Eli L. Payne, for twelve years prior to August, 1911, professor of mathematics in the Kansas State Normal School at Emporia, was born in McLean county, Illinois, Feb. 20, 1854. His parents were John W. and Polly J. (Gray) Payne. His paternal grandfather, Jacob I. Payne, was born in North Carolina and removed to Bloomington, Ind., in 1820. He was one of the men who drafted the constitution of Indiana and he taught the first school in Indianapolis during the winter of 1823-24. He died near Bloomington in 1853. John W. Payne was born at the old family home at Bloomington, Ind. In 1878, with his family, he came to Kansas and located on land near Hutchinson. By trade he was a carpenter, and he was also a local Methodist preacher. He was an active worker in the interest of the Republican party and campaigned his native state, Indiana, with Schuyler Colfax. He sold his farm, in Reno county, Kansas, after a few years and devoted the remainder of his life to the ministry. He died in Hutchinson in 1902. David Gray, Eli L. Payne's maternal grandfather, was born in Shelby county, Kentucky. After reaching manhood he removed to Indiana, in 1820, and lived to a hale old age in that state, passing away in 1879. Eli L. Payne was educated in the public schools of Indiana and Illinois. After the family came to Kansas he attended the State Normal School, graduating with the class of 1883. He also is a graduate of Lincoln College, of Lincoln, Ill., with the class of 1901, and of Emporia College, with the class of 1903. He was very ambitious, and after completing his undergraduate work took a post-graduate course at the University of Chicago and Indiana University. Upon the completion of his studies Mr. Payne taught school in Iowa and Kansas. He took charge of the schools at Nickerson, Kan., and then was elected superintendent of the Reno county schools. He taught in Hutchinson for some time, but resigned to become assistant instructor of mathematics at the State Normal School at Emporia. Six years later he was appointed professor of mathematics in that institution and remained twelve years as the head of that department. Professor Payne has devoted much time to mathematics, and has lectured in Kansas, Missouri, Indiana and Colorado. He has always taken an active part in institute work, having been conducting them for twenty-five years. He started on the lowest rung of the ladder of educational work and rose to prominence as an educator. He is known as the author of several important works upon mathematics, and has written several text books on algebra and arithmetic. After thirty-five and a half years in the school room he left the profession, in August, 1911, to engage in business, taking with him the good wishes of all people with whom he came in contact during his educational career.
In 1887 Professor Payne married Lizzie E. Cost, of Maryland, and six children have been born to themGladys, Ruth and Norma, all graduates of the State Normal School; Dorothy and Howard, in the high school at Emporia; and Marguerite, who entered the high school in the fall of 1910. The family are all members of the Presbyterian church. Professor Payne is enthusiastic over all out-of-door sports and says that he has been a baseball player for forty years. In politics he is a Republican and ran on that ticket for state superintendent of public instruction, but was defeated. Fraternally he is associated with the Modern Woodmen of America.Pages 1116-1117 from volume III, part 2 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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