Catfish in the basement

So I ask one question about the Butler family and Dad releases the dam. He sent me a set of bios and teasers about all six Butler siblings. There was a seventh, who died in infancy, unnamed. These would be the brothers and sisters of my great-grandmother, Camilla Maree Butler.

In the case of Butler child #4 it wasn’t only water that came over the dam but also catfish.

Dad writes:

4. Mabel Hull Butler (b. 10/20/1897, d. 3/6/1987) married Ben Cole

Your grandmother was Mabel Ruth Waldrop Hord. Although she went by Ruth, she was named for Aunt Mabel.

…I recall visiting [Great-Aunt Mabel and Uncle Ben’s] home near Buena Vista, TN. The house was in a low area and the cellar beneath the house had sprung a spring, so to speak. The cellar, a dirt floor affair with cut stone walls, flooded to within a foot or so of the floor joists.

Rather than move, the simple answer to insects and such that bred in the flooded cellar was to simply stock it with catfish. They kept the insects down and occasionally wound up on the dinner plate.

At least Aunt Mabel could keep tabs on her husband when he’d announce he was going fishing.

One thought on “Catfish in the basement

  1. I loved the story. My grandmother Benfield lived in a house that had a basement that flooded. I remember trying to row a boat in it as a child, but we never thought about stocking it with fish!

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