoma; Louisa, the wife of C. Barnett; Andrew J., of California; Houston D., of Oklahoma; James L., of Tennessee; John C., of Ardmore, Indian Territory; and Lucretia, the wife of J. Leslie.
Thomas J. Payne was reared in the state of his nativity and remained under the parental roof until eighteen years of age, while in the common schools he mastered the elementary branches of learning. He joined the Confederate army and became a member of Company C, First Tennessee Cavalry, under Colonel Carter. The company was detailed to act as body guard to General Stephenson in Mississippi, where Mr. Payne served during the siege of Vicksburg. After its surrender the company re-organized and Mr. Payne was taken prisoner but was paroled at Nashville. He never again entered the service, but returned home and again attended school, residing with his parents on the old homestead farm until 1866.
Another important event in his life occurred in that year—his marriage to Miss Mary A. Green, who was born in Alabama in 1844. Her parents James and Sally (Hoyle) Green, were also natives of Tennessee, and the father was a prominent farmer, miller and blacksmith. He owned a number of slaves and successfully managed his plantation and other business interests. He held membership in the Presbyterian church, and advocated the principles of Democracy, but was without desire for political office. His death occurred in Alabama, and his wife passed away on the same day, so that they were buried together. The Hoyle family originated at Nassau, Germany, where the ancestors lived for several generations. David Hoyle, leaving the fatherland and emigrating to the new world, settled in McMinn county, Tennessee, where James Hoyle was born in 1805; Peter in 1807; and Jonas in 1810. The other members of the family were: Mrs. Sally Green; Betsy, Caleb R., John N., Andrew and Mary. The children of the Green family were: Elizabeth, who became Mrs. McSpadden; Samuel; Josephine; Margaret; John P.; Mary A.; David; Felix; and Parthena. [*]
Mr. and Mrs. Payne began their domestic life on a farm and after owning and selling two different farm properties in Tennessee came to Texas in 1878, locating in Willowally valley in Montague county, where Mr. Payne purchased land and improved the farm that he yet owns. He has added to this until he now has two hundred and sixty acres pleasantly situated a half mile north of Hardy, of which one hundred and fifty acres has been cultivated and yields to him a good return. He carries on general agricultural pursuits and his efforts are attended with gratifying results. At one time he removed to Hardy for the purpose of providing his children with better educational advantages and remained there for ten years, during which time he served as deputy sheriff and also conducted a life insurance agency. On the expiration of that decade, however, he returned to the farm where he yet remains, and his life is now given to general agricultural pursuits. wherein his well directed labors and sound business judgment are bringing to him gratifying success.
Mr. and Mrs. Payne have a family of seven children: Emma, now the wife of L. Wren; Lizzie, the widow of Dr. W. L. Robinson, who died leaving two children; Ella, the wife of S. C. Martin; Grace, the wife of Dr. Maxwell of Myra, Texas; Minna, John and James E., all at home. Mrs. Payne is a member of the Methodist church, and both Mr. and Mrs. Payne enjoy the warm regard of many friends, having a wide and favorable acquaintance in Montague county.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 573-574.
Linda C. Pope would like to hear from other researchers interested in the Hoyle family.