Harry Jacob Lemley

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Harry Jacob Lemley (August 6, 1883 – March 5, 1965) was a United States federal judge from Hope, Arkansas.

Born in Upperville, Virginia, Lemley received an LL.B. in 1910 from Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia. He was in private practice in Hope from 1912 to 1939. From 1931 to 1933, he was a member of the Arkansas State Highway Audit Commission.

On April 27, 1939, Lemley was nominated by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a new joint seat on the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Arkansas and the Western District of Arkansas created by 52 Stat. 584. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 8, 1939, and received his commission on May 11, 1939. He served as chief judge from 1948 to 1958.

Lemley was originally assigned to the 1957 Little Rock Integration Crisis. He granted the school board a two-year delay in the implementation of the desegregation order, but the decision was reversed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Lemley then retired from full-time judicial duties, and the desegregation case passed to Ronald N. Davies, a North Dakota jurist sent to Little Rock by the Eighth Circuit.[1]

Lemley assumed senior status on September 5, 1958, and served in that capacity until his death in 1965.


  1. ^ Osro Cobb, Osro Cobb of Arkansas: Memoirs of Historical Significance, Carol Griffee, ed., (Little Rock, Arkansas: Rose Publishing Company, 1989), pp. 259-261