Strickland Place was built in 1838 by Judge Frederick W. Huling.  Many sources claim that the house was the first two-story house built in Marshall County.  Judge Huling owned the house until 1845, when he sold it to Dr. James Madison Thomson (1809-1848).  Thomson’s daughter Martha Mildred Strickland (1835-1863) married Major William M. Strickland (1823-1908), and the two received the house from the estate of Dr. Thomson in 1859.

William Strickland, originally from Virginia, was one of the earliest settlers to Holly Springs.  Strickland studied law and practiced with many notable members of the early Holly Springs bar, including Judge Jeremiah Clapp, Judge James Trotter, and James and Arthur Fant.  During the Civil War, Strickland achieved the rank of Major, serving in the 17th Mississippi Regiment.  While he was away at war, Strickland’s wife Martha died.  After returning home, Strickland married Janie Leake Strickland (d. 1917), and the couple had several children.  Major Strickland was a close personal friend with Jefferson Davis, the future President of the Confederacy, who visited Strickland Place before the Civil War and supposedly gave a speech from the top balcony.

After Major Strickland’s death in 1908, Strickland Place was inherited by Strickland’s daughter Perle Strickland (1869-1948), who lived here for many decades.  In the 1920s, in her 50s, Perle met and married Gerald Badow, supposedly a German “prince” who had recently arrived in town.  Perle Strickland Badow and her new husband continued to live in Strickland Place.  Perle Strickland Badow died in 1948, and her German widow sold the house to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, which opened a Catholic school in this old house in 1949.  St. Joseph’s School remained in Strickland Place for 15 years, before the church dismantled Strickland Place in 1964, building the current St. Joseph’s Church on the same spot.  According to some reports, the remains of the house were stored away, but this has never been confirmed.

Strickland Place was a two-story flanking-gable frame Greek Revival house, with a later brick detached kitchen and outbuilding.  A pedimented two-story five-bay portico fronted the house, and both the main entrance and second story entrance had transoms and sidelights.  Strickland Place was known for its elaborate front yard, with tall hedges, a serpentine walkway edged with boxwoods, and two very unusual cylindrical plastered pillars at the front of the property which was used as gateposts (see picture above, with Perle Strickland Badow).  In later years Perle allowed vegetation, including wild wisteria, to grow around the house, and the home was nearly consumed by the growth, as seen in the picture above.

4 thoughts

  1. I remember this house as the Catholic school. My father always said that when asked how Perle was, he replied, “Perle’s not a bit well; Perle’s not a bit well.”

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  2. Thank you for this interesting article. When was the most recent search for the dismantled and stored Strickland house? I’m curious as to whether William Strickland had other family in the area (brother, sisters, parents) and what happened to them. Thanks,
    Stanton Strickland
    Austin, Texas

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    1. There are still several Stricklands in Holly Springs, but I’m not sure if they are related to William Strickland. I’m not sure when the last search for the dismantled house was, but since it’s been so many decades since the house was “dismantled”, I’m not confident the house still exists in any form.

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