Harmon Payne (1773-1816) was the oldest of ten children.
Harmons mother died when he was an infant, and his
father, Joseph Payne (1751-1805) remarried a few months
later. His fathers second wife died when Harmon was
14, and again his father remarried within a few months.
He married for the fourth and final time in 1795, again
only a few months after his wifes death.
Joseph Payne purchased a mill on the Mad River from Capt.
George Nichols in 1796. Harmon Payne operated a cloth dressing
and carding machine shop a short distance away on the same
river. Joseph lived in the Columbia district of Waterbury,
now the town of Prospect. He was buried in the Grand Street
cemetery. His coffin was carried on his neighbors
shoulders from his home to the cemetery, a distance
of several miles, where he was buried with his family.
Harmon Payne married Elizabeth Osborn in 1795, five months
after his fathers fourth wedding. Harmon and Elizabeth
had nine children together. Four of their children were
baptized in the Congregational Church in 1801, along with
Lucy, who was enslaved in their household. They were baptized
at the same time as Comfort Homer and the children of Miles
Newton. Lucy undoubtedly helped care for the many Payne
The census of 1810 shows Harmon Payne living in Waterbury,
but without any African Americans, free or enslaved, in
his household. Harmon does not appear at all in the 1800