36 - David Haston - A Founding Leader of Van Buren County, TN

David Haston spent much of his time in the final 20 years of his life helping to establish Van Buren County.

Haston Family - Early Influences in Van Buren County, TN

Several of Daniel Haston’s children and grandchildren had already left Tennessee by the time Van Buren County was created in 1840.  Others left soon after the county was established.  But the many of those who lived in White County and Van Buren County for the remainder of their lives impacted their communities and counties positively and significantly.

Courtesy of Tennessee State Library and Archives

June 1, 1840 – The sheriff of Van Buren County handed into the county court the Justice of the Peace commissions for David Haston and his son Isham B. Haston.  Their official commissions were recorded on April 23, 1840 David and Isham B. participated as justices in this session of the court.[i]  So David Haston brought his 20+ years of White County Justice of Peace experience with him to the new county.

[i] Van Buren County, Tennessee County Court Minutes, June 1840 session, 11. 

July 1841 – David Haston appears on an “enumeration list” of Van Buren County white males over 21 years of age.[i]  There were 11 Haston men on the list: D. McHaston, David Haston, J. Haston, J.B. Haston, James A. Haston, James C. Haston, James W. Haston, John C. Haston, Joseph Haston, Thomas C. Haston, and William B. Haston. 

[i] Medley, 60.

David Bought and Sold Seven Spencer Town Lots

January 5, 1848 – David purchased seven lots when the town of Spencer (county seat of Van Buren County) was “laid off.”  He sold them later.  One of them (Lot # 44) was sold to the Christian Church on February 5, 1853 for $20.  David originally paid $14 for the lot.  Aaron Seitz and W.B. Huddleston were bishops of the church at that time.  Willie Steakley and William Lewis were witnesses to the transaction.[i]  But there is no evidence to suggest that David was a member of that church.

[i] Van Buren County, Tennessee Deed Book B, 222, 223, 269.

Final Years in the Lives of David & Peggy Roddy Haston

January 27, 1854 – David sold five tracts of land (apparently all of his land) to his youngest son, William Carroll Haston, for the meager price of $1,000. 

February 24, 1857 – The David Haston family Bible record says that “Marget Haston died the 24 day of February 1857 A.D.”  This matches the information given in William Carroll Haston’s biographical sketch which says that “the parents both died before the war, the mother preceding her husband three or four years.”[i] Peggy and David were married nearly 57 years, an amazing marriage in any era.  She was only 14 ½ years old when she married David, who was eight years older than her.  Peggy gave birth to at least 13 children, and “mothered” several others.  Peggy Roddy Haston is buried in the Big Fork Cemetery, near where she and David lived. 

[i] Author, Van Buren County Historical Journal, Vol. VIII (Spencer, TN: Van Buren County Historical Society, 1988), 77.

April 1, 1860 – The David Haston Bible record indicates that he died on April 1, 1860.  He and Peggy are buried on the front row of the Big Fork Cemetery, about a mile from where they lived.

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