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Teterville, Kansas

Updated on July 20, 2018
Virginia Allain profile image

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)

Scott Store in Teterville.
Scott Store in Teterville. | Source

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

My mother, age 4, with her older sister Melba and parents, Ruth and Clarence McGhee
My mother, age 4, with her older sister Melba and parents, Ruth and Clarence McGhee | Source

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

Thanks for sharing

your personal Teterville memories and adding to the history. It is so important to save these. Feel free to add more in the guestbook at the end of the page.

Even More Ghost Towns of Kansas

Ghost Towns of Kansas Volume III
Ghost Towns of Kansas Volume III
This author has a whole series of these books. If you enjoy visiting defunct towns, you'll want to get all of them. Check your local library or order them from Amazon.

Noller School Near Teterville - District 21 1933-34

My mother and her school friends.
My mother and her school friends. | Source

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

My grandfather's photo of an oil sludge pond burning near Teterville.
My grandfather's photo of an oil sludge pond burning near Teterville. | Source

My Mother and Grandmother at Teterville in 1928

Gail and her mother, Ruth McGhee standing by a house in Teterville.
Gail and her mother, Ruth McGhee standing by a house in Teterville. | Source

A Book about the Flint Hills (and Teterville)

A Book about the Flint Hills (and Teterville). This is my mother's childhood memoir.
A Book about the Flint Hills (and Teterville). This is my mother's childhood memoir.

Residents of Teterville in the 1930s

Boltes and McGhees - my mother is the younger girl in the front.
Boltes and McGhees - my mother is the younger girl in the front. | Source

Share your personal Teterville memories in the guestbook below.

© 2009 Virginia Allain

Share With Us Anything You Know About Teterville, Kansas

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    • Virginia Allain profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      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.


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