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J. M. Payson Story of a North Country Town Manuscripts

J. M. Payson Story of a North Country Town Manuscripts

Collection Number: 
186
Collection Length: 
0.25ft
Geographic Coverage: 
Canton, NY
Period: 
1930 to 1932
Subjects: 
Finding Aid: 

Dr. James M. Payson was a founding faculty member of the State School of Agriculture, which was founded in 1907 at St. Lawrence University.  He was born in South Freedom, Maine in 1848.  He was educated in Maine and began a teaching career there until coming to Canton to enroll in the Universalist Theological School here.  He married Flora Bassett just before graduating in 1874.  He then spent 19 years as a minister in Sherman, New York, Minnesota and Wisconsin until returning to Canton to serve as pastor of the Universalist Church.  Upon the founding of the Ag school, Dr. Payson was involved in curriculum development and teaching until 1927.  He also served as a St. Lawrence University trustee and was a long-serving president of the Canton Board of Education.  After retiring from active teaching, Dr. Payson turned to writing.

This collection consists of typed and some hand-written manuscript materials of a column Payson wrote for the St. Lawrence Plaindealer called The Story of a North Country Town that were printed from 1930 to 1932.  Also included are three other short manuscripts Our North Country Civilization: Where it Came From, Canton Then, Canton Now and the Canton that is to Be, and Some Memories of Canton’s Old Places, Old Houses and Once Familiar Faces.