The former home of long-time police chief Bill Payne, 426 Concourse Ave., suffered a fire in the summer of 2014. The property was vacant at that time. Local couple Mark and Anna Sue Spohn purchased the property and, the City of Excelsior Springs in cooperation with their revitalization plans, released nearly $,1800 in past due taxes, demolition assessment and real estate and property taxes and interest.
The Spohns have renovated the house and adjacent annex as the property now serves the downtown historic district as the Payne Jailhouse Bed & Breakfast. While the site was, according to an account of Excelsior Springs police history, the location of the first jail in town, it’s better known as the Payne home. Bill Payne served on the police force in the early days of the community and was police chief from 1925 to 1953, and his role in the community was far-reaching. He considered himself, not only as the chief of police, but also as a kind of ambassador for visitors to Excelsior Springs and even felt that part of his duty was to keep city clean of litter and trash.
His legacy still remains front and center in today’s Excelsior Springs. During his first few years as police chief, in the late 1920s, he started a Halloween party to try to keep young people out of mischief on Halloween night. That party still continues to this day, under the leadership of local veterans.
Originally part of the Central Park Addition platted in 1887, the south side of Concourse did not really begin to develop until the Concourse Park Addition was subdivided on October 8, 1903 by the McLain Investment Company. At that time the alignment of Concourse was altered. Previously, it had formed an entire oval around the Elms Hotel complex. The pyramidal roof house started as a one-story, square brick building sometime around 1900, then rebuilt in 1912 as a two-story combination brick and wood building.In 1917, E.C. and Price Miller resided here. The Paynes bought it in 1940 and Bill added the detached garage in 1945.