Saturday, December 29, 2012

Paul Henning

Paul Henning (1911-2005 ) = Radio, TV, Film Writer & Producer. Paul was the youngest of ten children, born September 16 on a farm. His artist father decided he didn't care for farming so he moved his family to Independence, MO. Among other jobs, Paul worked in Brown's Drugstore in Independence's town square same as former US President Harry S. Truman and attended the Kansas City School of Law in 1932 The following year, he began his career as a staff member at the radio station KMBC (now KMBZ, f. 1921) in Kansas City.
Paul married Ruth Margaret Barth in January of 1939. Three children were born to this union -- Carol Alice, Linda Kay, and Paul Anthony.
Ruth's grandparent's, Willis and Martha Burris owned a small country hotel in the late 1920s near a railroad station in Eldon, MO. They had five girls and Ruth's mother was the oldest. Ruth said her mother would send her on a train down from Kansas City to visit her grandparents during the summer. This inspired Paul to create three top-rated television sitcom series and their spin-offs in the 1960s; The Beverly Hillbillies (1962); Petticoat Junction (1963); and Green Acres (1965).
Paul was an idea generator and he used that gift many times in his career. Once, his boss at the radio station in Kansas City said he had good ideas and he wanted him to write a program which launched Paul's writing career. Later, when Paul was writing for  the George & Gracie Burns radio show in Hollywood, CA., Mr. Burns fought to get him a deferment from the WWII draft, because he thought it was important to give people something to laugh about in troubled times.
Paul retired in 1975 to spend more time with his family which by this time included grandsons, Alex and Jesse. 
More to Read:
1. Eldon. . . A Look Back: 1882 to 1982.
2. "The Ozarks Then & Now" by Russell Hively. The Ozarks Mountaineer, Nov/Dec 2012, p. 31. (This issue was the last one of the Ozark Mountaineer magazine.)
Places to Visit in Mo:
1. Independence, MO. Town Square Marker
2. Main Street and Maple Street by the Rock Island tracks, Eldon, MO.
3. Miller County Historical Society Museum, Tuscumbia, MO.
4. Ruth & Paul Henning Conservation Area, Branson, MO
5. Ruth & Paul Henning State Forest. Hwy. 76, Branson
6. Ralph Foster Museum, College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout (The Beverly Hillbillies truck is here)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Martha “Mattie” A. Livingston Lykins Bingham

Martha “Mattie” A. Livingston Lykins Bingham (1824-1890) = Teacher. Ancestor signed the Declaration of Independence. Cousin to General “Stonewall” Jackson. Born in Kentucky, near Frankfort. At three, her parents died. Afterwards, her grandmother raised her. She left school at sixteen to live with two of her married sisters, Mrs. Thomas J. Hughes of Jefferson City, MO, then with Mrs. W. W. Owen, of Shelbyville, until 1847. She taught at a private school for young ladies in Lexington, MO after that.
Mattie married her first husband, Dr. Johnston Lykins (1800-1876) on October 12, 1851. Johnston had a daughter from his previous marriage, Julia (1839-1872), who married Dr. Theodore S. Case, one of Kansas City's historians, in 1858 and blessed them with three grandchildren -- Lilah, Johnston, and Ermine.
What’s that saying? “Marriage is made in heaven, but so is thunder and lightening.” Can you imagine their dinner conversations as Johnston was a loyal Unionist and she a secessionist?
Two years after Dr. Lykins passed away, Mattie married artist George Caleb Bingham on June 19 at the Calvary Baptist church. Dr. Chambliss officiated. She dealt with many losses in her life; first as an orphan, then twice widowed. Even though  there was some opposition to her plans, Mattie opened a home, called the Lykins Institute, for orphaned children of Confederate veterans and their widows. In 1877, it became a state institution, then reverted back to the founding society. To provide support and education for the remaining five orphans, Mattie found it necessary to board young ladies too. All proceeds less expenses went towards that. 
She also taught Sunday School for Rev. Nathan Scarritt at one of the new churches he organized.
In September of 1890, Mattie Livingston Lykins Bingham passed away and was interred in Kansas City’s Union Cemetery between her two husbands.

More to Read:
1. Missouri Star: The Life and Times of Martha A. “Mattie” (Livingston) Lykins Bingham. Rose Ann Findlen, 2011.
2. The History of Jackson County, Missouri. Kansas City, MO; Union Historical Company, Birdsall, Williams & Co., 1881. Reprinted: Cape Girardeau, MO, Ramfre Press, 1966.
3. Here Lies Kansas City: A Collection of our City’s Notables and Their Final Resting Places. Wilda Sandy, 1984.
4. Union Cemetery Historical Society Walking Tour Map.
5. Postcards from Old Kansas City. By Mrs. Sam Ray. 1980.
6. History of Kansas City, MO., with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Women and Pioneers. By Dr. Theodore S. Case.
7. Findagrave #16626970
Historical Note: The Lykin's mansion on Quality Hill stood until 1989.

Places to see in Mo:
1. Bingham-Waggoner Estate, 313 West Pacific, Independence
2. Stand on the corner where the Lykins Orphans Institute once stood at 32nd and Locust St, Kansas City.
3. Former Residence of Dr. Theodore S. Case = 900 W. 13th, Kansas City
4. Union Cemetery, 227 East 28th Terr. Kansas City. 64108 (Mattie)
5. Elmwood Cemetery, 4900 Truman Road, Kansas City, (Julia)
6. Union Prison Collapse