He said that Bill Payne came from over about Hillsboro, probably in the
eighties, and was a hard character - was reported to have killed two or
three men over there before he came to Hamilton County.
[William Dennis "Bill" Payne married
Olive "Ollie" Dunlap in 1872 in Hill County and relocated to
Hamilton County later that year.]
Killing of Poe
It was about 1886 that he killed Tom Poe, who was said to be a
constable at the time. It seems, he said, that he, Payne, and Poe and one
Griffin had been out together horseback hunting horses. That later Poe
went to his house and got his gun. When he came back Payne walked up to
his horse, grabbed the reins of the horse, and shot Poe while he was on
the horse and killed him.
At that time Mr. Williams was working as a cow hand for Jim
and had been feeding. Bill Payne most of the time there at the cow camp. Later
on Payne killed Livingston.
Right after Payne killed Poe a posse was organized and went out looking
for him horseback during the night. Tom Freeman lived out that way in the
part of the country where the killing took place, and where Payne was
thought to be, and he was a large man like Payne and usually rode a
The posse ran up in sight of Freeman during the night and thought he
was Payne. Freeman, who knew what they were after, would run his horse
ahead, always keeping out pistol shot, and then would slow up. The he
repeated this process until he arrive at the Livingston cow camp, where he
seemed to have been working and where his identity was made known. Mr.
Williams thought he probably did it just for fun but agreed he could have
been luring them on, and off of the trail, but probably just doing it as a
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
CHESLEY'S HAMILTON COUNTY INTERVIEWS
HERVEY EDGAR CHESLEY, JR.
Born: 21 November, 1894
Died: 17 July, 1979