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John Payne, Jr.

According to information I have, the following article was written and compiled by a Mrs. Gertrude D. Carter who expressed her "thanks to all those who contributed to the Payne Family History and to apologize to them for the delay in getting it printed in the "Illiana Genealogist."  I do not know who Mrs. Carter is or what her relationship to the Payne Family is.  We now know that Virletta died in April of 1847.  The descendants of John Payne firmly believe that he indeed did join his brother Morgan L. Payne in Texas In the "War of Liberation" form Mexico.  There is much evidence that he did farm out his children to relatives while he was absent.  We do not know the whys.  He may have been overwhelmed with the death of his wife and the responsibility of caring for the 6 remaining children.  He may have followed his older brother Morgan, a much admired military Captain and a great recruiter for causes requiring soldiers willing to fight.  Others have hinted that both of them went to Texas "to seek their fortune".

They are both back in Illinois by 1854 (probably before that) because John Jr. is issued a marriage license to Pricilla Beezely on August 31, 1854.  She is a widow with one child.  John and Pricilla have 3 more children together.  Morgan Payne, who had divorced his 1st wife, marries his second wife Sarah Barkley on Dec. 9, 1849 in Indiana.  Morgan then joins his father, John Payne, Sr. and other brothers of his family in Pontiac, Livingston Co., Illinois.

In the following article, I have underlined the name of Hiram Beckwith.  This is the same H. W. Beckwith who wrote the History of Vermilion County and who personally knew various members of the Payne family and his knowledge of them is reflected in that "history".  Hiram Beckwith was a friend and law partner of Abraham Lincoln.  His father, Dan Beckwith was one of the founding pioneers of Vermilion County.  Dan first settled in a log cabin on the on the present site of Danville and hence the town was named.  The town of Georgetown, about 19 miles south of Danville was named after Hiram's Uncle George, Dan's brother.  in 1827 both Dan and George joined a company of volunteers who went to the relief of Ft. Dearborn when it was  threatened with an attack by Winnebago Indians.  Dan and George also served in a band of volunteers in the Blackhawk wars of 1832 along which included Dr. William Fithian, another close friend of Abraham Lincoln. 

See this page for further logical arguments that the Payne Family in Vermilion County, Illinois were friends and acquaintances of President Lincoln.   The Paynes and Abe

See this page for further logical arguments that the Payne Family in Vermilion County, Illinois were friends and acquaintances of President Lincoln.   The Paynes and Abe

 What you see here below ▼is a very poor
copy of a brief newspaper obituary for
Hiram W. Beckwith.                                          It reads:

                             Mr. Lincoln's Law Partner Dies

Hiram W. Beckwith, from 1856 to 1861, a partner of Abraham Lincoln in the law business, died at St. Luke's Hospital Tuesday, Dec. 22 at age 72,  He was taken from his home in Danville on Oct. 15.  Mr. Beckwith's father was one of the pioneers of Illinois, having helped to found the Town of Danville in 1819.  Young Beckwith studied law under Ward H. Lamon who was Marshal of the District of Columbia during President Lincoln's administration.  He was a close friend of Mr. Lincoln and later became his resident partner at Danville while Lincoln was a circuit lawyer.--  Chicago Tribune.  

Another obituary for Hiram Beckwith:

More here about the Beckwiths:,Geo.W.-history.html