Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Cheals W. Payne

Cheals W. Payne needs no introduction to the readers of this volume, for few men in this part of the state are more widely known in Crawford county than he. His is a notable career of a successful man, who started out in life empty-handed and came to America with no capital save industry and determination. Those qualities, however, will always serve as a sure and safe foundation upon which to build prosperity. The early years of his residence in Iowa constituted a period of earnest and unremitting toil, but thereby he acquired a sum of money sufficient to enable him to make his first purchase of land. From that time forward he has speculated and dealt largely in real estate and there are today few men in Iowa whose property holdings equal his in extent or importance.

He was born in Lincolnshire, England, August 11, 1846, his parents being George and Eliza (Cheals) Payne, who were likewise natives of Lincolnshire, in which country they spent their entire lives. They were the parents of five children, namely: Caroline, now deceased; John R. and George, who are still residents of England; Cheals W., of this review; and Lucy Hannah, who is still living in England.

The youthful days of Cheals W. Payne were passed in his native country and his education was there acquired, but when twenty-three years of age he came to the new world in company with his brother George in the spring of 1870, attracted by the broader opportunities which he had heard might be obtained in America. He did not tarry on the eastern coast but made his way at once into the interior of the country, the two brothers settling on a farm which they rented in Clinton county, Iowa.

With characteristic energy they took up the task of tilling the fields and raising good crops and for seven years lived upon that place. In the fall of 1877 they removed to Crawford county and purchased the farm upon which Cheals W. Payne now lives. Both brothers recognized the advantages and opportunities here offered and foresaw something of what the future had in store for Crawford county.

Believing that the land must necessarily rise in value with the development of the district and the settlement of the county, they began buying and speculating in property and also were among the pioneers in raising, feeding and shipping stock. They continued to purchase land in this county and other parts of the state until at the present time Cheals W. Payne is the owner of several fine and valuable farms in Crawford county, being associated with a partner in the ownership of fourteen thousand acres in this county and in the vicinity of Sioux City, Iowa. They also own forty thousand acres in Nebraska and Mr. Payne owns individually nine thousand acres in Colorado.

He has thus become one of the most extensive landowners of Iowa and in his investments has shown keen distrimination and sound judgment. He also owns two business blocks in the village of West Side, together with an elevator and six lots on which it stands. He is the president of the Valley Bank at West Side and has been the promoter of various interests of a public and semi-public character. He and his brother George continued in partnership from 1870 until 1884, when the brother sold out and returned to England with his family.

While Mr. Payne has prospered in the conduct of extensive and important business affairs, his success is to him a matter of gratification because it enables him not only to provide handsomely for his family, but also to do much for educational activities, in which he is particularly interested. He has contributed eighty-seven thousand dollars to the Morningside College near Sioux City, Iowa, and has also been a generous supporter of other educational movements. He is a firm believer in the cause of education as a preparation for life's practical and responsible duties and as an element in the development of high and honorable character. At the present writing he is serving on the board of trustees of Morningside College.

On the 18th of February, 1885, Mr. Payne was united in marriage to Miss Mary A. Dannatt, who was born in Clinton county, Iowa, and is a daughter of John S. and Emily (Evison) Dannatt, both of whom were natives of England, whence they came to the United States with their parents in early childhood. They were first residents of Clinton county, Iowa, where the father of Mrs, Payne passed away. The mother, however, is still living in that county.

Mrs. Payne was one of a family of ten children, of whom nine are still living. By her marriage she became the mother of two children, but the elder, Ethel M., who was born December 15, 1886, died May 28, 1887. The younger, Arthur C., born March 19, 1896, is still in school.

The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which Mr. Payne is one of the trustees, while his wife is one of the stewards. They are interested in all that pertains to the educational and moral as well as the material progress of the community, and their influence is always on the side of right, progress, reform and truth. In all of his business dealings Mr. Payne has been strictly reliable, never taking advantage of the necessities of a fellowman, but the years have brought him success by reason of his sound judgment and unfaltering industry.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.