Harry Harkness
Photo courtesy of Bill Spink Collins, 4-8-04

  Harry Harkness
Harry Harkness
Auto Racing
Harry's Yacht

  Harry's Steinway
Harry's Steinway

Harry S. Harkness Dies of Influenza
Owner of the Sheepshead Bay Speedway Was Son of Late Standard Oil Man, Yachtsman and Aviator, He Sued the Government for $401,250 for Loss of Wakiva II., Said to Have Sunk Submarines
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 7-24-09
Harry S. Harkness, only son of the late Lamon V. Harkness, one of the biggest stockholders in the Standard Oil Company, from whom he inherited a large fortune, died last night at his home, 270 Park Avenue, of influenza. He was 38 years old.

Mr. Harkness was President of the Harkness Estates, Inc., and was owner of the Sheepshead Bay Speedway. He was President of the Sheepshead Bay Corporation from its organization until 1916, when he resigned, and on May 2, 1917, he bought the property under a foreclosure sale for $1,300,000.

Harry Harkness formerly owned the U. S. S. Yacht Wakiva II., which was sunk in European waters in May of last year in a collision with a navy cargo carrier. It was said last night that the yacht had sunk three German submarines. In February of last year, Mr. Harkness filed suit in the United States Court of Claims, Washington, for $401,250, which he asserted was the difference between the real and appraised value of his yacht, which was taken over by the Navy Department. The Government appraised the vessel at $265,000, of which amount Mr. Harkness accepted 75 per cent, in part payment and then entered suit for the remaining $401,250, which he claimed should have been paid. The vessel was appraised four times by the Government before the price was fixed.

Mr. Harkness was the holder of many automobile records and was also an amateur aviator of note. In September, 1910, he had a narrow escape from death when his Antionette monoplane crashed to the ground with him at the Mineola Aviation field. Mr. Harkness was elected President of the National Speedway Association in 1916. In September of last year Mr. Harkness, who was then living at the Hotel St. Regis, was sworn in as a Colonel in the Police Reserves, and served on the staff of Special Deputy Police Commissioner Rodman Wanamaker.

With his sisters, Mrs. Myrtle Macomber and Mrs. Lela Edwards, Mr. Harkness inherited a large share of the $150,000,000 estate left by his father.

Mr. Harkness was twice married. His first wife, Misa Marie M. Marbeck, he married in 1906 and divorced in 1916. His second wife, who survives, was Mrs. Florence Steuber Gaines of Erle, Penn., a daughter of Louis Steuber, a shipbuilder. She divorced her first husband only a short time before her marriage to Mr. Harkness.

Died - Harkness, - Harry S., aged 38, beloved husband of Florence S. Harkness and only son of the late L.V. Harkness, at his residence, 270 Park Ave., at 7:45 P.M., Jan. 23, 1919, at 11 o'clock. Notice of funeral hereafter.

Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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