Mrs. Ida Haston Charged With Prostituting Teenage Girls

Friday, September 14, 1917 - Springfield Leader and Press (Springfield, Missouri)

Who Was Mrs. Ida Haston?

Mrs. Ida [Gattis] Haston was the wife of Richmond Irvin Haston, apparently often known by his middle name as Irvin Haston.  Richmond Irvin Haston was born on June 13, 1874 in Tennessee.  According to the 1880 census for District 7 of Van Buren County, TN, he was six years old and a son of Richmond [T., not J.] and Regina (sic, Rejorney) Riddles Haston.  The senior Richmond (born 1838) was adopted (officially or unofficially) into the David and Peggy Roddy Haston family.  His birth name was Richmond Jones, but he took on the Haston surname.  So, by formal or informal adoption Richmond Irvin Haston was a Great Grandson of the then-deceased Daniel Haston.

Franklin County, TN - Not the Town of Franklin

Irvin and Ida were married on December 30, 1900 (license issued December 28) in Franklin County, TN, about 60 miles southwest from where he was born in Van Buren County.  In 1910, they were living in Cleburne, Texas, where they were living in 1903 when their oldest daughter Thelma was born.  In 1920, they were living in Kansas City, Missouri.  From information provided by a Greene County (Springfield), Missouri archivist it appears that these Hastons only lived (as renters) for a brief time in Springfield, MO.

Source of "lifestories" -

Ida Haston Arrested in Springfield, MO on September 13, 1917

On a Charge of Operating a "House of Depravity" With Young Girls

Two sets of hearings and trials were planned, one set in the juvenile court for Ida’s daughter Thelma and another hearing and trial in the circuit court for Mrs. Ida Haston.  But accusations against Ida and defense testimonies in her favor were a major part of Thelma’s juvenile case.

Friday, September 14, 1917 - Springfield Leader and Press (Springfield, Missouri)

Seven girls had made confessions of a revolting nature to the juvenile authorities.  Mrs. Haston was charged with running a “house of depravity,” essentially prostitution orgies, in her house.  It was called “the most revolting condition of vice and depravity in the history of Springfield, MO.”  The investigation began on Wednesday, September 12, 1917.  Ten to fifteen girls, all under age had allegedly been involved.  Mrs. (Ida) Haston was accused of enticing girls to her home through her daughter Thelma, for at least six weeks (later, it was estimated to be at least three months).  Ida was being held under a $2,000 bond in the Greene County, MO jail.  Warrants had been issued for six men, with at least five more to be issued.  

The investigation started when 15-year-old girl (later we learn it was Maggie Chandler) told her family a story about working at a telephone office, but her suspicious brother-in-law followed her and learned that she was going to the home of the Hastons.

Thelma Haston, Ida's Daughter Informs ("Confesses") Against Her Mother

Saturday, September 15, 1917 - Springfield Leader and Press (Springfield, Missouri)

Thelma, Ida’s 15-year-old* daughter “broke down and confessed everything,” including a signed confession.  She said she had been “familiar” with men in boys in the house while her mother looked on.  She told of participating in orgies with her own mother laughing and talking in the room. Previously, she had denied that anything wrong had occurred in the house and that the girls just came to play.  Additional confessions were made by other girls who have been visitors in the house.

*Says “13-year-old” but she was born April 22, 1902.

In her cell, Mrs. Haston (age 45) denied the entire story, except saying that the girls came to her house to play with Thelma.  “Lies, all lies,” Mrs. Haston responded.

One 15-year-old girl (Maggie Chandler?) said that “Thelma persuaded me.”  The girl said that many she was intimate with many men in the Haston house and gave the names of other little girls.  She said that no men gave her any money but she guessed they paid Mrs. Haston.  She stated that “Every day, or every other day, for six weeks, men visited” her at the house and Mrs. Haston paid her $1.00 every two weeks, but the men gave Mrs. Haston $5.00 every two weeks.

Another girl said that she was sent to a bedroom where there were three little girls and four men.  One man grabbed her and started her on a shameful life.  She spoke of the brutality of Mrs. Haston.

The Case Against Mrs. Ida Haston - Guilty or Not Guilty?

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