As an amateur genealogist I have uncovered many stories about my ancestors
and family, but few as tragic as this. I had heard references to the "Payne Murders" all of my life, each time getting a somewhat different version. Not until I began my research did I learn the full story. It was then that I determined to write it down.
I chose to tell this tale using the form of a novel so as to better relate my interpretation of the attitudes and thoughts which prevailed at the time, as
well as lead the reader through the chronological events as they happened.
Over two years of intensive research has gone into this project in an attempt to learn all of the available details. This included on the scene inspections; interviews with family members and others who, though they were only children at the time, were personally involved in the incidents herein described; the reading of numerous newspaper accounts of the events as well as the U.S. and state census records.
Naturally some liberties were taken in the creation of the dialogue and the presumption of actions surrounding certain incidents. However, as a whole, the store is true and accurate. Where possible the actual names of those persons involved were used. My objective in writing this book is to pass the story on to those future generations who may be interested.
The book is no longer in print. However, if you have the Acrobat Reader, you can read it here by clicking on the picture of the book cover. Or if you care to contact me, I can make arrangements to provide you with a printable file.