MOSES ULYSSES PAYNE
Moses Ulysses Payne was born in Kentucky
in 1826 and, as an adult, migrated to Indiana to enter
the cotton manufacturing business. Later he became
a businessman in Missouri. In 1850 he went to New
Orleans where he purchased a number of slaves.
Foreseeing the Civil War, he made a trip north looking
for land to purchase. He found what he was looking
for in Fremont County west of Hamburg, Iowa, for $1.25
an acre. He went to the land office in Sidney and
pointed out the sections he wanted to buy. They finally
stopped him saying that they did not want to sell
the entire county to one person. He acquired 14,000
acres on the Missouri River bottom and more in Kansas
Mr. Payne returned to Missouri (remember, it was a
slave state) gathered his slaves around him and told
them he was going north and they were welcome to come
with him where they would become free citizens. He
invited them to continue to work for him and he would
continue to care for them as he had in Missouri.
Three train cars bought up his farm equipment, the
farm animals, the Moses Payne family, and over 100
of his former slaves.
When they arrived they found the land was covered
with tall prairie grass. Soon Moses had built a home
for his family and two dormitory houses, one for his
men workers and one for the women. With a depot and
stop on the rail line that went through the land ,
Payne Junction became a reality.
Moses, a stanch Methodist, was a minister in that
church for years. On the train he brought with him
from the south a small chapel to establish in Payne
Junction where he preached for years. He was very
interested in education and gave liberally to several
colleges including nearby Tabor College.
A number of the black community who worked for him
took the name of Payne. Some of them have kept in
touch with the Payne family through the years.
The town's Post office was established in June 1884
and discontinued in 1955. The last gasp of this once-prosperous
town came when the train depot burned sometime in
the late 1950s.
Moses had a home in Rockport, Missouri, above the
Missouri River which is now a bed and breakfast. He
died in 1895 and is buried in the Wyuka Cemetery in
Nebraska City. Descendants still live in Fremont County
and remember fondly when Payne Junction was a thriving
part of Fremont County.
(Information for this View From the Attic was gathered
from "Thumbprints in Time for Fremont County"
and" Fremont County Pictorial History".
If you have more information about Payne Junction
and/or pictures the Historical Society would welcome
hearing from you. E-mail Sandra Bengtson, FCHS genealogy