U.S. Representative from Ohio 1877-1879, Attorney, and Politician. Mills Gardner left school at age 14 at which time he was employed in a dry goods store as a clerk. At the same time he was studying law at night with his uncle the Hon. Nelson Barrere of Hillsboro (the last Whig candidate for governor of Ohio). In 1855 he passed the bar and was elected the prosecuting attorney of Fayette County where he served two terms from 1855-1859. Gardner was a loyal 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 also a devout member of and leader in of the Methodist Episcopal church. In 1857, he married Margarett Morrow. He served in the Ohio State Senate in 1862-63. He enjoys the distinction of having voted three times for Abraham Lincoln for President, twice as a citizen and once in the Electoral College of 1864. He was a member of the Ohio State House of Representatives 1866-7. In 1872, he was elected to the Constitutional Convention of the State. In 1876, he was a member of the National Republican Convention which nominated Rutherford B. Hayes for President. That was also the year he was elected a member to the Forty-fifth Congress from the Third District of Ohio. He had two published speeches "Repeal of the resumption clause.": Nov. 7, 1877 and "The presidential title -- any attempt to disturb it unconstitutional and revolutionary": May 29, 1878. His seat while in Congress was between James Garfield and William McKinley. He did not stand for re-election after his term in Congress, and spent the rest of his life in his Washington Court House home where he was a president of a National Bank and a practicing attorney. His wife predeceased him as did five of their children who all died at a week of diphtheria. He was survived by his two daughters Gertrude and Edith Hortense Mills.
Bio by: RosalieAnn