Lee Payne

Lee Payne - A part of Union County

There are some interesting old-timers in Union County. One is Lee Payne. His way of life hasn't changed very much from the ways thing were done hundreds of years ago. His house doesn't have satellite TV or running water. He still draws water from a well and uses an out-house. He doesn't want for anything and says life has treated him well.

Payne walked around his house and then stopped by the well. He allowed a few photographs to be taken while he told the history of the house. It was built in 1930 during the worst part of the depression for Preacher John Wade with help from neighbors and friends. Wade purchased the land from Chumby Shope. The pine logs came from Lon Dills.

Payne said, "John Wade usually preached at Pleasant Grove Church in Blairsville, Georgia but helped out at other Churches when he was needed. He also worked with Charlie Everett. They operated what was called a rolling store and sold Standard brand coffee to folks all around the area. Years later, Wade sold the house to an Evans man. Then it was deeded to a Parker, then Lula Seabolt Burns, and finally to me. I bought the house and moved in during 1950. It is a solid, old house and will probably be standing long after I am gone."

Payne was born on Dec.7, 1921. He has had a long and varied career. Payne worked on a farm as a boy, and for the Civilian Conversation Corps in his teenage years. In the 1940's he worked at a saw mill. Then he worked in downtown Blairsville for many years at Roger's Grocery Store. After that, Payne worked at Kelly Brother's Lumber and then at Wilco Farms for 21 more years. He was employed by the Union County for four years. After he turned 55, he worked as an older American for the Forest Service. Later he helped George Upchurch at Mt. Brook Nursery. He finally retired in August 2004 at age 83.

Payne is a quiet man of few words. He still gardens and drives a pickup truck. He has two grown children, James and Linda. Payne says, "James plays the guitar and Linda can sing and play. They sure didn't get it from me, though."

Payne doesn't mind the lack of modern conveniences. He is healthy, active, and seems like a much younger man. Believe it or not, Mr. Payne is living proof that it is possible to live just fine without cell phones, hot showers, and the internet.