Barbour County, West VirginiaBiography of Floyd TETERThis biography was submitted by Valerie Crook, E-mail address:
The History of West Virginia, Old and NewPublished 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,Chicago and New York, Volume III,pg.
325 FLOYD TETER, banker and business man of Belington, isa native of Barbour County, and some important history pertinent to this section of the state as well as to the family is involved in an account of his forefathers.The name Teter is a corruption of "Dietrich," the pure German spelling of the name. The Dietrichs were in the Valley of Virginia at the close of the American Revolution and are said to have settled from Pennsylvania. From the Valley of Virginia, branches of the family moved westward,one going into Pendleton County in what is now West Virginia.In Barbour County the family were pioneers.Teter's Creek was named as early as 1783, and four years later George Teter acquired title to land here, evidence of which is found in the Virginia land books.However, the first permanent settler of old Randolph County on the west bank of Tygart Valley River and in what is now the County of Barbour, was Jacob Teter, great-grandfather of Floyd Teter. It was about 1800 that he came to Barbour County from Pendleton County. He was a son of Philip Teter, whose other children were Joseph, Isaac, James, Nancy and, perhaps, Mary. There is record of a Mary "Tidricks" who was married in Randolph County to Enoch Osborn in 1803, and in 1811 Solomon Yeager married Mary, a daughter of Jacob Teter.The great-grandfather Jacob Teter settled on the west side of the Tygart Valley Eiver at what is now the town-site of Belington. When he came here from PendletonCounty he was accompanied by a boy, and also carried agun, and they were followed by his dog. He and the boy built a little cabin not far from the river bank. This historic log building was still standing in 1890. The wellat the site is still marked by a depression near the Belington West Side school building. Mr. Teter acquired a large tract of land, including all the present West Side of Beling-ton. After his home was built he was joined by his family.When he started back to Pendleton County to bring on his family the Tygart Valley River was high and he built a raft to cross it. On the raft he put the boy, together with his dog and gun and a scant supply of food, and, tying one end of a withe to the craft, he put the otherend between his teeth and, swimming across, pulled theraft and landed the cargo safely on the opposite shore.Jacob Teter was a sturdy frontiersman who cleared much of his land from the virgin forest. Abundant prosperity attended his labors. He erected a comfortable house on his farm, planted an orchard, and from some apple and cherry trees of this orchard his great-grandson has eaten fruit, though all of the trees have now disappeared. As one of the first settlers he built and operated the first gristmill, and at that mill continued to serve the second and third generations.He was also active in founding the first Methodist Church. Evidence of his deep piety is found inthe story that the only method by which some boys were ableto capture a prized melon in his fine melon patch was towait until he was engaged in prayer. He has told the boys that if they could steal that special melon without his detecting them they were welcome to it. He founded a strong race of people, having been twice married. Among his sons were Jacob, Joseph and Isaac, and among his daughters were Mrs. Mary Yeager, Mrs. Stonestreet and Mrs. Patrick McCann.His son Jacob, grandfather of Floyd Teter, was born in the pioneer log cabin mentioned above. His older brother, Joseph, was born in Pendleton County May 8, 1796. JacobTeter became one of the substantial farmers of Barbour County, his farm being half a mile further up the Tygart Valley than the old home. In his generation he was as vigorous and efficient as his father, and his life was ordered on a high plane of integrity and honor. He died at the age of seventy-six. His wife was Mary Coberly. The oldest of their children was Jesse Teter. Oliver was a Union soldier, a pioneer in road improvement in Barbour County, and died in that county. James was a Union soldier, a successful farmer and at the time of his death lived in Oklahoma. Abel was also in the ranks of Union soldiers, and died on his farm in his native county. Peyton was killed by a falling tree when a young man. Margaret became the wife of Charles Groves. Eliza was the wife of Major Felonhouse; Elizabeth married Josiah Wilson. Delphia died in young womanhood. All the son-in-laws were Union soldiers, so that the patriotic and military record of the family is exceptional.Jesse Teter, father of Floyd, was born May 14, 1823, and his entire life was passed in the vicinity of his birthplace.He attended the subscription schools and was a successfulteacher for a time. His chief business was farming andcattle raising, but he also performed a constructive servicein the clearing of land and making his section of the county more available for general improvement. He served thirty-seven consecutive years as justice of the peace, and in the Civil war period was active and influential in the recruiting of troops for the Union. He was a leader in public and political affairs, and he and his wife were devoted members of the Concord Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a liberal contributor in the erection of the church building, and served as class leader and teacher in the Sunday School. His death occurred September 14, 1901, and that of his widow on the 12th of March, 1912. In 1849 he married Miss Elizabeth Phillips, whose father, Thomas Phillips, a cabinetmaker by trade, was a pioneer settler in Randolph Countyand later in Barbour County. Of the children of Jesse and Elizabeth Teter the first born was William Worth, who was a farmer merchant and civil engineer in Barbour County at the time of his death; Thomas B. was a farmer and live-stock dealer in this county at the time of his death, February 12, 1917, and under the administration of President Cleveland he served as Government Indian agent atmPocatello, Idaho; Ida who is dead was the wife of Dr.M. M. Hoff, a leading physician at Philippi, Barbour County; Floyd is the youngest son; and Miss Mertie E.remains on the old home farm, just southwest of Belington.Floyd Teter was born October 7, 1857, and is indebted to the public schools of his native county for his early education. He continued to assist in the work and management of the old home farm until his marriage. For some twenty years thereafter he was associated with the lumbering operations conducted by Charles G. Blachley, for whom he purchased timber on an extensive scale, besides conducting an independent business enterprise.Afterward for several years he actively engaged in the buying and selling of West Virginia coal lands. He erected one of the first brick buildings at Belington, where he also built and sold other buildings, and thus contributed much to the material advancement of the little city. He was one of the organizers of the Citizens Bank, the first established in Belington, and became a director of the institution. Since its conversion into the Citizens National Bank he has continued a director of the latter, and is now vice president. His civic loyalty was distinctly shown in his two terms of service as a member of the City Council, but he has no liking for public office or political activity. He is a staunch supporter ofthe cause of the republican party, is affiliated with the Loyal Order of Moose, and he and his wife are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. On December 18, 1884, Mr. Teter married Miss Dollie Hinkle, who was born in Randolph County, this state, January, 17, 1867, a daughter of Bernard L. and Albina (Mouse) Hinkle. The town of Elkins is situated on the old farm of Mr. Hinkle,who died there. His widow is now a resident of Belington.Mrs. Teter was their only child. Charles Edward, eldest of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Teter, resides at Belington, where he is an automobile machinist. He married Delia Curry, who died, survived by one child, Delia Ruth.Jessie, who graduated from the Belington High School, is a talented pianist, is a popular factor in the social life of the community and remains at the parental home. Bernard L., a graduate of the local high school, is assistant cashier of the Citizens National Bank of Belington.