Part 1 - The Killing of Woodville Haston

Marker in the Spencer Town Cemetery, Placed by Dwight Haston After the Original Comb/Tent Grave Stones Were Removed by Cemetery Managers

December 17, 1897 - Woodville Haston Shot and Killed

Nashville Banner - December 21, 1897, page 4

The above article says “Maynard’s horse returned without its rider,” but that is an error.  It should have stated, “Haston’s horse returned without a rider.”

Kendrick (“Kin”) Maynard, Jr. and Woodville “Woody” Haston were cousins.*  And they, no doubt, grew up as buddies.  What would cause Kin to shoot his cousin five times?  A girl!  Well, that’s how the story goes that has been passed down to us.

*Kin Maynard’s mother was Berthina Haston (who was a Great Granddaughter of Daniel Haston, via. Isaac T. and David) = Kin, a GG Grandson of Daniel.  Woody Haston’s father was John Taylor Haston (who was a Great Grandson of Daniel Haston, via. James Alfred and his father Joseph) = Woody, a GG Grandson of DanielSo, Kin Maynard and Woody were third cousins.

Here’s a typical version of the story of the killing of William Woodville (not Woodrow) Haston as recorded by Colonel Howard H. Haston (attorney and West Point graduate) who descended from Daniel Haston’s son, Joseph, as did Woodville Haston.

Note: Newspaper accounts do not agree with the popular story that he died on the front porch of William Carroll Haston’s home.

1900 Home Locations of the Four Men Who Were Riding Together that Fateful Night

In 1900, a little more than two years after the murder of Woody Haston, Woody’s family was living in the 3rd District of (northern) Van Buren County, TN, two houses away from the home of the two Mitchell boys who were riding near where the shooting occurred.  Sopha (Sophie) Mitchell was the sister of the two Mitchell boys.  Keep these things in mind as you proceed through the story.

In 1900, a little more than two years after the murder of Woody Haston, Kin Maynard’s parents, and family were living in the 3rd District of (southern) White County, which was separated from the 3rd District of Van Buren County, TN by the Caney Fork River.  Even though the Maynards lived in White County, the distance between where they lived and where Woody Haston and the Mitchell boys lived was not very far.

More About the Killing and Subsequent Actions of Kin Maynard

Location of Woody Haston's Body

The (Nashville) Tennessean, December 21, 1897

Kin Maynard Evaded Arrest

The (Nashville) Tennessean, January 1, 1898

The Initial Arrest and Preliminary Hearing

 A few days later Kin Maynard was captured in Livingston, TN, about 40 miles north of where the crime occurred in the Cummingsville community of northern Van Buren County.  Thomas Price was a justice of the peace.  The hearing was conducted in the Cummingsville Methodist Church, near where the killing occurred.

Chattanooga Daily Times, December 28, 1897, page 3

Maynard Arrested in Texas

Kin Maynard escaped again, fled to Texas, and lived there for over a year before being arrested and returning to Tennessee.  

Chattanooga Daily Times, April 22, 1899, page 3
The Tennessean (Nashville) - April 22, 1899, page 4

Maynard Returned to Sparta and Charged with Murder

The Tennessean - May 18, 1899, page 5

What is habeas corpus in simple terms?  The “Great Writ” of habeas corpus is a fundamental right in the Constitution that protects against unlawful and indefinite imprisonment. Translated from Latin it means “show me the body.”  It is a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person’s release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention.

What happened to Kin Maynard?  

Part 2 will be published the weekend of May 19-21, 2023.

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