Thomas H. Paynter

Thomas Hanson Paynter (December 9, 1851 – March 8, 1921) was a United States Senator and Representative from Kentucky.

Thomas Hanson Paynter
A portly man with black, wavy, receding hair wearing a black jacket and tie and white shirt
United States Senator
from Kentucky
In office
March 4, 1907 – March 4, 1913
Preceded byJoseph C.S. Blackburn
Succeeded byOllie M. James
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1889 – January 5, 1895
Preceded byGeorge M. Thomas
Succeeded bySamuel J. Pugh
Personal details
Born(1851-12-09)December 9, 1851
Vanceburg, Kentucky
DiedMarch 8, 1921(1921-03-08) (aged 69)
Frankfort, Kentucky
Resting placeFrankfort Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic

Born on a farm near Vanceburg, Kentucky, Paynter attended the common schools, Rand's Academy, and Centre College. There he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1872, and commenced practice in Greenup, Kentucky. He served as the prosecuting attorney of Greenup County, Kentucky from 1876 to 1882, and then resumed the practice of law in Greenup.

Paynter was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-first, Fifty-second, and Fifty-third Congresses in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from March 4, 1889 until January 5, 1895. There he served as chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Expenditures in the Post Office Department. He resigned in 1895, having been elected as a judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, where he served from 1895 to 1906. He resigned from this position as well, having been elected a U.S. Senator.

Paynter served in the Senate from March 4, 1907 to March 3, 1913. He was not a candidate for reelection in 1912. In the Senate he served as chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee to Examine Branches of the Civil Service. After his career in politics, he moved to Frankfort, Kentucky in 1913 to continue the practice of law and follow agricultural pursuits. He died in Frankfort and was interred in the State Cemetery.


  • United States Congress. "Thomas H. Paynter (id: P000156)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Legislative history and capitol souvenir of Kentucky : portraits and sketches of Senators, Representatives, and officials and attaches of the various state departments. W.E. Bidwell, E.H. Ellwanger. 1910. p. 31. Archived from the original on 2005-03-08. Retrieved 2008-11-28.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by United States Representative from Kentucky's 9th district
1889 - 1895
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by United States Senator (Class 2) from Kentucky
1907 - 1913
Succeeded by