From the Greenwood County Kansas Historical Society:
"An upended limestone monolith juts unexpectedly up into the endless blue sky of the Flint Hills. Located at the crest of the highest hill in the area, it's visible for miles in all directions. The view from the area of the rock is great! The stone which serves as Teter Rock today, however, is not the original. It was erected in the 1950s to replace the earlier one which had been used as building materials in the nearby oil-boom town of Teterville.
The original Teter Rock Monument was constructed by James Teter sometime in the late 1870s or 1880s as a guide for pioneers searching for the Cottonwood River, which drains all the land to the west of the marker. It seems that homesteaders passing through the area enroute to their claims on the Cottonwood often became lost in the rolling hills of the area. (This still happens to greenhorn tenderfoots--like the Flatlanders!) James Teter solved the problem with a simple pile of rocks which lasted until the 1920s. Today's Teter Rock was erected as a memorial to him by his descendants.
Just to the north of Teter Rock, the restless prairie wind blows through the scattered remains of a once bustling community, Teterville. Built during the oil boom of the 1920s, it once had a population of nearly 1,000 with 2 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 good paying jobs in the oil fields. The Flint Hills had never before, and have never since witnessed such a rapid influx of both people and wealth.
The wealth, jobs and the town of Teterville lasted only as long as there was oil to pump. Today, a 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 ..."
John Kliewer Fly By At Teter Rock
DSC7413rTetervilleTeter RockKansas Flint Hills