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GAHN, HARRY C.

GAHN, HARRY C. (26 Apr. 1880-2 Nov. 1962), lawyer, councilman, congressman, and public official, was born in Elmore, Ohio, to Dr. Louis and Esther Knight Gahn. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a LL.B. degree, and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1904, working with Wm. Patterson (1904-06) and with the law firm of THEODORE BURTON (1906-08), specializing in trial practice. In 1909, Gahn became legal counsel for the LEGAL AID SOCIETY, serving until 1912, while working in the law office of Harry Howell.

Elected from the 14th ward to the CLEVELAND CITY COUNCIL (1911-21), Gahn served as council president between 1918-19. As a member of the Cleveland River & Harbor Commission, 1911-21, he studied Cleveland harbor development, port administration, and the merchant marine, advocating public ownership of harbor facilities to make them the best on the Great Lakes so that when the St. Lawrence River became navigable to ocean vessels, Cleveland would become an important world seaport. In 1921, Gahn was elected to the U.S. Congress from Ohio's 21st district. Defeated for reelection in 1923, he returned to practicing law, especially handling estates and personal-injury cases. He became counsel for the Methodist Children's Home in Berea in 1913 and was president of the Cleveland Chevrolet Dealers' Assoc. (1924-37). In 1936, he became solicitor for the city of INDEPENDENCE, retiring after 20 years in 1956. Gahn married Grace Gerrard in June 1917. They were divorced in 1929. He had 2 daughters, Marjorie and May.


Harry C. Gahn Scrapbook, WRHS.