Hon. A. E. L. Gardner, lawyer and lawmaker, representing the twenty-fifth senatorial district in the upper house of the general assembly, makes his home in Kirkwood but practices in Clayton and is also a representative of some of the more important corporations of St. Louis. He was born at Millersport, Ohio, December 4, 1867, and is a son of Thomas W. and Maria (Lindsey) Gardner, who were also natives of the Buckeye state. The father was engaged in mercantile business in Lancaster, Ohio, for many years and in 1879 came to Missouri, settling in Sedalia, where he engaged in merchandising to the time of his retirement from active business. He was a veteran of the Civil war, serving as a captain in the Ninetieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He lived to the advanced age of eighty-eight years, while his wife passed away at the age of seventy-six.
Their son, A. E. L. Gardner, was educated in the public schools of Sedalia, Missouri, including the high school. Determining to take up the practice of law, he entered Lewis College at Glasgow, Missouri, where he concentrated his efforts and attention upon preparation for the bar and was graduated with the B. L. degree in the class of 1889. He then entered the Missouri State University and won the LL. B. degree with the class of 1891.
Mr. Gardner located for practice in St. Louis county in 1901, opening an office in Clayton and establishing his home in Kirkwood. He engages in general civil practice of a most important character and represents a number of the largest corporations of St. Louis, being regarded as a most able corporation lawyer. He was awarded the first prize for the best thesis in the,law department of the University of Missouri. Throughout his life he has been a close and discriminating student of the principles of law and delves thoroughly into every question which he deems a matter of individual or of public concern.
On the 26th of December, 1894, Mr. Gardner was married to Miss Adelaide Finley of Joplin, Missouri, and to them have been born two daughters, Marian and Lucille, the former now Mrs. Herbert Hausman. Mrs. Gardner and her daughters are members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Gardner has membership relations with Maplewood Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and the Knights Templar Commandery of St. Louis. He is also connected with Maplewood Lodge of the Knights of Pythias and is a member of the Kirkwood Club and of the Beta Theta Pi, a university fraternity. His political allegiance has always been given to the republican party and in 1900 he was elected to the state, legislature, in which he has served continuously since, remaining a member of the lower house for four years, while for the past sixteen years he has represented his district in the state senate. Thus for two entire decades he has been active in framing the laws of Missouri and has left the impress of his individuality upon much beneficial legislation, seeking at all times the public good, and with practical knowledge of conditions, needs and opportunities has rendered valuable service to the commonwealth; and a recognition of this fact on the part of the public is shown in his continued reelections to the general assembly.