John W. Teeter, Jr.
Our first curator and co-founder, John Teeter was born September 14, 1920, at his grandparents' home in Van Buren, Arkansas; lived in Nevada County, briefly at Bodcaw, mostly in Prescott, until moving to Jonesboro in 2002 to be near his sister and her children. He always considered the relocation temporary. He owned Teeter Brothers Men clothing store in downtown Prescott for 22 years, was a traveling salesman for Red Wing Shoes for 15 years, and managed the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce for six years. But his primary occupation was always community volunteer -- daily weather reporter, tornado spotter, museum curator, Sunday School teacher, emergency responder, Boy Scout adviser, county election commissioner, classroom speaker, civic club leader, county fair manager, local event photographer, and caretaker of Nevada County history including the Civil War Battle of Prairie DeAnn. Congressman Mike Ross of Prescott was one of many who considered Teeter a role model of public service. ''Mr. Teeter has devoted almost all of his adult life to serving his community and the people of Nevada County,'' Ross said in a statement printed in the July 25, 2001, Congressional Record. A life-long bachelor, his legacy survives at the Nevada County Depot Museum -- in the thousands of photographs he took and copied, the complied documents, and the artifacts he helped save, including the 1912 depot building itself. In 1970, the City of Prescott was able to purchase the Missouri Pacific depot property for $1. By 1976, the depot had evolved into a museum, which Teeter headed for 25 years, until 2001. The Museum's photo books are the legacy of his work and the basis for much of the content on this web site. Even in his absence, he continued to be celebrated in Prescott. In 2008, his birthday was proclaimed ''John Teeter Day'' by the mayor and this past April the Depot Museum hosted a reception in its new John Teeter Room. Prescott also honored him with a ''John Teeter Day'' July 26, 2001, thanking him for ''his tireless devotion'' and ''the wisdom and laughter he's given Prescott and Nevada County.'' A 1938 Prescott High graduate, Teeter graduated from Arkansas State Teachers College (now University of Central Arkansas), where his parents John W. Teeter, Sr., and Ruth McCarroll had met. He played trumpet with the Top Hatters dance band, which performed throughout the United States, and continued to enjoy Big Band music the rest of his life. At ASTC, he edited The Scroll yearbook and maintained a life-long interest in preserving history photographically. During World War II, he was a foreman at the Arkansas Ordnance Plant in Jacksonville. He would often marvel at what ''a bunch of 4-F guys, farmers, and housewives'' were able to accomplish. Among his many awards were the Silver Beaver from the Boy Scouts Caddo Area Council in 1965, ''Treasure of Gold'' from the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber in 1996, the National Weather Service's second highest volunteer award in 1997, an ''Ageless Hero'' citation in 2000 for his work ''bridging the generations,'' and an attendance plaque in 2001 from the Prescott Kiwanis Club. He was a member of Prescott's First United Methodist Church since his christening in 1922, serving the congregation in numerous capacities until his passing August 4, 2009.