Historical exaggerated fish stories

Published 7:47 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2022

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I came across these three “fish” stories that were interesting and very entertaining.  The first one occurred in 1922, the second in 1911 and the third story was written in 1925.    

“The great-grand-daddy of all turtles in inland streams of the South was caught out of Conecuh River, below Orion Bridge, three and a half miles from Troy, by former City Clerk Chas. White and Hugh Rodgers on Monday morning.

It sounds like an exaggerated fish story, yet the big turtle was brought to court square, Troy, for exhibition, and was seen by hundreds of people.

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The turtle was four feet long from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail.  It was 21 inches across the shell.  The turtle weighed sixty-one and a half pounds. It had a  head as large as a dog, a tail over a foot long, and its claws were from one inch to one and a half inches long.

There is no telling how old the turtle is, but as they have great longevity, it is likely that he could tell the oldest inhabitant of this section something, could he talk.

After displaying the turtle, Messrs. White and Rodgers made preparations for a big turtle feast for their families, and then they will preserve the shell and some other parts of the body.

The turtle was dressed at the Riverside Café.”   

In the March 15, 1911 Messenger, “Probate Judge A. C. Edmonson and Mrs. Edmonson went out to the Youngblood mill for a day of fishing.  Judge Edmonson caught a large turtle.  Cutting the turtle’s head off,  the Judge threw the turtle over to one side, in anticipation of some fine turtle soup the next day. 

An old hen came strolling along and poked her head inquiringly close to the decapitated noggin of his turtleship.  The turtle then had seized the hen by the bill.  Judge Edmonson prized the turtle head off with his knife and liberated the hen. 

Moral:  When you catch a turtle and cut off his head, bury the head lest somebody’s hen suffer the consequences of your neglect of duty.”

Finally, in 1925, “quite a large crowd gathered yesterday when Hub Rogers, farmer living near Troy, brought to town the largest turtle that has ever been seen in this section of the county.

The turtle weighed 64 pounds and it took three men to capture the monster creature as it fought in the shallow waters of Sandy Creek, about two and one-half miles north of Troy at the Blair’s Hill.

The turtle was placed in one of the show windows of the Troy Hardware and a large number of interested people gathered there throughout the evening.

Several estimates were made as to the creature’s age, varying from five to over a hundred years.”

All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.