Josiah Alexander Van Orsdel

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Josiah Alexander Van Orsdel
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
In office
November 14, 1907 – August 7, 1937
Appointed by Theodore Roosevelt
Preceded by Louis E. McComas
Associate Justice of the Wyoming Supreme Court
In office
Personal details
Born (1860-11-17)November 17, 1860
New Bedford, Pennsylvania
Died August 7, 1937(1937-08-07) (aged 76)
Washington, D.C.
Alma mater Westminster College
Van Orsdel's former residence in Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.

Josiah Alexander Van Orsdel (November 17, 1860 – August 7, 1937) was a United States federal judge.

Born in New Bedford, Pennsylvania, Van Orsdel received an A.B. from Westminster College in 1885 and read law to enter the bar in 1890. He became a county and prosecuting attorney of Laramie County, Wyoming in 1892, and a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives in 1894. He was the state attorney general of Wyoming from 1898 to 1905. He was then an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Wyoming from 1905 to 1906. He was an assistant to the U.S. Attorney General from 1906 to 1907.

On November 14, 1907, Van Orsdel received a recess appointment from President Theodore Roosevelt to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated by Louis E. McComas. Formally nominated on December 3, 1907, Van Orsdel was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 12, 1907, and received his commission the same day. Van Orsdel served in that capacity until his death, in 1937.

Van Orsdel joined the Sons of the American Revolution (District of Columbia Society) in May 1921, serving as President of the D.C. Society from 1924 to 1925, National Vice President General from 1925 to 1927, and President General from 1930 to 1931 and again in 1932, filling the vacancy caused by the death of his successor, Benjamin Newhall Johnson.


Legal offices
Preceded by
Louis E. McComas
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Succeeded by
Justin Miller