By Clearfield County Historical Society especially for GANT News.
Artha Benson “Deacon” Litz was born in DuBois, Pa., in 1898. Litz spent many years as a stunt driver.
He started racing with his own home-made car on dirt tracks at county fairs soon after World War I. Deacon began his professional career in 1927 and appeared in the 1929 silent film, Speedway, as a racecar driver.
Litz was a star when the Dusenburg and Miller racing cars dominated the American tracks. He participated in many well-known races throughout his career, including the Indianapolis 500 and the Vanderbilt Cup.
His best finish at the Indianapolis 500 Speedway was placing fourth in 1934. He was a 12-time starter at the Indianapolis 500. Litz was inducted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1964.
He retired from the sport after his last Indianapolis 500 race in 1941. Litz was noted for being an excellent speaker regarding the sport of speedway racing after his retirement. Litz died in Daytona Beach, Fla., in 1967.