Dr. Fred Dexter Haston, M.D.

How many men or women are prominent enough to have a 700-word article about them in a history book of the state they lived in for 20 years or so?  One Great-Great Grandson of Daniel Haston did!  Several years ago, even before I began researching my Haston family, I happened to land on his story in a dusty old book in the main library at the University of Tennessee.  I was impressed but confused!  Who was this Fred Dexter Haston?  I had grown up in White County, Tennessee with a boy (then later, young man) with that very same name.  And I assumed that my friend, Dexter Haston, was a “junior” because his father’s commonly-given name was F.D. Haston.  But I had no idea that they were namesakes of a Dr. Fred Dexter Haston who was a medical doctor who practiced medicine in a very challenging part of southeastern Kentucky–the coal fields, before moving on to more typical medical practices elsewhere.

I will use the text of the History of Kentucky article as the framework for the first four decades of his life.  But first, I will show you Dr. Fred Dexter Haston’s lineage back to Daniel Haston, the first American-born patriarch in our male Haston (Hiestand) line.

Family Line Back to Daniel Haston

His Early Years in Van Buren County and White County, TN

Born November 15, 1881

Marriage to Netta Pearl Brown

May 18, 1906

I assume (only an assumption) that Fred Dexter Haston and Netta Pearl Brown probably met as students at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  They were married a year before his final year of medical school.

Medical School at the University of Tennessee

According to a May 22, 1909 issue of the White County Favorite newspaper, apparently Sparta (TN) thought that Dr. Fred Dexter Haston might come home to Sparta to practice medicine.  I say that because he was the only medical doctor of that area from the Haston family at that time.  But, for some reason, that never happened.

Two Decades in Kentucky

Bell County, KY

After graduating from Medical School at the University of Tennessee in 1907, Doctor Fred Haston moved to the coal mining area of Eastern Kentucky.  For eight years he worked in Arjay (Bell County), Kentucky as an industrial physician.  He was employed by the Continental Coal Corporation, and perhaps a different company prior to 1912. 

 Bell Mine of the Continental Coal Corporation – Arjay community –  Bell County, KY –  1912-1915 –  450 employees

1910 Census

Fred and Pearl’s daughter was two years old at the time of the 1910 census and she was born in Kentucky.  So, apparently, the family moved to Bell County, Kentucky soon after his 1907 graduation from the University of Tennessee Medical School.

The Hartford Herald – August 16, 1911 – Hartford, KY

Arjay, Kentucky

We do know that sometime around 1912(?) - 1915. He was one of 3 doctors who worked for the Continental Coal Company in Arjay, KY.   We did a Hastons men's trip about 25 years ago and went to Arjay (hardly anything there anymore). Went on into nearest town -- Pineville and went to the library where we pulled out and reviewed microfilm of the local news paper covering the 1910-1915 time period. We always wondered why he left the coal company and moved in 1915. We found in the paper that the Continental Coal Company went bankrupt in 1915 -- which is a pretty good reason for leaving. Also found it was a rough time and place to be working because of all the strikes that were taking place which resulted in lot of violence -- fights, cuttings and shooting. Between all of that plus the common diseases and illness they had to deal with -- must have have kept the doctors pretty busy. Was our understanding that there were 3 doctors on staff and my aunt Nina -- one of Fred Dexter's daughters, told me that the doctors always traveled in pairs when they rode out on horse back to the miner's homes to care for the miners and families. Sure wish he had kept a diary.

McAfee of Mercer County, KY

After the coal company that employed him went bankrupt, in March 1916 he moved to McAfee in Mercer County, KY, and took over a private practice from a retired physician.

On July 2, 1916, Dr. Haston was ordained and installed as an elder in the New Providence Presbyterian Church (Southern Presbyterian denomination) in Salvisa of Mercer County, Kentucky.  

September 27, 1919 – Danville Daily Messenger (Danville, KY)

Danville of Boyle County, KY

Late in 1919, Dr. Haston moved his family and practice to Danville in Boyle County, KY, but apparently only lived and practice there for a very short time.  He bought back the home he had sold in McAfee (Mercer County) and returned there in March of 1920 to reestablish his medical practice in McAfee.

December 2, 1919 – Danville Daily Messenger (Danville, KY)

1920 Census

As of January 2, 1920, the F.D. Haston family was still living in the city of Danville, KY in Boyle County.  Fred was, as to be expected, a physician.

February 11, 1920 – Danville Daily Messenger (Danville, KY)

March 6, 1920 – Danville Daily Messenger (Danville, KY)

Back in McAfee of Mercer County, KY

1922 Book Published

After only 15 years out of medical school, Dr. Haston’s life and medical practice to that point were notable enough to be recorded in the History of Kentucky.

September 13, 1925 – The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY – December 11, 1926

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY – March 27, 1927

In Jasper, Alabama - His Final Five Years

The Birmingham News – Birmingham, AL – September 19, 1929

1930 Census - Walker County, AL

The Birmingham News – Birmingham, AL
December 20, 1931

The Birmingham News – Birmingham, AL
August 31, 1932

My grandfather, Dr. F.D. Haston, died in Jasper, Alabama from a mosquito bite on his temple which got infected, -- and of course at that time didn't have the meds they do today to fight infection. 

Three "Fred Hastons" here, plus Dr. FRED Haston, Sr. = Four Freds

The picture was taken at an Auburn University Football game in 1988 or 1989 in the Nelson Club Section (except for Jake who has been photo-shopped into the picture in 2022 while a student at Auburn).  Left to right:

Dr. Fred Marion Haston, Sr. (son of Dr. Fred Dexter Haston, Sr. – b 11-14-1915 d 6-11-2000) 

Jacob (“Jake”) Haston (b 6-15-2001)

Fred Marion Haston, Jr. (b 1-31-1941)

Fred (“Tripp”) Marion Haston, III (b 5-14-1968)


I was the photographer … Maybe I should photoshop myself into the picture 🙂 

-Richard Haston

Family tree created by Fred M. Haston, Jr.

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