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

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Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. ~ Ephesians 1:15-17.