Art in Architecture: E. A. Payne in Mississippi


Last week W. White presented some less-featured buildings from Aberdeen, which sent me into the newspaper archives, albeit without much success.  However, in the Canton Times I ran across this striking architectural rendering marked “Payne, Archt., Carthage, Ills.” Other published designs and plan books have been previously showcased on Preservation in Mississippi, for example Aladdin Ledger Houses, Gordon-Van Tineand Palliser’s Model Homes.

Art in Architecture

E.A. Payne began his work in Carthage, Illinois, starting practice in 1885.  His designs began to be advertised in the Illinois papers in 1892, and there were a number of designs and kits featured, ranging from small “cheap” cottages to expansive two-story plans. Of the plan above:

This is a very desirable, neat, convenient and roomy, yet cheap, cottage.  The plan has five good rooms and bathroom, besides closets.  Constructionally the house is good, the materials being of first-class quality.  The frame is of pine, sheathed with shiplap overlaid with building paper.  The outside finish and siding are of pine. The Canton Times, July 20, 1900, p. 3

Floor plan of cottage

Payne’s advertisement pointed out differing design needs based on geographical location, such as this “low house of good outline” which would “fit into the natural surroundings of a landscape much more appropriately than a lofty structure.”  This little cottage was 33.5 feet by 50 feet with a full cellar 7 feet deep.  Describing the interior for the prospective home owner,

The parlor is octagonal shaped at one end, giving more light and ventilation and better view.  The pantry is so placed that the passage is through it from the kitchen to the dining-room, and is fitted up with a large cupboard, locker, pastry table and flour bins.

Payne continued the description with details about the foundation, ceiling height, and other specifications, such as size of floor joists, ceiling joists and rafters, studding, and flooring.  The cost of the house was $1,000 to $1,200.

Payne’s designs were advertised in Canada, and a number of states including California, Oregon, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Louisiana, in addition to Mississippi.  Although the description of the Canton ad indicated design was important based on geography, the same designs were featured throughout the US.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Payne Architect advertised in Kosciusko, Westville, and Biloxi in addition to Canton.  Any Payne houses in your neighborhood?

Categories: Architectural Research, Canton, Historic Preservation


4 replies

  1. Great post! I’ve always gotten a chuckle out of the line “designed and written especially for this paper” when it clearly was not. I suppose not many people were reading all the Kosciusko, Westville, Biloxi, and Canton papers let alone a paper from Canada, in order to call the publishers out on it.

    Houses resembling the published work of E.A. Payne are much larger than the extant buildings from this period on the coast. If anyone did build something based on his plans, it was probably on the beach and is long gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. very interesting, and typical of the many architects and builders looking for work in the post civil-war era. i want to think about the topic a bit more and send in a longer post later. thanks, suzassippi!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: