In 1902, Captain John J. Haden, a retired U.S. army officer living in Coconut Grove, Florida, planted four dozen seedlings of 'Mulgoba' mangoes he had purchased from Professor Elbridge Gale in Mangonia, near Lake Worth Lagoon in the area of present-day West Palm Beach. Haden would die the following year, but his wife Florence cared for the trees at their property in Coconut Grove, which first fruited in 1910. One tree in particular produced superior quality fruit, with brilliant color and good flavor. This cultivar was selected and given the family name. Both historical and pedigree analysis indicates that 'Haden' was likely the result of a cross between 'Mulgoba' and a 'Turpentine' mango.
Florence Haden, realizing the potential of the cultivar, reported its success to the Florida State Horticultural Society, and sent two specimens of the fruit to the United States Department of Agriculture, and another larger mango to Edward Simmonds of the Plant Introduction Station at Miami. Simmonds was immediately intrigued and eventually took up propagating the 'Haden' in south Florida. 'Haden' became a big commercial success, largely due to its large-scale propagation by nursery-owner George Cellon, and would dominate the mango industry in the state for roughly 25 years, as well as being introduced to other locations with great success, such as Honduras, Hawaii and Australia. 'Haden' gradually fell out of favor as a commercial mango largely due to fungus problems, along with inconsistent production, problems with internal breakdown of the fruit (also known as jelly seed), and the availability of new varieties with superior characteristics. Most of the mango varieties subsequently developed in Florida were either direct or indirect descendants of 'Haden'.