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.
Miss Eleanor Encke
Miss Encke lived in Teaneck from 1904 until she moved to Florida in 1970. Her father immigrated to this country from Germany in 1901 and worked for a nursery man in Carlstadt. He later sent for his family and found a greenhouse on Park Avenue, Teaneck, he could rent. He leased the property for two years and then bought it from Mr. DeGraw. Part of it was in Bogota. (Herman Encke)
He cleared the land which was thick woods from Park Avenue to Queen Anne Road. He built three long sheds close together on Fort Lee Road. The family lived in these quarters until he built a house in 1916. The house, built behind the sheds, was in Bogota. The sheds were moved to Cresskill during World War I and used as barracks. He replaced the sheds with a large greenhouse.
Mr. Encke built up his greenhouse business with the aid of immigrants whom he met at the pier in New York. He used to grow mums, sweet peas and .other flowers and take them to the train station in Leonia after working all night picking and bunching the flowers. The whole family worked hard, but the children had a happy childhood. Later, when they had a good horse drove a wagon with boxed flowers to 28th St. in N.Y. Later they got their first car--an open air Chandler.
Miss Encke attended the little school on Fort Lee Road. Miss Howland, the teacher, knew how to handle children in all 8 grades. Rae DeGraw was in her class. She had a language problem when she started to school. At home they spoke Polish and German. Miss Encke taught in Teaneck schools for 35 years--the last 7 or 8 doing classroom testing.
She remembers the day they moved from the little school to the new Longfellow School. For a year they had had an extra teacher, Miss Taylor who taught the first four grades and Miss Howland the upper four. After eighth grade she went to Leonia High for four years, taking the trolley. After high school she worked briefly, but decided to go to Normal School in Trenton.
Her first job was in Cresskill. Her brother drove her to the Northern Valley Railroad in Leonia. She got off in Cresskill and walked to school.
Her father, who died at 93 in 1961, gave up the wholesale flower business in later years and converted to retail. Her mother died in 1947.