Payson is a village in Adams County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,066 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Quincy, IL–MO Micropolitan Statistical Area. During the 1860 Presidential campaign, the residents of Payson erected a pole on which they hung banners supporting the Democratic candidate, Stephen Douglas, and an effigy of Abraham Lincoln riding a rail. This resulted in two confrontations with the Quincy Wide Awakes, the Republican para-military organization, on August 25-26, 1860. During the second confrontation, shots were fired at the Wide Awakes, resulting in injuries. This action was related to the "Stone's Prairie Riot" at nearby Plainville.