Rose Garden PhotographsMarcia Anna (Wing) Payne was born May 26, 1858, in Muskegon, Michigan, the daughter of Harriet (Trowbridge) and Thomas Wing. In the late 1870s, her brothers, James and George, came to the Arizona Territory seeking fame and fortune as gold miners.

Marcia’s mother died in 1878, and her father decided to join his sons in Arizona Territory. Thomas sought the position of registrar in the U. S. Land Office, Arizona Territory, which was located in Prescott, Yavapai County. Upon receiving the appointment, he moved west in 1882. The next year, Marcia joined her father.

Soon after their arrival, Thomas made a bid at an estate sale to buy three lots on the southwest corner of Cortez and Carleton Streets. Upon procuring those lots, Thomas built a two-story frame home on the property, where he resided until his death in 1905.

On October 8, 1885, Marcia married Edwin Clement Payne in the Prescott Congregational Church.  Regarding the wedding, the Journal Miner reported, “The bride was beautifully attired and looked quite charming in a gray silk princess dress. The bridegroom is one of Prescott’s most upright and honest young business men, while the bride is a beautiful and accomplished lady, and inherits from her father, who is an old-line Quaker, those sterling qualities of heart."

The couple lived in Prescott until 1886, when they moved to Williamson Valley, where Edwin and his cousin, Frank Paine, owned a ranch. In 1891, they moved back to Prescott where they permanently resided.

Marcia and Edwin had five children: Edwin C. Payne Jr., Morris Wing Payne, Stanley Thomas Payne, Howell Sherman Payne, and Mary Ruth (Payne) Todd. In addition to being wife and mother, Marcia was active in the Ladies’ Aid Society, the Monday Club, the Women’s Temperance Union and the Congregational Church, of which she was a member.

Marcia’s father and brother, James E. Wing, homesteaded a section of land north of Prescott originally called “Point of Rocks." They renamed their homestead Granite Dells. Jim developed a series of irrigation ditches and became a very successful farmer. With the deaths of Marcia’s father and brother, she inherited both her father’s house in Prescott and the Wing homestead in Granite Dells.

Although Marcia did not work on the property at the Dells, her sons developed it into the famous Granite Dells Swimming Lake and Resort. People came from far and wide to swim in the cool water, dive out of cottonwood trees, climb the granite rocks, and picnic by the trickling Granite Creek. This area is still adored by thousands who have swum in the lake.

Marcia died on February 17, 1928, and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery. The Journal Miner commented, “Mrs. Payne has made many warm and lifelong friends during her sojourn in Prescott, and our community regrets the loss of such a good character and strong influence for the better things of life.”

Edwin and Marcia’s descendents wrote an excellent book in 2011: “I Must Go There Someday” Edwin C. Payne's Family in Prescott, Arizona. It is available at several libraries, including the Sharlot Hall Museum Library and Archives.

Donors: Marcia Payne’s grandchildren
Photo Located: Wing-Payne Family Collection, PC-121
Updated: 1/2/2016, N. Freer