On last Friday evening, June 8, 1928, at 6:30 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. John Gaither, near Pearl, New Mexico, our beloved friend T.P. Bingham, closed his eyes on the pain and suffering of this world to open them in that City beyond where pain and suffering are unknown.
He had been a constant sufferer for more than two years and almost daily expressed a desire that God would call him up higher, yet he never lost interest in his fellow man, his Church nor in the political activities of his state and nation.
He was a noble character, always holding out a helping hand to cheer and always had a kind word for all.
He was born in Choctaw County, Miss. January 10, 1840. He moved to Texas when he was 5 years old. He was truly a frontiersman. He joined the Texas Rangers at the age of 20, working with them to keep down Indian depredations in Western Texas and Eastern New Mexico.
When the Civil War was declared, he received a discharge from the Ranger force and enlisted in the 19th Texas Company, serving in various capacities till the close of the war. In 1866, he married Miss Mary Jane Morgan of Milford, Ellis County, Texas. She passed away in 1886. He later was married to Mrs. Letha Ann Smith of Corsica, Texas. We have often heard him say that he had been fortunate in having married the two best women in the world.
In 1918, he was again called to give up a dear companion, and since then he has made his home with his children.
No one is perhaps better known or more loved in Lea County than he, by both old and young. He was indeed “a friend to every one.”
He came to New Mexico 25 years ago and has always been a staunch worker for the good of his state, county and town and always very optimistic as to their future. He served as Justice of the Peace for a number of years at Monument and also at Lovington. He also served as Probate Judge of Lea County for four years. He has been a member of the Baptist Church nearly 65 years, a consistent, devoted Christian, living the “golden rule”.
He leaves 5 children to reverence his memory. They were all with him at the time of his death. They are Mrs. Nanny L. Cathey, Jayton, Texas; T.S. Bingham, Lovington; Mrs. John Gaither, Pearl; Bailey Bingham, Aspermont, Texas; and Mrs. B. Hardin, Carlsbad.
There are 21 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren, all of whom revere the name of grandfather.
The funeral services were at the Baptist Church in Lovington of which he was a consistent member and was conducted by Rev. W.G. McArthur, Supt. of the Orphans Home at Portales, assisted by Rev. Parker and Beauchamp. This service was very beautiful and impressive, Rev. McArthur being his old-time friend who paid many loving tributes to his memory. One of the most beautiful things said was that Judge Bingham had had more influence in his spiritual development than any other man.
The music consisted of some of the favorite songs of the deceased, among them being, “Rock of Ages”, “Shall We Gather by the River”, “When the Roll is Called up Yonder”, and “By the Touch of His Hand on Mine”.
A short service was held at the Lovington Cemetery, after which all that was mortal of “Grandpa” Bingham was tenderly laid to rest by the side of his dear wife, whom most remember with love. This dear old “Soldier of the Cross” has passed earth’s shadow into a glorious life beyond, where no partings are, neither pain, nor sorrow and where he lovingly beckons us to follow.
[Lovington Leader, Lovington, NM. 15 Jun 1928. Submitted by David L. Minton, Lea County Historian.]