Archibald K. Gardner

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For 19th century western pioneer, see Archibald Gardner.

Archibald K. Gardner (December 3, 1867 - January 21, 1962) was a United States federal judge.

Gardner was born in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. In 1892, he received an A.B. from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. The following year, he procured an LL.B. from that same institution. From 1893 to 1895, he was engaged in the private practice of law in Greenfield in Dade County in southwestern Missouri.From 1895 to 1897, he practiced in Rapid City, South Dakota, where he was the city attorney from 1897 until 1904. He was thereafter from 1907 to 1929 the general attorney for the South Dakota division of the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company.

On April 18, 1929, U.S. President Herbert Hoover nominated Gardner to a new seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, created by 45 Stat. 1346.

Gardner was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 23, 1929, and received his commission on May 23, 1929. He served as chief judge of the Eighth Circuit from 1948 to 1959. In 1957, Gardner assigned Ronald N. Davies of North Dakota to preside over the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was Davies whose orders led to the Little Rock Integration Crisis in which then Governor Orval Faubus made a vain attempt to stop the desegregation of Central High School in the Arkansas capital city.[1]

Gardner assumed senior status on September 30, 1960, and thereafter served until his death in Huron in Beadle County in eastern South Dakota.


  1. ^ Osro Cobb, Osro Cobb of Arkansas: Memoirs of Historical Significance, Carol Griffee, ed. (Little Rock, Arkansas: Rose Publishing Company, 1989), p. 180
Legal offices
Preceded by
Newly created seat
Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
May 23, 1929 – September 30, 1960
Succeeded by
Albert Alphonso Ridge