|Birth: ||Jun. 5, 1839|
|Death: ||Aug. 14, 1947|
his death cert has age at 108 yrs, 2 months, 8 days and father as Wilson Strickland, mother unknown. Birth place unknown.
son of Wilson Strickland and Indian lady named Wild Flower Ward
The following information is from a book titled:
"Fortune or Fantasy? Wilson Strickland's 1,476 Acre Survey" by Inez Strickland Palmer
Just about the most colorful member of the Strickland tribe that put in his claim was Solomon Bedford Strickland, who said that he has been around here for 101 years, but really looked young enough to be a man of 75. Solomon sports a Vandyke beard and has written a 742-page biography that makes the average fiction thriller read like a bedtime story. In this biography he says:
That as a child he lived with the Indians and was known as 'The Red Wolf' and 'Handsome Jimmy' and that he rode with Quantrell and his guerrillas.
That he called Sam Houston, Jesse James and Bat Masterson by their first names, sat down to dinner with Grover Cleveland in the White House and then went off on a tour of Europe with 'Rosie, the Cowgirl.'
Held Dying Johnson
Going back to Civil War days, Solomon says he slept with Gen. Joseph Johnson the night before the battle of Shiloh and held that warrior in his arms while his life's blood ebbed away after the battle."
( from pages 291-293 ):
" . . . Saga of Red Strickland
Pal of Quantrell and the James Boys
Article by Ed Kilman
'It was like runnung across an old long-time-no-see friend to read the unpublished manuscript autobiography of Solomon Strickland, the red-haired chief-Indian, known to me by Tom Bolton of Dallas, a Texiana bug. It took me back to the time, 20-odd years ago, when I covered part of the trial at Conroe, where Strickland and people of his tribe, descendants of Wilson Strickland, sued several oil companies for the fabulous fruits of their one-time Montgomery County lands.
In the trial Solomon Strickland was not so lucky as he had been as a member of Quantrell's guerrillas and the James gang, and as a gun-slinger, gambler and adventurer at large. In those days he had little appetite for supper if he had not shot at least one man during the day - according to his autobiography. Usually, after performing his daily good deed, he "rode off into nowhere."
STRICKLAND, generally known as "Red" in his shoot-'em-up days, looked like a sort of pocket edition of Buffalo Bill, with his little mustache and goatee, when I saw him and wrote something about him back in circa 1940. He then claimed to be more than 100 years old. He died in Austin at the avowed age of about 108, after having a hard time convincing the old age assistance people that he was 65.
Red's life story is the most fantastic narrative I've ever read. He killed more people, won and lost more money, ran more gambling joints, robbed more banks and trains, engaged in more adventurous activities in more places, and dropped more famous names, than any other man in literature, sacred or profane. Yet all his exploits are documented by such detailed associated facts and circumstances as to clothe them with credibility.
He was born during a storm on June 5, 1839, so he said, in a log cabin on Crystal Creek, in Montgomery County. His mother was a "young and beautiful Indian." His father had deserted her. She took the baby boy back to her native Tennessee, where she died 14 years later without ever telling him his name or who his father was. "She called me Red, as I had red hair."
Red attended a paleface school for a short time - not long enough to learn to read and write. ( He didn't learn it until he was about 70. ) After his mother's death, an uncle, Bob, told him his father was Wilson Strickland, and his name was Solomon.
Red hitchhiked a ride on an ox-drawn wagon to New Orleans, and on a boat from there to Texas. By a strange coincidence he fell in with a fellow-traveler, who revealed, in a touching Montgomery County barroom scene, that he was the boy's father. The two went adventuring with the Rangers - to Brownsville, Presidio, San Antonio, and other points. At Fort Brown the 15-year-old boy learned to play "the great American game called poker," and soon won $2,000. Sixteen months and about that many killings later, they left the Rangers and went to New Orleans. There they met Nathan Bedford Forrest of later Civil War fame. They had a jolly barroom poker game which broke up in a free-for-all fight. Forrest hit one man over the head with his pistol, knocking him cold.
Visiting Houston, as he occasionally did, young Strickland worked until pay-day for Paul Bremond, building the Houston Central Railroad. He amazed Bremond and City Marshal Boyce by killing a buzzard on the wing with a pistol. Then he amazed Allan Vince, namesake of historic Vince's Bayou, by killing him when ( as he says ) Vince tried to get off with Red's horse. Then the lad rode up to Missouri, where he shot a hold-up man in a saloon, winning the applause and friendship of Charles Quantrell and Frank James. He joined Quantrell's band in a feud with the Kansas Jayhawkers or Redlegs. This led to the evolution of Quantrell's guerrillas. Red rode with them during the Civil War, becoming a bosom friend of Charlie Quantrell and Frank.
On a jaunt to Tennessee, his boyhood home, Red met Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, and pitched into the battle of Shiloh with him. When Johnston fell, Red looked at him, lying on the ground, and said to himself, "I'll make them pay for his death, for he was worth a hundred of them." Red was killing Yanks all the time. In the end he must have made it 10 times a hundred. Back in Saint Louis, he rejoined Quantrell, Frank James, Cole Younger and the gang. They had a barrel of fun with a barrel of drinks and women, playing poker, and killing Yanks. After a bloody street fight with Yankees at Lawrence, Kansas and other diversions, Strickland parted with Quantrell, who went home to Maryland. Toward the end of the war the guerrillas disbanded.
Five "Pinkerton men" went to Frank James' home in Clay County, Mo., to get him. Frank's young brother, Jesse, killed four of them, but was wounded. Frank and Red took him to Strickland's home in Montgomery County, to get well. While Jesse was recuperating there, Frank and Red spent a good deal of time in Houston. These were reconstruction days, and they had trouble with "Davis' Negro police." On Preston Avenue, Red said, he shot three of them, and as he and Frank James rode off "into nowhere," City Marshal Lord waved and said, "So long, boys."
For several years he rode with the James boys, robbing banks and railroad and fighting the hated "Pinkerton men." He had lots of trouble with Jesse because "he was self-conceited and wanted it known that it was the James gang that made the raids." In 1873 Red tired of Jesse James' boasting and parted with the gang, after robbing a bank at Springfield, Mo. Then he joined Comanche Chief Quanah Parker in fighting Bat Masterson, Billie Dixon, and other lawmen. He had previously met Quanah in the Texas Panhandle, introducing himself as "Red Wolf of Kansas." They had a heart-to-heart Indian talk, smoking the peace pipe, and then Red addressed the Comanche council.
For the next decade or so he wandered from Kansas to Texas and points west, gambling, running saloons, ranching, wheeling and dealing. In 1875 he rejoined the James boys in robbing the Northern Pacific Express in Minnesota, for the best haul they ever made. Red tells of a man who looked so much like Jesse that the latter's mother couldn't tell them apart. "Then Bill Howard was killed and the state paid $15,000 for the dead body and called it Jesse James." In Texas again, Red found widespread disbelief that Jesse was dead. Many suspected that he was the famous bandit; some even tried to "get" him and win a $10,000 reward.
In West Texas, Red's health failed, and he was paralyzed for three years. Then he walked again, but he was broke, having lost huge sums of money. He started peddling "little things I could carry around" - first in an automobile, then an ox-drawn wagon, in which he lived for two years.
In Tennessee, hearing that "someone was trying to get some money out of oil on my land," he returned to Texas. ( This is the only reference to the oil controversy in his biography. ) He registered at the Globe Hotel in Houston in 1937, "and I have been there ever since." In June, 1939, when he was 100 years old, a voice told him to write his life story. Which he did - 223 legal-cap typewritten pages of it, copied from his handwriting. He concluded with:
"I believe I can get a very good idea of my life up to this date; what is to come only the Great Spirit knows." '
Wilson Strickland (1807 - 1847)
Created by: Anonymous
Record added: Jul 02, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 113236989