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.

Mrs. Lily Thiede Conklin

(Interview taped August 1970)

Born in Teaneck 1896. Her parents lived in a house on Teaneck Road near present Fenimore. Her mother worked on the farm, her father worked for William DeGraw. They were married in New York City. She was born in a house on Fort Lee Road, went to school on Fort Lee Road with Edna DeGraw. In 1904 when she was 8 went to St. Mary's School in Hackensack, walked the two miles. When Susquehenna tracks flooded she couldn't go to school. Used to walk to Moore's store in Leonia to get a yeast cake.

Remembers as a child waiting for the man in the sulky to light the gas light at Beech Street and come every morning to put it out. We were the only house around -- between West Shore and Northern Railroad. There were 8 children. Her father milked the cows. She was married in Fort Lee at the Church of the Madonna. Stayed with her mother at first then moved to 90 Munn Ave.

At first the trolley just went to River road and then took a stage to the Hackensack green. Cost a nickel.

My father came from Germany. He was a good farmer, grew fine corn, tomatoes, etc. She used to help get produce ready for market -- wiped off tomatoes. Her brother used to take a sulky to Dan Kelly's hill to hlep pull farmers and their loads up hill.

Phelps didn't come this way much. Peter Ackerman was Supt. of Schools. Grocery man came Tuesdays for orders and delivered on Thursdays. We bought clothes on Sunday on Hudson St., Hackensack, when we went to church.

My father used to work for William Bennett also, later DeGraw came after him and he went to work for him again.

I remember Fiss, Doerr and Carroll stock farm. Teaneck was all farmers and working poeple in those days. I remember Mr. Garrison coming by in a buggy to deliver mail. Boats used to come up the Hackensack loaded with coal and lumber.

Our pleasures were simple. After Sunday School on Sundays we would have dinner and then go to look at some one's new pigs, a new calf, team of horses. We had a music box that played tin discs. Special delicacies were ox heart cherries. We'd sing and the grown-ups would dance in the yard. The Ho-Ho-Kus fair was a big thing. They had auto races. I told my father that a car went 60 mph and he said people were going to kill themselves. We used to go to Foster's store in Bergenfield where Foster Village is now.

I remember the Cherry Hill tornado of 1914. The tornado hit near River Edge, but trees were blown across roads in Teaneck. My father and other citizens worked for three days with cross cut saws to clear the roads. The only electricity in Teaneck was on Teaneck Road.

 

Back to Oral History of Teaneck