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05/15/2021 04:51 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate

Hubbard Bester Payne

Photo credit:

The Luzerne Legal Register, vol XIII, 1884;  By George Brubaker Kulp, Pennsylvania. Supreme Court.




Session Position District Party
1875 21 Republican
 Counties   Luzerne


1839 -

The son of Bester and Polly (Pierce) Payne, Kingston, Luzerne County, Hubbard Bester Payne was born July 20, 1839.  Payne assisted his father to age 18, manufacturing lead piping; attended local schools; attended Wyoming Seminary, Kingston, and in August 1857, entered the Wesleyan University at Middletown, Connecticut; taught school at Rocky Hill, Hartford county, Conn., while attending college.  He was a member of the Psi Upsilon Secret Society and of the Pythologian Society and Phi Beta Kappa; graduated in June, 1861; studied law with Congressman Charles Denison of Wilkes-Barre while continuing teaching. He was admitted to the Luzerne County bar in 1863, practiced with state Senator and Congressman Winthrop W. Ketcham, then solicitor of the United States Court of Claims. A Republican, he defeated incumbent Jasper B. Stark in 1874 for a seat in the state Senate, serving one term. Seated on the "judiciary general," "judiciary local," " mines and mining," and " new counties" committees, he chaired the last two.  He championed a bill mandating that all parents not only prepare children for an elementary education, but charged legal guardians to uphold a compulsory attendance policy. Unsuccessful bid for Congress in 1876; unsuccessful bid for District Court Judge; superintendent of Sunday School; ruling elder in the New Kingston Presbyterian Church; member of the Masons; past master in the Kingston lodge; served two years as district deputy grand master for the district of Luzerne county; vice-president of the Pennsylvania Sunday School Association, 1883; director in the Miners' Savings Bank of Wilkes-Barre for ten years; trustee of the " Osterhout Free Library."  He married Elizabeth Lee Smith of Plymouth, Pennsylvania, in 1865.