All interviews were taped and documented.They are available through the Reference
Department of the Teaneck Public Library. The Library is not responsible for the accuracy
of the statements nor does it necessarily endorse the opinions expressed.
Audio recording of the interview with Elsie Von Scholda Butler
Elsie Von Scholda Butler, Helen Monahan, Helen Haywood,
George & William Beaumont
(Interview taped July 1975 by Lois Stiansen & Gwen Dodd)
The name Teaneck meant Place Where there are Woods. It was first spelled Tien Neck. I remember Cedar Lane when it was nothing but a dirt road. Later they put in cobble stone. Windsor Road was a swamp with quicksand. There used to be horses here and one time something frightened them and made them run across the railroad tracks and they got in the swamp. The West Englewood Bank was built on piles to keep it from sinking, The first bank was across from the station, The Ackerman property ran to Loziers and took in where the phone company is now.
The library was started with a few books by Mrs. Archibald Jordan, later moved to Cutler's drug store and then they bought property on Teaneck Road for $2,000 and sold it at a profit. The library was dedicated March 8, l927,
The fire house was where Kobbe & Flannery in now, You called the fire department by hitting a railroad tire rim with a hammer. The first paid fireman was in 1920. They added a man a year to 1924 when they added four. They had 24 paid. They had one chief, a captain and patrolmen. The police station was across from the old fire house. The Community Bank started on State Street. The Teaneck National started in 1926. It burned down and opened as the People's Bank. There was no crossing over the railroad tracks. North of Englewood Avenue was all farm. There was a small shopping area in West Englewood--an A & P, a meat market and Cutler Drug Store. That was the sum total for shopping. My father had a place where Goodman's Hard store in now. My father knew John Stiansen's father. We came here from Went New York. My husband grow up in this town. Teachers I remember were Alice Miraglia Hook, Miss Smith and Miss Robertson who lived on Sussex Road. Miss Hill was principal of the high school. The mayor was Volcker. I attended Christ Church When I worked in Englewood as a nurse till I met my husband.
We shopped for food in Teaneck and in Hackensack and New York for clothes. Some one opened a little hat shop on Cedar Lane. We had 4th of July and Memorial day parades.
Scandal? There was plenty, but I wouldn't want to say anything. The railroad was our transportation. We had bus service. When you got off at Forest Avenue, the police would meat you and take you home. I remember Chris Gloeckler, the mayor, Volcker, Votee and Deissler. The Blue Bird Inn was where Volk's is, then there was a golf course and then Volks came here from Hoboken. I remember Lloyd Schroeder and August Hannibal and the Garrison House.
They made a park where some people whose name began with A lived (Andreas). Where Edna Spath lives on Star Court lived two old ladies in a big house. I guess the property went to the town. Name of Leakes -- Leakes Road. The old ladies lived where the FDU parking lot is.
Bob Morrill and the Ayers boys opened an office where Hirschfield's Pharmacy is. Later Schwanewede moved in.
Back in 1926 if you missed the last train in Now York at 1:30 you had to take a trolley to the junction where the Amusement Park was in Cliffside Park, got a trolley to Hackensack, wait at the taxi stand until they opened at 5 a.m. Your escort would see you to your door and then he would repeat the trip in reverse and make it back to Jackson Heights. You'd think that would be the and, but they came back for more.
We came here from Bayonne in 1937 the streets in my area--Hartwell and Salem were being made. During World War II they put in an anti-aircraft base on Lindbergh Blvd. The highest point around here. I guess because it was near the hospital. We came to Teaneck because it was convenient to New York. My husband worked at 41st St and 11th Ave. I heard there was a man from Montana at the AA Base and invited him over to bring a friend because my husband had been in Montana. He brought the friend who was from Texas. We entertained him Sunday & and holidays for two years. When the war was over the AA place was dismantled.
When we moved here they used to joke about West Englewood as Mortgage Hill or English Town because all the streets have English names. Sussex Road only went as far as Churchill Road. Then to New Bridge was all farms. We moved here 36 year ago.
There were buses to Hackensack once an hour. The #70 bus went to Bergenfield. When we first moved here it was all trees and children had tree houses, People dumped their leaves and junk in the woods,
I came to Teaneck in 1900. We lived at the corner of Summit & Robinson. My father later built a house at 125 Bogert Street and I lived there until 1933 when I built this house in Hillside Avenue so I'd have larger quarters. We had 3 children.
The main road were Teaneck Road and Cedar Lane. They were macadam. Cedar Lane was a grade crossing, In the 20s the railroad sunk the tracks.
I went to old school #2. The wooden school before they built the brick one in 1906. They moved the old school to the Church Street corner and used it as an annex and later the town hall. My teacher was Miss Lucy Marsh. Laroy Jay was the principle. I remember the DeBaun sisters.
I don't know who was mayor. Murphy was the police chief and Ridley the fire chief. The library was on the corner of Bedford Avenue. I graduated in 1913 and went through Dumont High School--you had to go to Hackensack, Leonia or Dumont and I went to Dumont on the train. I went to the Presbyterian Church. George Coe was superintendent of the Sunday school.
I went to work for my father in Long Island City after serving in the Army. In 1930 I went to work for the West Shore Fuel Co. Food shopping was in West Englewood. The West Englewood Market is still there--it's changed hands several times. Clothes were bought in Hackensack or Englewood.
On Memorial Day and 4th of July there ware track meets. We competed with the old Volunteer Fire Department and the Teaneck Club. The club building still stands at Teaneck Road and Bogert Street-a four-family apaament, only it is smaller now. They had a bowling alley and teams. I played on some teams. There was one way to get to New York--the West Shore and the 42nd Street Ferry.
Politicians were just as windy then as they are now. There was no mail delivery in Teaneck in the early days. It came from Englewood. Copley was the letter carrier. He used to come on a bike from Englewood. Later Bill Jahnes carried mail.
In World War I Teaneck sent 60 odd to the Service. In World War II there were several thousands. There is a tablet on the library listing the names. In 1919 when we came back we organized the American Legion. We looked for a meeting place and finally bought the old Garrison House.The town later bought the house for a parking lot and we built at 650 Front St.
I have lived in Teaneck 65 years so far. I was born at 125 Bogert St. I was born in 1910. I walked to school #2. I remember Miss Alice Miraglia and Miss Kennedy who married Hans Christian Madison.
We made our own entertainment. At the Teaneck Club, Washington Hazelton would show movies on Sunday afternoons. Where FDU parking lot is now there were two ponds. We used to walk there in winter, shovel off the snow and skate. We played ball in Borden's field around Beaumont Avenue and Church Street. There were all cows around there. We used a bed spring for a back stop. There were no lavatories. You went home or to the woods.
Where Votee Park is now was a pond. The Flannerys, Sylvester Clausen and I had a raft we paddled there. We used to hide our trunks and got swimming near New Bridge. They used to deliver mail in a horse drawn sleigh.
I worked in Brooklyn as a sheet metal worker. In 1927 I joined the fire department and retired in 1962. 1 served in the Navy 37 months. After the Fire Department I got a job as a guard in the Garden State National bank. I retired from there now.
When they cut through streets in our section they named one Alicia and the other Beaumont for my father. Longfellow came later.
We learned to swim in the Hackensack River. There was a sand bank by an old cemetery. We'd get undressed and dressed behind the tomb stones. The cemetery is still there on River Road. There is a monument.
My dad was president of the school board for 9 or 10 years. He was on the board 13 years. I remember we cut down trees and cleared the whole field for the High School Athletic field. The high school was started in 1927-28.
We picked strawberries East of Teaneck Road. Jimmy Stevenson lived further up. DeRonde lived where the ramp goes to Rte 4. There's a medical building there now, but behind it is the old barn.
The Phelps family lived where Holy Name Hospital is now. The mansion where the Municipal Building is was destroyed by fire. How long the ruins stood there I don't know. Big trees had grown in the ruins when I was a boy. Part of their second residence became part of Holy Name Hospital.