Friday, February 29, 2008


Teterville, KS - just a name, no buildings or people - where the hills & valleys of the high plains open up to an incredible vista ... and not a soul around as far as the eye can see.

The restless prairie wind blows through the scattered remains of a once bustling community, Teterville. Built during the oil boom of the 1920's, it once had a population of over 600 with two General Stores, a Post Office, and an Elementary School. Typical of these oil boom towns, it contained mainly "shot-gun" houses which in many cases sprang up over night . In this case, "over-night" is not just a figure of speech. Lumber was sometimes stolen from nearby oil derricks, and this made carpentry by cover of darkness a necessity. Indoor plumbing was generally nonexistent, and drinkable water had to be hauled in from Madison. Such primitive conditions were endured by the workers and their families in exchange for the good paying jobs of the oil fields. The Flint Hills had never before, and have never since witness such a rapid influx of both people and wealth.

The wealth, jobs and the town of Teterville itself lasted only as long as there was oil to pump. Today, this oil heating tank rusts in repose; a silent reminder of busier days on this windswept hill. Where once children played and workmen worked, cows now graze disturbed only by the occasional visitor to Teter Rock.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)


Jenni said...

This is interesting. Are there no remnants of buildings left? Anything besides the rusting oil heating tank?

Andrew Maness said...


I was actually just at Teter Rock three days ago. I was needing to visit the site for the past year after reading about. Sat out there for about an hour while eating lunch ... very scenic and peaceful, just as you mentioned.

virginiaallain said...

My mother went to school near Teterville and her dad worked for an oil company. She remembers they would have literary evenings at the Teterville schoolhouse and put on plays. At other times they would have box suppers.

I've made a page on Squidoo about Teterville with some of her photos.