Born in Ossining, New York, Havens moved to Savannah, Georgia, in 1872 and opened a photography studio in partnership with J. N. Wilson. In 1888 he relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, where he maintained a studio until his death. Like many commercial photographers in America during the late nineteenth century, Havens was as occupied with publishing and marketing his photographs as he was in making them. Stereographsthe most popular photographic form of the periodwere in greatest demand.
Merry A. Foresta American Photographs: The First Century (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996)