Priscilla Teeter

Priscilla moved throughout the south because of her father’s job. Priscilla met her husband at John Hopkins University and later moved to Carroll County to raise her family.

Transcription

PRISCILLA TEETER: I’m Priscilla Teeter, and I’ve lived at Carroll Lutheran Village for three years. May the 23rd was my move in date. I was originally from Cecil County, Maryland at the top of the Chesapeake Bay and lived there till I was three. And then my father became employed with the Tennessee Valley Authority, the TVA, during 19– about 1932, 33. So we began moving all through the south from one dam to another dam. He was an electrical engineer.

So went to college two years in Virginia, then transferred to Johns Hopkins University and nursing school and got my bachelor’s. Was married 43 years when my husband died very, very, very suddenly, and we have three children and four grandchildren.

INTERVIEWER: And how did you come to be in Carroll County?

PRISCILLA TEETER: Through marriage. When I was at Hopkins, I met my husband, and we moved here.

INTERVIEWER: And was he from Carroll County?

PRISCILLA TEETER: Taneytown. He– one of the businesses of the family was farming. And he graduated from Gettysburg College and decided he would be the farmer in the family. He was the last of eight children.

INTERVIEWER: Wow.

PRISCILLA TEETER: Everyone else had gone off to do their thing, so with an aged mother, he decided he would work in the farming business ’till that was sold and then he became employed with the stone-crushing operation that the family owned.

INTERVIEWER: I see. So did you stay on the family’s farm?

PRISCILLA TEETER: For six years. I became a farmer’s wife and had never been on a farm before.

INTERVIEWER: So how, how– what was your first impression of Carroll County compared to other places you had been?

PRISCILLA TEETER: Oh, absolutely gorgeous compared to Tennessee with the red clay and the heat– the intense heat. The beauty of the rolling hills and– I mean, there were hills in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Lookout Mountain and what not. But as far as gently rolling farmland, this was just heaven on earth. Just beautiful.

INTERVIEWER: And so what was Taneytown like? Did it have much going on?

PRISCILLA TEETER: Well, there was one theater. And because my husband got up in the morning at 02:30 to milk cows, he would be asleep on my shoulder by 7 o’clock at night and miss the movie. So farming life was very, very difficult for me because I had never had that experience before. And the family was very, very close family, and they had hunter jumper horses and they all graduated from Taneytown high school.

The earliest members of the family commuted from Crump Station Railroad Station by train into Taneytown to school.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, wow. And then, what, would they walk the rest of the way to the school?

PRISCILLA TEETER: Well, from the railroad station it was only about two blocks to the Taneytown High School.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, that’s neat.

PRISCILLA TEETER: It was a very different life. I remember coming back from my honeymoon and looking out and there was nothing out there but a barn light at the end of the lane. And I had been five years at Hopkins, so I was right at the corner of Mulberry and Broadway where big buses would come up, shhhh, and the noise and the traffic and the big city life. So it was quite an adjustment.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, a little culture shock. Were you real isolated? Did, did you see neighbors or just mainly family?

PRISCILLA TEETER: Family, mostly family.

INTERVIEWER: And so what did you do for–

PRISCILLA TEETER: And that was hard too because they were all so much older. His sister was old enough to be his mother, he being the, the youngest of the children. His being the youngest of the children. And, um– so recreation and centered around family activities mostly.

INTERVIEWER: What about hospitals, medical services, things like that?

PRISCILLA TEETER: Well, my children– two of my children– were born in Gettysburg Hospital, and then Jennifer, my youngest one, was born at Women’s Hospital in Baltimore. Two-lane highway, foggy night, and um we were pulled over by a cop going down to Baltimore as fast as we could go. But–

INTERVIEWER: Did you have a local doctor in town?

PRISCILLA TEETER: There was a Doctor McVaugh, who was a general practitioner.

INTERVIEWER: What about services like clothing stores and food stores? I guess, you were on a farm–

PRISCILLA TEETER: There was Dougherty’s Grocery Store, and um I remember one gas station. There was Doctor Benner– b-e-n-n-e-r– who had a place on Main Street. There was a barber shop, a bakery– Bumgardner’s Bakery. Um, um, there was a five and ten cent store. Um, there was the feed store and mill. Um, and probably a lot of other places that I didn’t frequent because I didn’t need to. But those were the places that I would have gone.

INTERVIEWER: Right.

PRISCILLA TEETER: And the post office. We did have rural delivery. Basil Crabster was our mailman and um, but I’ll have to tell a funny story because I occasionally from Hopkins would come up by bus. And if my husband wasn’t available to come pick me up, I would stay with the [INAUDIBLE] Klingen– Mrs. Klingen– whose husband owned the barber shop. And she was a very close family friend and her husband actually had married my husband’s oldest sister.

So I would sit in her bay window and she would feed me warm tapioca pudding while I waited for my ride out to the farm to visit for the weekend or whatever. And my mother, after I was married, would come from Tennessee to visit us at Christmas time and then once in the summer.

So I had a telephone call from Mrs. Klingen one day after my mother had left, and she just said, I thought you’d be interested to know, Priscilla, that your mother arrived in Knoxville all right. She flew back. And I said, oh, Mrs. Klingen, how do you know that? She said, well, I was over at the post office and I just happened to see the post card in your box.

INTERVIEWER: And so everyone knew everything.

PRISCILLA TEETER: That was typical of the small-town life then.

INTERVIEWER: Now you showed me a book that you have. How did your family come to be in this publication?

PRISCILLA TEETER: Well, it’s a book about farm life in Carroll County. Lyndi McNulty just put it together. It sold through the Historical Society or Lyndi, of course. But there’s about five pictures of the Teeter family and their life on the farm.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, that’s interesting. Yeah.

PRISCILLA TEETER: A lot of other farm families, too, of course.

INTERVIEWER: Right. So after your husband got out of–

PRISCILLA TEETER: Farming.

INTERVIEWER: Farming, he got into–

PRISCILLA TEETER: The stone-crushing business with, with the family– the other business of the family. And um, so we had to leave the farm since it was sold. And we had dispersal of something like 126 Holsteins and all the farm equipment and everything. So we had to leave, which meant we needed to find a house to live in. So we bought a house between Westminster and New Windsor, which was sitting right on top of the John Hyde Quarry and the Medford Quarry–

INTERVIEWER: Right.

PRISCILLA TEETER: That Teeter Stone had opened up.

INTERVIEWER: And how did those areas compare to where you had been in Taneytown?

PRISCILLA TEETER: We were in a valley. There was a wonderful stream across the road from us. The kids played in that stream. They– we damned it up and they made a mud slide on the hill, on the bank, you know. Big trees they climbed in and we had picnics out there and there was woods in back of us and they played in the woods and with a lot of imaginative play because.

There was a dollhouse in the yard. So if my son had a friend in, they were cops and robbers, and if my daughter had someone in, they were playing dress up with a clothes out in the, in the doll house.

INTERVIEWER: Now, your neighbors were probably closer there than they had been on the farm.

PRISCILLA TEETER: Not necessarily. We had one, yeah, one family that was closer. But they were older. Mary Miller Richardson were there and Aggie and Archie Algyer. And then the Fritzes lived down the road. We got eggs from Mrs. Fritze. Now, the children would pull my youngest daughter in a little red wagon down there because there was very little traffic on that road. It was a two-lane highway. Of course, that was before, um, Route 31 went to New Windsor. A major road.

INTERVIEWER: Right.

PRISCILLA TEETER: And um–

INTERVIEWER: How did the kids get to school then?

PRISCILLA TEETER: We commuted into Taneytown– into Westminster. I was able to get some dispensation for that and then– and we got carpooled with another family into Westminster schools. Although, we were in the New Windsor district.

INTERVIEWER: Now, you were going into Westminster more, was there more activities available?

PRISCILLA TEETER: Oh, yes. Schools were larger and as a matter of fact, the first year I think that we lived between Westchester and New Windsor, the high school in New Windsor was not even college accredited. So I, if I could get my children into Westminster, I wanted to. And as long as we commuted with them– took them–

INTERVIEWER: Right.

PRISCILLA TEETER: They allowed us to do that.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, that was good. Yeah. So how would you describe Carroll County to someone who’s never been here?

PRISCILLA TEETER: 15 years ago, I would have said it was heaven on earth. I think–

INTERVIEWER: Now it has grown up a little bit.

PRISCILLA TEETER: Yes. The traffic is such that even going to the grocery store, I, I don’t have to go at any particular time of the day, so I choose 10 o’clock in the morning because I don’t find as much traffic at that, at that time or the store is crowded.

But in another way, to see the development of the Historical Society and opening of the Hoffman House, again, and his renovation. The Arts Council taking over the old Carroll Theater and making it into a show place and has just brought people back into the center of town again. There’s the new fire hall. It’s just state of the art.

The, uh, Carroll Community College and its growth with the new nursing unit and, uh, now they’re building another Science Center. And uh just uh, you know, children who might otherwise not get to college are having a wonderful foundation there. Just Faye Pappalardo has just done a wonderful job. No, that’s not– yes, yes.

And our vo-tech school gives children who are good with their hands a chance to really fly. So many people today aren’t, uh, artistic or um– well, that’s not the word I need to say– you know, can’t develop things with their hands. They’re not that creative. But this really gives people who, who are good thinkers and, um, mechanics– people who do good things with woodworking and plumbing and, um, nursing.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, we have a lot available to us here, I think.

PRISCILLA TEETER: We really do.

INTERVIEWER: All different venues. Well, thank you so much for sharing your memories and for sticking around in Carroll County.

PRISCILLA TEETER: It’s been my pleasure.