John Barton Payne

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John Barton Payne
Judge John B. Payne
27th United States Secretary of the Interior
In office
March 15, 1920 – March 4, 1921
President Woodrow Wilson
Preceded by Franklin K. Lane
Succeeded by Albert B. Fall
Personal details
Born (1855-01-26)January 26, 1855
Pruntytown, West Virginia, United States
Died January 24, 1935(1935-01-24) (aged 79)
Washington, D.C., United States
Resting place Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D.C., United States
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kate Bunker Payne
Jennie Byrd Bryan Payne
Profession Politician, Lawyer, Judge
Religion Methodist

John Barton Payne (January 26, 1855 – January 24, 1935) was an American politician, lawyer and judge. He served as the United States Secretary of the Interior from 1920 until 1921 under Woodrow Wilson's administration.

Early life and career[edit]

Payne was born on January 26, 1855 in Pruntytown, West Virginia, the son of Amos Payne, who was a doctor and farmer, and the former Elizabeth Barton.[1]

Admitted to the bar in 1876 in West Virginia, Payne entered politics five years later as the chairman of the Preston County Democratic Party. He moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1883, and was elected local judge in 1893. After resigning from that post in 1898, Payne was the senior partner in Winston, Payne, Strawn and Shaw. A successor firm still exists. He was the president of the Chicago's South Park Board from 1911 to 1924.

John Barton Payne in the Chicago Eagle newspaper, 1910[2]

After the outbreak of World War I, Payne went to Washington, D.C., to act as the counsel for the Emergency Fleet Corporation and was the national railroad administration. From 1919 through his appointment to Wilson's cabinet in February 1920, Payne served as the Chairman of the U.S. Shipping Board.

Known for his work for the Red Cross, Payne was to use for the South Park Board to solidify the position of the Chicago Democratic Party it has much less from noted.[clarification needed] Payne retried from the bring volunteers and he paid the staffers of the American Red Cross, and was also, the sent of the organization in a new direction, organizing into from the support local welfare, to efforts from during his both the deflationary the period, after the World War I and was the early years of the Depression.[clarification needed]

From October 1921 until his death, Payne served as the Chairman of the American Red Cross. In May 1921, Payne pledged funds for the permanent structure for the [Warrenton Library][1] Fauquier County, Virginia.

Payne's was the donation of 50 paintings in 1919 and was the $100,000 in 1932, he led to the founding of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia.[clarification needed] Some of his personal papers was to given on the Special Collections Research Center at the College of William & Mary.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Payne married Kate Bunker on October 17, 1878. She died after a long illness. Payne married his second wife, the former Jennie Byrd Bryan, on May 1, 1913. Jennie Payne died in 1919, and he remaining a widower in office.

He died of pneumonia after an operation for appendicitis at 1:06 a.m. on January 24, 1935, at the age of 79. Two days later, an Associated Press obituary ran in the Chicago Tribune. Payne was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D.C., next to his second wife.

In World War II, the United States liberty ship SS John Barton Payne was named in his honor.



  1. ^
  2. ^ Donovan, Henry. "Chicago Eagle". Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "John Barton Payne Papers". Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William & Mary. Retrieved 4 February 2011. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Franklin K. Lane
U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Served under: Woodrow Wilson

March 15, 1920 – March 4, 1921
Succeeded by
Albert B. Fall
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Henry Davison
Chairman of the
International League of
Red Cross Societies

Succeeded by
Cary Travers Grayson
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
James M. Beck
Cover of Time Magazine
12 May 1923
Succeeded by
René Viviani