Elarka Towne Hakanson - Miss Ohio 1925-1926

10322 Lake Shore Boulevard
Elarke Towne Hakanson 1925
Elarke Towne Hakanson 1925

Elarka Towne was born on February 14, 1914. She studied drama at the University of Iowa and then attended Ithaca College of Music in New York. She studied shorthand and typing at Spencerian College in Cleveland.

In 1925 and 1926, Elarka was Miss Ohio in a beauty contest sponsored by the Conneaut News-Herald. She was elected auditor of Conneaut in 1933 and served two years.

Early in her career, Elarka had been manager of the Fredonia Censor, a newspaper in Fredonia, New York, and had worked for Scripps-Howard there.

She had been a secretary in the show department of Wilding Inc in 1963 until the business that produced industrial and sales films closed. She retired in 1981 as a secretary in the business and finance department of Cleveland State University.

Elarka’s hobby was genealogy, and she belonged to the Society of New England Women and the Society of Mayflower Descendants. She was president of the Cleveland alumnae chapter and province director of Gamma Phi Beta social sorority.

Elarka Towne married Richard Hakanson and had a son, Harwood, born on November 16, 1943, and a daughter Elarka Sarah (Yuen), born on November 6, 1947. Both attended Bratenahl School.

Richard graduated from Conneaut High School. He attended the University of Pittsburgh, Kent State Normal Extension classes, Western Reserve University, and Walton School of Commerce in Chicago.

At one time, he worked in the field of municipal bonds, specializing in Ohio issues, working with officials of many governmental subdivisions completing various details necessary to make their obligations legally enforceable.

Hakanson ran for the Bratenahl Village council but defeated in the November 1961 election.

He was a professional photographer, distinguished in his field, a member of several honorary societies of photographers, and the winner of several awards of achievement as a forensic photographer. Richard was active in theatre and a member of the Hermit Club. He lost in a run for the Bratenahl council in 1961.

Elarka Towne Hakanson died at her Bratenahl home on January 24, 1982, after a three-year illness with cancer.

After her death, Richard attempted to find his old friend Madge Skelly through her college alumni association. He was successful and went to see her at her home in St. Louis. They were married several weeks later in 1983.