Biography of Hon. Harry C. Gahn
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

HON. HARRY C. GAHN. Dr. Louis F. and Esther (Knight) Gahn are the parents of this distinguished Ohioan ; the former was born in Columbus, Ohio, January 15, 1849, and is a son of Conrad and Mary (Artz) Gahn. The Gahn family came originally from the Isle of Man, the largest tract of land in the Irish Sea, and therefore were once British subjects. Originally the name was MacGahn, but the former part was dropped many years ago. At an early period they left the Isle of Man and located in Hesse, Germany, where both Conrad and his wife were born. There they grew to maturity, received the usual education, were married and soon afterward came to the United States, continuing eastward to Ohio, locating first in Cleveland for a short time, but finally settling on a farm in Sandusky County. Not contented with his occupation he at last rented his farm, and having made special study for that purpose entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for a period of fifty years was a circuit rider of that denomination. When old age approached he retired from the ministry and went back to his farm which he had retained and which in reality had been his home from the start.

In early life Dr. Louis F. Gahn attended the University of Michigan, but in order to graduate from a state college entered the Cincinnati Medical College from which he graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1874. His early training under the guidance of his illustrious father was thorough and efficient. He began the practice of his profession at Elmore, Ohio, and has thus been engaged ever since. During his early practice he covered all the section of country for many miles in and around Elmore and was obliged to keep two horses for riding and driving and Was so steadily employed that he sometimes was compelled to overwork his horses in emergency calls for medical service. He is a member of the Toledo and the Ohio State Medical societies and is a member of the Odd Fellows Fraternity.

His wife, Esther Knight, was born at Port Clinton, Ohio, June 19, 1850, and is the daughter of Immer and Eliza (Marion) Knight. It is claimed and is probably true that the Knights are members of the same Knight family that came over in the Mayflower. Three brothers of that name came over at a very early date, one remaining in New England, one going to the Southern seaboard and the other locating in Pennsylvania. From the latter state came Immer, one of the descendants of the Pennsylvania branch, who settled at Port Clinton, Ottawa County, where for many years he followed the occupation of cabinetmakers, mostly by hand. He died in mid life of pneumonia. His wife, Eliza, lived to be 93 years of age.

Hon. Harry C. Gahn grew up at Elmore and graduated there from the high school in 1897. Securing a certificate he taught school for three years, but in the fall of 1901 entered the literary department of the University of Michigan and there studied for one year when he entered the law department of the same university, completed the full course and was graduated in 1904 with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. The same year he was admitted to the bars of both Michigan and Ohio. He began the practice in Cleveland as an associate of the old law firm of Burton and Dake. He is now authorized to practice in all the courts of the United States. On March 6, 1923, on motion of Hon. Theodore E. Burton, he was admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court. As a lawyer who makes a hot fight for the interests of his clients he has attained a high reputation.

But his prominence and activity are not confined to the legal world. In 1909 he was elected a member of the Cleveland City Council and served as such continuously until 1921, when he resigned to take his seat in Congress. During 1918-19 he was president of the city council, and while thus serving was a member and secretary of the Cleveland River and Harbor Commission, first under the appointment of Mayor Herman Baehr and then under Mayor Newton D. Baker. In November, 1920, after the stirring and strenuous campaign of that eventful year, he was elected to Congress on the republican ticket from the Twenty first Ohio District. He has made his mark in Congress as well as in legal and municipal affairs. He served on the committees of Merchant Marine and War Claims. In 1923 he retired from Congress and resumed the practice of law in Cleveland.

He is a Mason and a Knight of Pythias and a member of the Western Reserve Republican Club and the City Club. On June 16, 1917, he married Grace Gerrard of Warren, Ohio, the daughter of Daniel W. and Mary J. (Culver) Gerrard.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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