The Teter Brothers of Pendleton County

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Lucky Teter and his Thrill Show "The Hell Drivers"

Ruth Teter was an interested and active member of the First United Methodist Church of Noblesville. When she died in August 1981 she was unmarried and had no close family. In her will she gave her 120 acre family farm to the First United Methodist Church with the request that it be developed into a church retreat and named in memory of the A.W. Teter family.

As a girl Ruth lived in the farm house. When her family moved into Noblesville, the Teter Farm was always a fun place to go for the two Teter children, Earl and Ruth. Ruth was an excellent piano player and accompanied several musical groups.

Ruth's brother Earl was two years older than she. In high school Earl was captain of the baseball team, and played basketball and football. As a young man her brother Earl ('Lucky') Teter was a race driver of both autos and motorcycles. He earned a wide reputation as a stunt driver with a group called 'Lucky' Teter's Hell Drivers. As former gas station attendant and weekend test driver, Lucky decided to try his hand at the thrill driving trade during the early 1930Ős. In 1934, Lucky assembled a small group of individuals and put his 'Hell Drivers' on the road. It was the first time the auto thrill show was conceived as a traveling attraction.

The show consisted of many of the same stunts already established by the Ward Beam thrill show, however the 'Hell Drivers' developed new events. Lucky added the precision driving of new automobiles over elevated ramps, reverse spins, and added stuntmen to the show acting as 'daredevil clowns'. By the late 1930's, Lucky had started performing a ramp to ramp jump over a large truck or transcontinental bus. It was this feat that took Lucky's life in 1942, in what was said to be his last performance before he was to join the Army during World War II.

Ruth worked for the Central Engineering Company of Indianapolis and over the years she became secretary-treasurer of the company. When she was sixty five years old, her employer said she was too important to retire, and she worked an extra ten years for them.

Her father, Arza Teter, who was well know and respected in the Noblesville area, died in 1959. Ruth's mother, Ada, lived to be eighty nine and died in 1969. After her mothers death, Ruth inherited the family farm. She talked at length with her pastor, Rev. Mark Blaising, about what would become of the possessions she had acquired in her lifetime. From those talks came the idea that her family farm should become a church retreat.

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