The Heritage of Daniel Haston

 

David Haston's Town Lots in Spencer, TN

 

Van Buren County, Tennessee was formed early in 1840.  During the September, 1841 term of the Van Buren County Court, a drawn plan for the town lots of its county seat, Spencer, was presented to the court.  The town of Spencer, Tennessee was incorporated in 1846.  On January 5, 1848, more than seven years following the division of the town into lots, David Haston purchased seven of these town lots.  He resold the lots to various people during the next few years.  The transaction of David's purchases of these lots was not officially recorded until February 10, 1853.

David Haston's Purchase of Spencer Town Lots Original Plan for Town Lots in Spencer, TN David Haston's Sales of Spencer Town Lots Incorporation of the Spencer Church of Christ

 


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Purchase of Spencer Town Lots -- January 5, 1848

We Uriah York John Gillentine John Pain Daniel Walling & John Stewart Commissioners of the town of Spencer have this day bargained and sold and do hereby transfer and convey to David Haston and his heirs forever for the consideration of fourteen dollars seven certain lots in the town of Spencer Van Buren County Tennessee known and distinguished in the plan of said town as lots No. forty one, forty four, forty five, forty six, forty eight forty nine & fifty to have and to hold the said lots to the said David Haston his heirs and assigns forever we do covenant and agree with the said Haston that we are lawfully seized of said lots have a good right to convey them and that the same is un-incumbered we do further covenant and bind ourselves and our successors in office to warrant and forever defend the title to said lots to said David Haston against any claim to be made by ourselves or any person claiming through or under us but no further this the 5 day January 1848

Uriah York (seal)
John Gillentine (seal)
John Stewart (seal)

Tes N.F. Trogdon  Seth Wright

State of Tennessee
Van Buren County
Personally appeared before me Arthur L Parker clerk of Van Buren County Court N.F. Trogdon and Seth Wright both subscribing witnesses to the within deed and after being duly sworn according to law say they both saw the commissioners assign the same for the purposes therein contained on the day it bears date witness Arthur L Parker Clerk of Van Buren County court at office the 10th day of February 1853  AL Parker Clerk By R.J. Head d.c. [deputy clerk]
Docketed in Book No 1 page 47

Source:  Pages 222-223 of Van Buren County, Tennessee Deed Book B, TSLA microfilm roll #26.

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Question:  Did David pay a total of $14.00 for all seven lots or did he pay $14.00 per lot?


"The following is the plan of the town of Spencer"

David Haston's Town Lots in Spencer, TN

Source:  Page 52 (or 51) of Van Buren County Court Minutes, 1840-1855 (September term of 1841)


Disposal of David Haston's Town Lots

Note:  David's purchase of these lots was not officially recorded by the County Court Clerk until February 10, 1853.  By that time, David had already sold four of them.

1849
September 27
Lot # 41

David sold Lot # 41 to William Shockly for $75.00.  John Gillentine and Witson Griffon were witnesses.  The transaction was recorded by County Court Clerk Arthur L. Parker on August 2, 1852.  Note:  This transaction was recorded prior to the recording of the transaction in which David purchased the seven lots.

Source:  Page 223 of Van Buren County, Tennessee Deed Book B, TSLA microfilm roll #26.

1852
April 5
Lot # 48, # 49, & # 50

David sold these lots to Joel Dunlap for $265.  W.B. Cummings and Harmon York were witnesses.  The transaction was recorded by County Court Clerk Arthur L. Parker on October 14, 1853.

Source:  Page 255 of Van Buren County, Tennessee Deed Book B, TSLA microfilm roll #26.

1853
February 5
Lot # 44

David sold this lot to "Aron Seitz and W.B. Huddleston Bishops of the Christian Church at Spencer Van Buren County Tennessee and their successors in office for the use of the said church forever for the consideration of twenty dollars [$20.00]..."  Willie Steakly and Wm Lewis were witnesses.  The transaction was recorded by County Court Clerk Arthur L. Parker on September 30, 1853.

Source:  Page 269 of Van Buren County, Tennessee Deed Book B, TSLA microfilm roll #26.

Notes:  Some Haston researchers have assumed, from this transaction, that David Haston was a member of the Spencer Christian Church at this time.  While this assumption may or may not be true, there is no indication in this court record that this was anything other than a normal real estate deal (other than the fact that he gave the church a bargain price for the lot).  

The incorporation document for the Spencer Church of Christ (originally, the Christian Church at Spencer) mentions this "Lot No. 44."  It appears to have been the only lot owned by the church on June 4, 1859.  W.B. Haston was one of the men who signed the incorporation papers for the church (but only as a witness).  The incorporation for the Spencer Church of Christ occurred less than a year prior to the death of David Haston.  David Haston's name does not appear in the incorporation document.  
Source:  Page 562 of Van Buren County, Tennessee County Court Book B, August 1, 1859.

We know that David Haston was the first church clerk for the Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church (now known as "Old Union") just across (north of) the Caney Fork River from his house.  According to a handwritten (by Charles Thomas Haston, grandson of David Haston) account of the history of the Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church, David Haston was the church clerk when the church was founded in 1810 or 1811.  Did David Haston change his church affiliation at some point?  If so, when and under what circumstances?  

1854
July 5
Lot # 46

David sold this lot to F.E. Harker for $20.00.  James W. Haston and John Stuart were witnesses.  The transaction was recorded by County Court Clerk Arthur L. Parker on July 26, 1854.

Source:  Page 283 of Van Buren County, Tennessee Deed Book B, TSLA microfilm roll #26.

What Happened to Lot # 45?

To this point, we have not been able to locate any record of a transaction in which David Haston sold Lot # 45.  It does appear that the Spencer Church of Christ now occupies this lot, as well as Lot # 44.  

Did David Haston give or sell Lot # 45 to the church?  When the church was incorporated on June 4, 1859, only Lot # 44 was mentioned in the incorporation papers.  That was less than one year prior to David Haston's death and some five years or more after he had sold the other six lots.  Thus, if David transferred the lot to the church, it would have been just prior to his death.

The word "Church" has been written to span lots # 44 & # 45 on the town plan drawing that appears in Deed Book B.  However, the same word in the same handwriting has been scribbled on page 269 of Van Buren County, TN Deed Book B, beside the record of the purchase of Lot # 44.  It would appear that someone wrote the word "Church" in these two locations subsequent to the time of the original town plan and Deed Book entry for Lot # 44.

If you have information related to this town lot, please contact us.

Note:  There is a good presentation of the early development of Spencer, Tennessee in Chapter VII (pages 77-84) of The History of Van Buren County, Tennessee: The Early Canebreakers, 1840-1940 by Landon Daryle Medley (1984).  The author presents a brief record of the early transactions for each of Spencer's original town lots.

 

Incorporation of the Church of Christ

The Church of Christ at Spencer, Tennessee met according to the previous appointment, on Saturday the 21st, of May 1859 for the purpose of availing themselves of the benefit of Article 3 Chapter 2 and Title 9 of the Code of Tennessee and for purposes selected the following Corporate name The Church of Christ at Spencer Tenn.  Said Corporation shall continue in full force for 50 years from the date here on.  The following persons were elected Trustees:  Aaron Seitz, John Gillentine, John L. Forsythe, W.B. Huddleston, W. Layman, John M. Billingsley, J.W. Gillentine, F.Y. Hamilton and L.M. Langford who are to hold their office for five years or until their successors are named.  The Trustees shall have the power to enact such by-laws as may be necessary, not conflicting with the laws of the State of Tennessee.  The object of this corporation is to preserve a certain lot know as Lot No. 44, in the plans of Spencer and the Church House thereon.  This June 4, 1859.

Signed:

W.B. Haston
R.J. Head
John Gillentine
Aaron Seitz
John M. Billingsley
F.Y. Huddleston
L.M. Hamilton
G.B. Johnson
     (Clerk of Court)

Source:  Page 562 of Book B in the Register's Office of Van Buren County, TN; August 1, 1859.

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Note: W.B. Haston & J. Head witnessed the deed.