Maggie Chandler's Stories

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 and defense testimonies were a major part of Thelma’s juvenile case.

Maggie Chandler's Witness Stand Stories

This case started with a story told by Maggie Chandler, as a response to being caught in a lie about having a job with the telephone company.  As the case continued, Maggie became the focus of much of the witness stand activity in the trial.

09-24-1917 – hearing over and trial of (four) girls started; 12 men on the jury; one girl [Maggie Chandler], “That statement is true–every word of it” but she later repudiated it and said she had spoken falsely about the entire matter; said the girls had later agreed to say they had lied – because Thelma chose to keep her mother out of prison; names of jurymen; Dan Nee, Warren L. White, and Val Mason = prosecutors; first case is that of Thelma Haston;

09-25-1917 – Maggie Chandler boldly and w/o trace of shame admitted the improper conduct at the Haston home every day for a month before she was caught – testifying against Thelma; admitted that one man with black hair and gold teeth came to see her about every other day but she did not know his name (but Judge and next witness thought she knew the man’s name); the girls joked about the case in the witness room–about being sent to the Girls’ Industrial Home in Chillicothe; Maggie was on the witness stand for about five hours and looked straight into the eyes of the people in the courtroom; said she did not remember crying and asking her to forgive her for lying when she met Ida in the corridors of the courthouse; Attorney Neville who represented Thelma tried to prove that Maggie confess to Judge Johnson that she made the false confession because her parents had accused her of improper conduct and she wanted to throw the blame on someone else; she said her original confessional statement was true even though she later repudiated it; Judge Johnson (as a witness) said he didn’t know that Ida had three other children at the time she was arrested, said he was under the impression that as many as 15 men per day were visiting the girls in the Haston home; Johnson didn’t know that the parents of the Chandler girl had charged he with delinquency before she was questioned and made her confession implicating Mrs. Haston; Johnson said Maggie told him that one woman at the Haston house displayed a large razor;

09-28-1917 – the trial settled into a contest of veracity of the girls implicated; three of the girls have denied Maggie Chandler’s story but Maggie insists it is true, even though she later repudiated it; a boy accused by Maggie was on the witness stand, and said he knew the girl who was on the witness stand but she denied every word of his testimony; he told a story of taking this girl and Maggie home one night after a picture show, which the girl denied, even denied of ever seeing him; Maggie’s mother took the stand and told how Maggie had falsified about working for the phone company and said Maggie was never a bad girl and she had never been whipped by her parents; mother admitted that Maggie had been nervous from the time she started working for phone company; Maggie’s sister (who began the investigation) took the stand after her mother and said that Mrs. Haston had come to her to tell her that Maggie had been coming to her house to eat dinner on the porch; the sister said that Maggie was very nervous and seemed to be carrying a mental burden; Mrs. Chandler said that Thelma had spent one night at their house and seemed like a good girl; three implicated boys were called to the stand and all denied visiting the Haston home;

How does Maggie Chandler's stories affect your opinion of this case and the possible outcome?

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

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