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West Virginia Archives & History

History Of Teter Community

First Settlers

Jacob Reger, settled near Volga in the year 1776. He and his good wife Barbary (Crites) Reger were the founders of the somewhat numerous families bearing their name, portions of which still remain in West Virginia.

John Reger, Sr., fourth son of Jacob Reger and Barbary (Crites) Reger was born January 15, 1769. Died. May 14, 1849. When he was twenty-one years old he stood six feet and two inches. He had a heart, big, brave, and beautiful. John Reger married Elizabeth West, in 1779. That this was a "true love match," the most undoubtful proof was given by the brave lover who neither daunted by the distance of 150 miles, nor the perils of the way, walked to Winchester and back, that in his own words, his little Betty might have a store gown, in which to be married. A large crowd assembled on the festive occasion of this marriage. On his wedding day "for the amusement of their guests" he held his little Betty, she standing upright, on his outstretched palm. The home they built, and in which they so happily lived almost sixty years, stood on the right hand of the road leading from Buckhannon, to Philippi opposite the old house where Mr. Wellington Strader lived before he built the brick house now owned by his daughter, Mrs. H. M. Jackson. All that now remains to identify the spot is a few stones which once formed part of the chimney.

John and Elizabeth (West) Reger's children were as follows: Jacob who married Parmelia Arnold and moved to Calhoun County; Abraham who married Leah Brake and remained in this community; Edmund who died young; Elizabeth who married Jacob Crislip and moved to Roane County and Barbary who married James Teter in 1820.

Abraham and Leah (Brake) Reger's son, Albert E. Reger was born on the 25th day of December 1818. He married Mary Sea, on the 16th day of May 1844. He was a lawyer of no little renown, and was the oldest member of the Philippi Bar. He was elected in 1852, and again in 1856, Senator from the Fourth Senatorial district of West Virginia, He was commissioned Major, in the Army of Virginia.

The Rev. Alfred A. Reger, a son of Abraham and Leah (Brake) Reger, was born November 11, 1822. July 16, 1843, he was ordained Deacon. He was twice appointed Presiding Elder, first on the Charleston district, and later on the Berkeley District.

Rev. John Reger, another son, was born, February 5, 1815. On June 9, 1835, he was converted at a Methodist Camp Meeting held near the present site of Reger Church, Perhaps some might be interested to know that this historic church was built on the land donated during 1810 by John Reger, Sr., and was the first church built above Morgantown, on the waters of the Upper Monongahela. In size the structure was about 30 by 40 feet built of hewn logs. And the church now standing on the lot is the fourth church that has stood on the same site. In 1841 John W. Reger was appointed Pastor in Charge on the little Kanawha Circuit. He and his wife were boarded and received $42.00 as quarterage. He served as Presiding Elder in his church some four or five different Districts. He was a delegate to the General Conference in 1804.

It was through his great effort that the West Virginia Conference Seminary was located at Buckhannon, West Virginia. He considered this the crowning act of his life. He put forth every effort possible to get the school located at Buckhannon, and with the other Trustees was successful.

James and Barbery (Reger) Teter settled on the place now owned by B. I. Teter. Their first son Alva Teter was born in 1822. He was a member of the house of Delegates of West Virginia Sheriff of Upshur County, Magistrate and member of the Board of Education. John, second son of James and Barbery (Reger) Teter, was born March 19, 1825, married Matilda McCoy, and had a large family. They moved to Kansas. He and his family gathered together quite a tract of land and quite a bit of money and are citizens of no little worth to the country.

Isaac Pearl Teter, son of James and Barbery (Reger) Teter, was born May 17, 1829. He married Rebecca Jackson, joined the Iowa Conference, and was a delegate to General Conference in 1896,

Jacob Teter, son of James and Barbery (Reger) Teter, was born May 20, 1827. He married Catherine R, Loudin, May. 25, 1848. They settled on the farm now owned by lrwin Teter. He had the distinction of living in two states, and three counties, and always lived in the same place. He was Captain of the Militia, Deputy Sheriff, Deputy Provost Marshal, Recruiting officer during the war, and member of the House of Delegates. His sons were J. A. and lrvin. They were both farmers. Irvin now lives on the old home place. He was a member of the board of Equalization twelve years and appointed to serve another term of six years but resigned. He married Kate White on October 9, 1878. She received her education at Wesleyan College. Their three children were, Jacob Carl (dead), Clara Rue, wife of T. B. Farnsworth, and Ralph W. Teter, who married Fannie Hinkle daughter of L. N. and Ida Hinkle in June 1912. Their child Benjamin I. Teter was born March 14, 1915. He was in the Four-H Club work. This year he had a pig project. His pig took first prize at County Fair and also fourth place at State exhibit. Ralph W. Teter is a graduate of Mountain State Business College, of Parkersburg, West Virginia. His wife was a school teacher. He is a farmer in his community and a breeder of pure-bred cattle, hogs, and chickens.

L. N. Hinkle is a school teacher and was a member of the Board of Education. His wife was also a school teacher. Mr. Hinkle has a German Bible, which was bought in Germany in 1702, and brought to this country by ancestors in 1717. While Irvin Teter has a German Bible published in 1753, and brought over to this country by Jacob Reger one of his ancestors. It weighed twelve pounds, it was brass mounted and has the following dimensions, 16 inches long, 12 inches wide, and five inches thick.

Among the early settlers was a man named Thacker, who was the first blacksmith in all this community. Also a man named Girty, who manufactured men's hats, the only man of the kind in the country. There was Johnathan Reger, who had the first and only water mill in this country; Henry Jackson, an uncle of Stonewall Jackson; and Michael Strader, who had the first pair of cattle scales in the community, and the first mowing machine. His first wife was Sarah Bennett. They had three sons, Granville Michael, and Job. His second wife was Eve Rhorbough they had two sons Aaron and Wellington. They all lived and died in this community. His last and third wife was Dorcas Tennery. The writer's first teacher was Henry. He taught in a little old log school house that stood below the Reger church, near a spring on Zona (Strader) Jackson's field. We had slabs with legs in to sit on, no back to lean against. I remember very distinctly of the first exhibition I ever attended. It was held by Mr. Henry Neff, during the Civil War. A company of soldiers camped on the church lot that night. The Exhibition was held in the church which was quite large. The house was packed full, and a soldier was placed at each door and window. No one was allowed to go out of the house unless a guard went with him. The conditions have changed very much since that time. Other early settlers include Emanuel Cool; Colonel John Reger who was the first sheriff of Upshur County; Arch, Job, John, and Valentine Hinkle; Marshall Murphy; and Joel Hartman. All of these have descendants living in this community except the hatter.

Ministers of the Gospel who were reared in our community were Job Hinkle, J. W. Reger, Alfred Reger, Daniel Cool, Lot Cool, and I. P. Teter.

Emanuel Cool was born in Chillicothe, Ohio. When he was about 18 years old he hired to some hog drover and helped to drive a large drove from Ohio to Richmond, Virginia.

They went by the way of Parkersburg, Clarksburg, and Buckhannon. Near Buckhannon on the Old Uncle Job Hinkle farm lived Geo. Bozart, who fathered a home full of stalwart girls. At this home these drovers stopped over night with their hogs. Young Cool fell in love with one of these girls (Mollie) and on his return from the old capitol city of Richmond, he came to the Bozart farm and married Mollie Bozart. They lived in this community all the rest of their days. Here still lives Emanuel's son John, grandson Clyde, and great grandson John, Jr. Emanuel was a blacksmith, practically all his days, and one of the first in the community.

Doctors of Medicine were Deering, and Floyd Eurit, and Frank Murphy. Lawyers were Albert Reger, and Charley Murphy. School teachers were Charles and Frank Murphy, Floyd and Ira Eurit, Granville Jackson, Alfred Teter, Lue Reger, Fannie (Hinkle) Teter, W. O. Hinkle, who has just finished a successful term as County Superintendent of Schools, Arlon Hinkle, Earl Hinkle and May Hinkle,

Nearly all farmers in this community live on inherited land and all have added more land to their inheritance by purchase

Not a man, woman or child reared in this community has been incarcerated, sent to the reform school, or the Insane Asylum.

The First School

Early in the history of the community a school house was built just below the church in a field now belonging to Zona (Strader) Jackson. It was of the same type of all other school houses built at that time, being made of logs. The chimney occupied greater part of one end of the building. For benches they had split logs with wooden pegs for legs. My mother attended this school when a small girl and has often described it to me and told of things that happened there and how the larger boys chopped wood to keep the fire burning in the big fire place.

Present Conditions

As game grew scarce the settlers had to depend more and more on raising hogs, sheep, and cattle to furnish them with meat and the community has now become one of principal agricultural and stock raising sections of the country.

In 1910 the coal-mines were opened at Teter and since then they have brought a great variety of people into the community and have furnished employment for many men. The farmers often work here during the time they can spare from their farms. This industry has had a great influence on the kind of farming by affording a market for various farm products.

The families are not large, averaging about four members to the family. More than half of the inhabitants live on farms. The rest are located in the farming and mining villages of Teter from which the community derives its name.

The people are very sociable and friendly especially with the other members of the community, visiting each other and joining in doing work that requires many hands such as husking corn and filling silos which a great many of the farmers have at the present time.

The morals of the farmers are good but one never knows what they are getting in the floating population of a mining town. It may be good today and tomorrow. But the moral conduct of the school I think has been far above the average,

There are several tenant farmers in this section. The owners having enough money to live comfortably and being anxious to send their children to high school and college have moved to Buckhannon. Labor is now available due to the lack of work at the mines, and the farmers are able to get laborers at reasonable wages, although they are harder to get when the mines are running steadily.

The farms are in a flourishing condition being well managed. The principal crop is corn which is used for filling silos. Oats and clover are used to complete the rotation. There are probably five or six scientific farmers in this community. Mr. Ralph Teter being a breeder of pure-bred Aberdeen Angus cattle, Duroc Jersey hogs, and white Leghorn chickens is one of the best of these.

The train service in this community is excellent, there being three trains bound east and three west. So people can go and come at morning, noon, and night. This is not appreciated in summer due to the large number of automobiles owned in the neighborhood and the excellent condition of the roads. But in winter the roads become practically impassable to anything except houses and they have to be very strong.

The local markets are good when the mines are running. The farmers also have a market at Buckhannon but this market is not good due to the number of gardens in the town. The stock market is very good the farmers shipping their cattle to Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

The Peoples telephone system runs through the village but the service is very poor on account of poorly kept lines and poor management. The mail service is good there being two rural routes, one on either side of the village, and a post office near the center of the community.

Most of the farm homes are well kept. This is probably due more to the high standard and personal pride of the people. The mines are deficient in both civic pride and sanitary conditions surrounding their "houses". They are especially negligent or ignorant or both, concerning the disposal of sewage, garbage and other wastes.

The farm homes usually consist of six or eight rooms and are lighted by gas or Delco lights. Many of the best homes have running water in the house, indoor toilets, and bath, and are as well equipped as the best homes in Buckhannon. Last year when a lady from the Extension Department at Morgantown scored the kitchens in the county, Teter community scored very high and Mrs. lrwin Teter's kitchen received the highest score in the county as it was the best equipped and arranged. This is a very high honor as many of the kitchens scored were in the best homes in Buckhannon.

Many of the farmers have installed Delco plants and use the power furnished by them to wash, churn, etc. While others have gasoline washing machines. So I think the farming element of Teter is very progressive.

The rural school at Teter, until the last year, has been a one-room school. Last July when the Board of Education met at Hodgeville, the citizens of Teter were there with a petition asking for two rooms to be established at Teter. They stated their cause so well that the Board granted their petition and erected a modern two-room school house, equipped with cloak rooms, chemical toilets, and a front porch. Last fall the pupils gathered stones and crushed them and the patrons gladly contributed their services for the laying of a cement walk leading from the porch to the public road. The patrons are interested in the school and work in co-operation with the teachers, thereby making this one of the best schools in the county.

Both teachers last year held short normal certificates and one of the teachers employed for this year has a short normal certificate from Salem College. While the other is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College.

The farmers of the community are organized and their club meets once each month to discuss things of interest about their farms. They order lime, fertilizer, and seeds together and in this way obtain them at reduced prices. They also sell their farm products cooperatively.

The farm women's club is very active, meeting twice each month and is doing much to put Teter on the map as an agricultural community. Mrs. Mary McMorrow Brown, the county home demonstration agent considers this one of the best clubs in the county. A drag has been purchased which the men use on the roads after each rain. At present money is being raised to apply on building a community house and already several hundred dollars has been obtained from bake sales, etc.

The boys' and girls' club is also a live wire. It keeps parents awake and moving in order to hold their own with the young folks. This club is one of the youngest in the county but last year it took third place on club exhibit at the state fair where it also won a prize of $10. One of the members won fourth prize on his club pig. This work is doing much good by training the boys and girls to work and play together and is helping to do away with some of the individualistic principles of their elders.

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