|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 3rd district
March 4, 1877 – March 3, 1879
|Preceded by||John S. Savage|
|Succeeded by||John A. McMahon|
|Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 5th district
January 6, 1862 – January 3, 1864
|Preceded by||John Quincy Smith|
|Succeeded by||John F. Patton|
|Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the Fayette County district
January 1, 1866 – January 5, 1868
|Preceded by||James Pursell|
|Succeeded by||Samuel F. Kerr|
January 30, 1830|
|Died||February 20, 1910
Washington Court House, Ohio
|Resting place||Washington Cemetery, Washington Court House, Ohio|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mills Gardner.|
Mills Gardner was born in Russellville, Ohio, the son of Seth Gardner, a captain in the War of 1812. He attended the public schools of Highland County, Ohio and Rankins academy at Ripley, Ohio. He clerked in a dry goods store for some years while reading the law with his uncle Judge Nelson Barrere of Hillsboro, Ohio who was the last Whig candidate for governor of Ohio. He relocated to Fayette County, Ohio in 1854 and was admitted to the bar in 1855, locating at Washington Court House, Ohio where he built up a large practice. He was prosecuting attorney of Fayette county for two terms (1855–1859).
Gardner was an original Republican, casting his first vote for John C. Fremont in 1856 and for every nominee of the Republican party for president after that until his death. He was elected on the Republican ticket to the Ohio Senate in 1861. In the re-election of Abraham Lincoln in 1864, Gardner was a presidential elector for Ohio.
During the Civil War, when the life of the Republican party and nation was at stake, Mills Gardner took an active and prominent part in rallying public opinion in behalf of the Union, and in exposing the opponents of the national administration, in particular Clement Vallandigham.
While a public servant, Mills Gardner nevertheless owned land in Washington Court House; in 1875, he sold a new city resident the south-side lot upon which the Jacob Light House was later constructed. Upon leaving office, he resumed the practice of law until his death at Washington Court House. He is interred there in Washington Cemetery.
- Owen, Lorrie K., ed. Dictionary of Ohio Historic Places. Vol. 1. St. Clair Shores: Somerset, 1999, 411.
- Mills Gardner at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Taylor, William A. Ohio in Congress from 1803 to 1901. Columbus, Ohio: The XX Century Publishing Company, 1901.
- History of the Republican Party in Ohio. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1898, 1579 pgs.
- Mills Gardner at Find a Grave