Niagara County

1897 Biography - Hiram Gardner

Gardner, Hon. Hiram, was born in Dutchess county, N. Y., January 8, 1800. As a young man he began the study of law in the Rensselaerville (N. Y.) Academy, later in New York city, and was admitted to the New York State bar in 1822, then came to Lockport and practiced his chosen profession, being called to fill the position of county judge of Niagara county. He married Sarah A., daughter of Asahel Scovell, of Orwell, Vt. Returning to Lockport, he resumed the duties of his large practice and was afterwards elected to the Assembly and served a term as canal commissioner of the State of New York. He was afterward re-elected to the office of judge of Niagara county, resigning that office in January, 1874. Mr. Gardner was one of Lockport's representative citizens, a man who through life ever advanced the best interests of his fellow men. At his death, March 13, 1874, all business places were closed, an honor which has occurred but twice in the history of the city. Of him it may well be written "An honest man is the noblest work of God."

Hiram Gardner was born in Dutchess county, N. Y., February 9, 1800. He carved out his own fortune with his own hands. After pursuing his academical studies as far as circumstances would permit, in 1818 he became a student of law in Rensselaerville, where he studied about two years, and removed to New York, where he finished his law course. In 1822, about a year after he began to practice in the lower courts, he was admitted as a practitioner in the Supreme Court. In October of the same year he came to Lockport. The next year he was appointed to the office of justice of the peace, and in his official capacity he took cognizance of nearly all the business transacted in the Court of Common Pleas. In 1825 he was appointed associate judge of the Court of Common Pleas. In 1827 he was appointed Supreme Court commissioner, and was admitted as a master in chancery. In 1831 he was appointed surrogate, which office he held for five years, and then resigned it that he might represent his district in the State Legislature, to which position he had already been elected. In 1845 he was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention which revised the second and framed the third State constitution. In 1847 he was elected county judge and surrogate; in 1858 canal commissioner for the term of three years. In the fall of 1868 he was appointed to the office of county judge to supply a vacancy and was elected in November, 1869, to the same position. Judge Gardner was for more than half a century a legal practitioner, and his conspicuous ability and talent were successfully directed to the elevation of the judicial office and of the legal profession. He was not a politician. His ideas of political honor were of the most elevated character, and though holding public offices more than twenty-five years, he never sought official preferment or solicited the vote of any man. Judge Gardner's benevolence, and devotion to the interests and prosperity of Lockport during his fifty years of citizenship, endeared him to the entire community. In the church he was a pillar of strength, reflecting in his life the beauty and power of Christianity. He died at his residence on Niagara street March 13, 1874.

Contributed 01 Oct 2017 by Lisa Slaski from Landmarks of Niagara County, New York, by William Pool, D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, NY, 1897

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