Robert and Henry Tickle, the subjects of my last two posts, both spent time behind bars during their youth. I wanted to find out what became of them after their release.
Who Were These Tickles?
I believe they were the third and fourth sons of Andrew James Tickle b.1832 in White, Tennessee and Mildred “Milly” Fuller, born in North Carolina. The family settled in Purdon, Navarro, Texas and are the only Tickles I know of in that area. Andrew James Tickle was the son of William Jackson Tickle and the great grandson of Peter Tickle (Digel) from Wuerrttemberg, Germany.
Both Robert and Henry are shown with the family in the 1870 and 1880 censuses. Robert was imprisoned in 1882 and released in February 1886. He married Permila Page on 5 May 1886, which would have been a few months after his release. Henry was imprisoned shortly after this and released in 1903. He married Leon “Johnie” Taylor on 23 November 1905, two years after leaving prison. The photographs at the top of this post are of Henry and his wife, Johnie, reproduced with permission of one of their relatives.
Most of the 1890 US census records were destroyed but Henry Tickle is shown in the 1900 census, still in the prison. This census gives the birthplace of his father and mother as North Carolina, I believe the birthplace of his father is inaccurate but Mildred was born in North Carolina.
I was a little concerned about identifying the family of these men. I can’t be 100% certain that is who they were, but I believe there is sufficient evidence to indicate they were the sons of Andrew James. In one of the newspaper stories in my preceding post, it mentions Henry Tickle’s home as being in Purdon, Navarro, which is where this Tickle family lived. The interview with Henry after his capture mentions his brother, Bob, recently released from jail, as standing bail for him.
I’m not sure whether their descendants would be ashamed or proud of having outlaws in their ancestry, but those were very different times. I have tried to ascertain if they were aware of the family history but have not yet had any reply.
Texas was a violent and lawless place in the 19th century, especially seen through the eyes of someone like me, living in 21st century Britain. Even in the United States at the time, Texas was considered a wild place. Outlaws such as Jesse James and John Wesley Hardin were active and far more violent criminals than our Tickles. Murder was a commonplace event.
Robert and Henry were both imprisoned as young men, they appear to only have committed a single murder, and it’s possible the life of a convict was so harsh that they determined to avoid criminal activities after release. As far as I can tell, after their release they went on to live respectable lives.
Both men become farmers and have families and, as far as I am aware, left their criminal pasts behind them. If you are descended from either of these men, I’d love to hear from you to find out what you know about them.