Harry Dane was born in Sandusky, Ohio in 1871 to George W. Dane and his wife, the former Maria Robinson Blanchard.
In August of 1900 an article in the Sandusky Star told of Harry Dane’s bravery in rescuing a young lady who had fallen in the waters of Sandusky Bay after slipping between the dock at Cedar Point and the Andrew Wehrle steamer. The article stated that the Harry Dane and Mabel Marks may have drowned, had it not been for the combination of “rare good fortune, heroism and skill.”
During World War I, Harry Dane served as clerk of the Erie County Draft Board. After the war, from 1919 until 1940, he was the chief deputy clerk of Erie County Probate Court, working under Judge John Ray, Judge John Tanney, and Judge John Baxter. During his years as clerk of the Court, Mr. Dane issued hundreds of marriage licenses. June was often busy for Erie County Probate Court with June brides; in 1931, he issued four marriage licenses on the first day of June. An article in the August 2, 1938 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that at one point during the renovation of the Erie County Courthouse, Harry Dane was the only employee of Probate Court to be still working. The headline read “Harry Dane Does Duty for Cupid,” since he was available to issue marriage licenses in spite of the construction and renovation work being done at that time.
|What the Erie County Courthouse looked like when Harry Dane began working at Probate Court|
|The Courthouse as it looked at the end of his career|
In spite of the fact that Harry Dane never owned a boat, he was a longtime member of the Sandusky Yacht Club, and served on its Board of Trustees. After his sudden death on May 20, 1940, the members of the Yacht Club paid tribute to Mr. Dane. An article in the June 11, 1940 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal read in part,
“Harry B. Dane was undoubtedly the oldest member of the Sandusky Yacht Club, from the standpoint of years of continuous affiliation. Not even the oldest records still in existence go back to the time when he first became a member…Always modest and unassuming, Harry never aspired to wear a commodore’s stars, but no man gave more years of work and efficient service to yachting in general and the Sandusky Yacht Club in particular than he. For years he served as its secretary and treasurer, and did much to keep aglow the very feeble spark of life which alone remained of the club following the tornado of June 28, 1924. He was a member of the Board of Trustees for so many years that the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, and his counsel and advice were always sincere, and usually right. That he was able to live to see the present strong and virile club spring phoenix-like from the ashes of old was, we know, a source of great happiness and satisfaction to him. And so his surviving shipmates, fellow members and friends of the Sandusky Yacht Club, pause for a moment in silent mediation, while eight bells are sounding slowly on the night air, and give thanks that they have been privileged to know such a true yachtsman and sportsman as Harry Dane. While the burgee of the Sandusky Yacht Club flies, he will not be forgotten.”
On May 21, 1940, the flag at the Courthouse was flown at half-staff in memory of Harry Dane. Funeral services for Mr. Dane were held at the Keller Funeral Home, and burial was at Oakland Cemetery. Officers of the Sandusky Yacht Club served as pallbearers at the funeral service.