Edward B. Payne (1845-1923) was ordained by the First Church in Leominster, Mass., in 1887; he served there until 1891. Payne had been a Congregational minister in Berkeley, Calif., from 1875 to 1880, but he resigned his pastorate and became a Unitarian. He had served the Unitarian Church in Manchester, N.H., 1884-1886. From 1892 to 1897, he was minister in Berkeley, Calif., where he became involved with the founding of the Altruria Community, a short-lived utopian community whose ideals were inspired by Christian Socialism. Payne served as editor of Coming Light (predecessor of Arena), 1898-1899, and became a spiritualist. His wife was the author and medium Ninetta Eames. [Photo (credit: Richardson, Leominister, Mass.) bMS 1446/160].
For more information, see: Fogarty, Robert S. Dictionary of American Communal and Utopian History (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1980). Trahair, Richard C.S. Utopias and Utopians: an Historical Dictionary (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1999). Pacific Unitarian v. 3, no. 8 (June 1895), p. 230f.