The Heritage of Daniel Haston


History of "Old" Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Old Union CP Church - Monroe Seals, James Tate Williams, & Robert Gamble

History of Old Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church

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As the church's clerk, C.T. Haston, with help from Rev. W. Smith, (who was converted at Union CP Church, lived near there, and served as the church's minister) sketched the following brief historical account of Union Presbyterian Church in September of 1883.

 September 1, 1883 Church Minutes Entry

The meeting was opened with prayer by the Moderator…As the old church book does not give a correct statement of the membership of the congregation, the names of many members being omitted and many members having died or removed of whom no notice having been taken of them, it was ordered, That the Clerk with the assistance of Rev. W. Smith obtain all the facts possible and record them in this book, together with the date of organization and such other historical facts as could be obtained.

In accordance with which the following facts have been obtained; viz: The church was organized about A.D. 1811 by Rev. William Barnett. Spence Mitchell, Robert Gamble and Jesse Scoggin were the first elders and David Haston its first clerk.  There were about sixteen members all of whom are now fallen asleep.

The records from the date of organization till Aug. 8, 1858 could not be found and the church was reorganized by Rev. Jesse E. Hickman and a new Session Book was opened.  The last meeting of the Session recorded in it was held Feb. 24, 1861, from which time nothing has been entered except the names of persons who have since joined and not all of them.  Till 1858 it is not known who served the church as pastors. Since that time the following ministers have served; viz: Revds. J.E. Hickman, Jas. K. Lansden, Stephen Davis, William P. Smith, James T. Williams  and  John S. Kitrell  during which time the  church has been growing and prospering and unusual harmony has existed among the members. There are now so far as can be ascertained, about one hundred and ten members belonging to the congregation whose names together with those who have died or removed will be found in the proper place in this record. 

Questions Regarding David Haston's Affiliation with Union Church

Question:  Did David Haston affiliate with this church until or near his death, or did he change churches at some point earlier than that?  

  • We do know that he sold Spencer town lots to the Spencer Christian Church (Church of Christ), but we do not have any information to indicate that he affiliated with that congregation otherwise.

  • David Haston was not a trustee of the Spencer Church of Christ, when it was legally organized on June 4, 1859.  Even if he was a communicant of that church, it is not surprising that he wasn't on the list of church officers at this time.  He was probably a very feeble man at this time, since it was only a few months prior to his death.  However, W.B. Haston was one of the original trustees of the Spencer Church of Christ. 

  • A paragraph from an 1898 biographical sketch of David Haston's son, William Carroll Haston, Sr., only mentions his parents affiliation as Cumberland Presbyterians.  There is no hint that David Haston associated with any other religious group in White or Van Buren County, TN.  This Union Presbyterian Church was the only Cumberland Presbyterian Church, that we know of, that was located any where near the early White County Hastons.

  • It is interesting that the Union Presbyterian Church minutes up to 1858 were missing, when C.T. Haston wrote this entry.  That was just a couple of years before David Haston died.  Would that suggest that David Haston was, possibly, the keeper of the church minutes until just before his which time the minutes became misplaced?

  • Charles Thomas (C.T.) Haston was the oldest son of William Carroll Haston, Sr. (who was the youngest son of David Haston).  C.T. was eleven years old when David Haston died.  He grew up very near his grandfather, so he would have known him well.

  • William Carroll Haston inherited or purchased the David Haston home place, which was the original home place of Daniel Haston.  William Carroll's family (including C.T.) was probably reared on, or very near, the David (& Daniel) Haston home place.

  • If David Haston had been the possessor of the pre-1858 church minutes, C.T. Haston would have had easy access to his grandfather's personal belongings, since C.T.'s father, William Carroll, Sr. owned the house where David had lived.

  • In 1832, founding elder of this Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Robert Gamble, along with William Denney and Abijah Crain / Crane, were responsible for a "meeting house" in the Cane Creek area south of the Caney Fork River, very near where David Haston lived.  This was south of and across the Caney Fork from the Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  At this point (July 2004), we have no idea as to what the affiliation of the congregation (or congregations) was/were that met in in the meeting house near Cane Creek, south of the Caney Fork.  It is noteworthy that David Haston's name was not mentioned among the leaders of that group. 
    Source:  Page 256-257 of White Co, TN Deed Book L, microfilm #63.  Page 258 from the same aforementioned source.  Even though these records appear in the context of 1839 deeds, the original transaction was dated December 24, 1832. 

Question:  If David Haston was the first clerk of Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church and faithfully affiliated with this congregation until or near the time of his death in 1860, why, at some point, would he not have become an Elder in the Church?  Or if he did become an Elder at some point, why did his grandson (C.T. Haston) not know of it?