I'm carrying on my mother's research into our family history. I've self-published some family memoirs & learned a lot about different eras.
Looking for Teterville in Kansas
There used to be a small town at Teterville, back in the twenties and thirties. My mother remembers living there and even has a picture of herself standing by a vintage Ford. It was taken in front of the grocery store in Teterville. Below you find some vintage photos and information about the former town.
Although there is no store or anything to see anymore, it remains a destination. The buildings are long gone, so it's not even a ghost town. Only a slab of rock piercing the Kansas skyline shows where Teterville once was. It beckons hikers and photographers to seek out the spot.
The booming oil town of the 1920s and early 1930s is gone, but the memories remain.
(Photo from our family album)
A Little History of Teterville
Anne Browning Wilson writes in The History of Greenwood County, Kansas, "The Teter family had oil discovered on their land in 1921 and oil workers came from Oklahoma and Pennsylvania to this oil boom town. At its peak in the 20s and 30s, there might have been 500 or 600 people in Teterville and the nearby leases (Noeler, Green and Scott)."
My mom, born in 1924 grew up in some of those oil camps and went to the schools.
By 1945, Teterville's population dropped to around 25 families. By 1962, barely a dozen houses remained in Teterville. Now, there are no houses there at all.
Read About Kansas Ghost Towns
Around Kansas you'll find quite a few towns that have faded away. Drive down a lonesome road on the open prairie and you'll find these rusting, shabby outposts of Kansas life. These books make it easier to find the Kansas ghost towns.
Visit some if you want to take marvelous photos of bygone life.
1927 Teterville Lease House
Memories of Teterville - Shared by Visitors to This Page
- M. Marshall - Sep 16, 2012
One room school house was my kindergarten year I believe 1961 was the last year. Some of us went to Holverson and the older kids were taken to Eureka 22 miles away. Long drive in the wi ger. I do remember the wood burning stove at the store. We lived on the Tester property and my father worked the cattle for old manTeter.
- Richard W Morisset - Mar 30, 2012
I was born in Hamiltion, KS 1934, My father worked for city service oil co, we lived in Teterville in a company house, I was about 9 when we left and moved to Ozark Mo for one year then moved to Ontario calif. My fathers name was Clyde Morisset, my mothers name was Alma Allen Morisset. My brothers name was Herbert. I attended a one room school which ran through the eighth grade. I don't remember a lot about Terterville but I do remember the store. I would get grape soda when my dad took me with him to get something. I think that a man named Ledbetter ran it. We used to drive to Madision on saturday afternoon and park along the street every body would visit and do the shopping and then drive home at night with a full moon along the dirt roads it was awe inspiring. One thing was nice, when you ran out of gas you could visit a drip line and get a gallon or two.
- Randy Hughes - Dec 14, 2011
I worked on a cable tool unit,on the weekends, while in high school in Hamilton. Our crew plugged the very last wee on Teter Hill. While we were ripping pipe I carved my initials in Teter Rock.
- Gail Lee Martin - Jul 16, 2010
I was there before the rock! My family lived below the hill, my daddy, Clarence Mc Ghee worked for Phillips Pet. Co. The road used to wind around to the north side of the hill and then curve around and down the slope to the south before it straightened out heading east to the crossroad. North to the Nolar school and the Phillip's employees houses. On east to the Burkett oil leases and school district. South from the crossroad lead you to Eureka, KS. Enjoyed the history that came after we left the area when I was in the 8th grade in 1938. Gail Martin
Even More Ghost Towns of Kansas
Noller School Near Teterville - District 21 1933-34
Teacher: Agnes Hawthorne
Students: Naomi McKinney, Pauline Ridgely, Buddy Calmer, Juanita Bernard, Dorothy McKinney, Melba McGhee, Gail McGhee, Dorothy Rose Laird, Norma Jean Dowell, Teddy Bernard, Donald Hindman, Roscoe Bernard, Kathryn Peterson.
The schools were set up to educate the children from the oil field camps.
"Dorothy Rose Laird was my best pal and she had older sisters and a wonderful older bother. The Lairds' were the nicest neighbors. Her grandma lived in Potwin and we would spend a week each summer with her." - Gail Lee (McGhee) Martin
Oil Was the Reason for Teterville's Existence
Learn More with These Interesting Sites
- More Teterville Memories | Discovering Mom
Scanners are a wonderful invention and my sister, Karen, is making good use of hers. She just digitized some old Teterville photos that expand our knowledge of that time in Mom's life. The photo label says, "Ed Bolte's home, Teterville. Back: Viola B
- Teterville Kansas, the Teter Oil Fields and Teter Rock
In the 1920s, oil was discovered on his land and a boom took place. A small village grew up near the Teter Oil Fields called Teterville. While the town still exists today, it is a ghost town, with remnants of the oil business still remaining.
- Selective Focus Photography
Fantastic photos of Teter Rock
- Kansas Flint Hills Travel
Description of Teterville in its heyday.
- Kansas Sampler Foundation-GET KANSAS!: Teter Rock
A blog posting about Teterville and the rock that now shows where it once was.
- Home Is Where the Heart Is | Discovering Mom
Some of my mother's memories of the 1920s oil boom at Teterville. Some details about the Vinings, the McGhees, Babcocks and the Boltes.
My Mother and Grandmother at Teterville in 1928
A Book about the Flint Hills (and Teterville)
To Find the Book, My Flint Hills Childhood, Go to These Sites
- The Author's Website
Read an excerpt from the book and find out more about it and the author.
- Publisher's Site for My Flint Hills Childhood
Preview additional sections of the book in hardback or paperback at this site (Blurb.com).
Residents of Teterville in the 1930s
Share your personal Teterville memories in the guestbook below.
© 2009 Virginia Allain
Share With Us Anything You Know About Teterville, Kansas
Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on September 11, 2014:
Thanks to all who've shared their memories in the guestbook here. I'm moved them above so they will be better preserved and so more people will read them.