He was born on November 10, 1876 in Greenfield, Massachusetts to Samuel Brewer Payne (1843-1912) and Eva Caroline Huff (1850-1917). He married Mary Blake (1878-1943) on November 8, 1900 in Parsons, Kansas. They had a son, Groverman Blake Payne (1909-1963).
He was the United States Assistant Secretary of War from 1930 to 1933. He was promoted to a colonel in 1932. He died on March 24, 1960 in Greenfield, Massachusetts at the home of his son, Groverman Payne. He was buried in Green River Cemetery in in Greenfield, Massachusetts
- "Frederick Payne, Former U.S. Aide. Assistant Secretary of War for Hoover Dies. Served Springfield Ordnance Unit". March 25, 1960. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=990CE7DC143DE333A25756C2A9659C946191D6CF. Retrieved 2015-05-24. "Frederick Huff Payne, Assistant Secretary of War under former President Herbert Hoover, died today at the home of his son, Groverman. He was 83 years old."
- "Frederick H. Payne Made a Colonel". April 19, 1932. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9502E2D6173EE633A2575AC1A9629C946394D6CF. Retrieved 2015-05-24. "Frederick H. Payne, Assistant Secretary of War, who has held a commission as Lieutenant Colonel in the ordnance section ..."
- Frederick Huff Payne at Findagrave