histsocseal.gif Historical Society News
The present is the living sum-total of the whole past - Thomas Carlyle

The Historical Society of the United States Courts
in the Eighth Circuit

Volume Ten 2005

Judicial Ethics and the Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth Circuit

Historical Society Celebrates Its 20th Year!
Branch Activities

History of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

State and Federal Court Historical Societies Meeting

Eighth Circuit Court Archives

Wall of Honor

First All-Woman District Court Panel

Blackmun Contributions to History: Papers and Oral History

Portrait Ceremonies:

Hon. Theodore McMillian
Hon. Pasco M. Bowman II
Hon. David R. Hansen
Hon. Stephen M. Reasoner

Courtroom Dedication: Hon. G. Thomas Eisele

Ceremony of Honor: Hon. John F. Nangle

In Memoriam

Historical Society Board of Directors


Judicial Ethics and the Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth Circuit

By Richard G. Kopf,
President of the Society and United States District Judge
September 14, 2005

On June 30, 2004, the Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Conference of the United States issued Advisory Opinion No. 104. That opinion addressed court historical societies and the ethical strictures that apply to federal judges and court employees who are involved in such entities.

The Problem

We interpreted Advisory Opinion No. 104 to mean that our Society should not be controlled, or appear to be controlled, by the related courts, judges or staff. This brief report will outline the steps that have been or will be taken to insure compliance with Advisory Opinion No. 104.

The Solution

Initially, the officers and executive committee members studied and debated the issues raised by Advisory Opinion No. 104. After that, we consulted with Chief Judge Loken and his advisor on Society matters, Judge Morris S. Arnold. Following that consultation, we conferred with the chief district judges for each of the district courts in the Eighth Circuit. Then we adopted a plan of action.

That plan of action is summarized below:

● Because Advisory Opinion No. 104 was issued in the summer of 2004 and no regularly scheduled meeting of the board of directors was scheduled until 2005 (due to the "every other year" schedule for the Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference), bylaw changes were deferred until the next regular board meeting. Therefore, on October 20, 2005, during the Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference, the board of directors of the Society will consider the following bylaw changes:

* Dilute the voting power of judges on the board of directors such that judges who are board members do not have actual or effective voting control. Notwithstanding the dilution of voting power, and to promote active judicial support of the Society, we will continue to require that a judge from every court (branch) serve as a director.

* Except for the position of chairman of the board, preclude judges from serving as officers of the Society. The chairman's duties are ceremonial. The primary officers of the Society are the president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer.

* Except for the position of secretary, preclude court employees from serving as officers of the Society. In the interim, all of the duties of the treasurer have been transferred from Ann Fessenden, the Circuit Librarian, to the capable stewardship of Sheila Greenbaum, a practicing lawyer in St. Louis. We hope and expect that Ann Fessenden (or her successor) will continue to serve as secretary.

* Preclude any court employee from serving as director of the Society.

* Preclude any court employee from serving as an officer of any branch, including, but not limited to, the office of branch treasurer.

● While the Society will continue to use the Court of Appeals' web site, we will add a strong disclaimer emphasizing the independence of the Society.

● We have changed the Society's mailing address to a post-office box independent of the courts; that is, P.O. Box 595, St. Louis, MO 63188.


Assuming that the Society's bylaws are amended as contemplated, we are confident that the Society, and interested judges and staff, will be in compliance with Advisory Opinion No. 104. In short, we intend to preserve the Society, but also insure that all ethical requirements pertinent to federal judges and staff are satisfied.

Historical Society Celebrates Its 20th Year!

balloons.gif The Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth Circuit was incorporated in 1985, under the leadership of then Chief Circuit Judge Donald P. Lay, as a not-for-profit entity whose mission is to preserve and celebrate the rich history of the federal courts of the seven states that make up the Eighth Circuit. The Society has a parent organization and 11 subordinate branches, one for the court of appeals and each district in the Eighth Circuit. This structure allows each branch to act as a local historical society but report to the parent organization.

Over the 20 years of the Historical Society’s existence, the branches have engaged in a wide variety of activities to further the Society’s mission, and those efforts continue today. The many wonderful projects over the years have included developing oral and written histories, creating exhibits, preparing publications, sponsoring essay contests, reenacting famous trials, and designing learning centers. Here are the exciting projects that the branches are working on now:

Branch Activities 2003-2005

Court of Appeals
The Appeals branch is nearing completion of its project to publish a written history of the Eighth Circuit. (See article on page 4 of this newsletter.) In 2004, the branch completed transfer of the Dillon Essay Competition at the University of Iowa College of Law to the John F. Dillon Inn of Court in Davenport, Iowa. The Dillon Inn will now be the sponsor of this project.

Arkansas Eastern and Western
The Eastern and Western Districts continue work on the biographical essay project, with 16 of the 17 essays turned in. When all of the essays are completed, the essays will be edited in preparation for publication.

Iowa Southern


The video oral history interviews of Magistrate Judge Richard Peterson and Bankruptcy Judges Russell Hill and Richard Stageman have been completed. Branch President Richard Lyford has worked with Judge Hill to get his portrait completed. President Lyford and Marc Harding are assisting the Friends of the Iowa Judiciary in the oral history interviews of former Chief Justices W. Ward Reynoldson and Arthur A. McGiverin, and Justices K. David Harris and Louis W. Schultz.

The branch commissioned an artist to design a poster, Where Justice Resides, depicting each of the current federal courthouses in the Eighth Circuit. The very attractive 20 X 28 poster is available for $25, including shipping, from the Historical Society’s Southern District of Iowa.

Missouri Eastern
The branch has been very active with several subcommittees working on various projects.
The video interviews group has prepared a questionnaire for submission to each senior and retired judge. After appropriate research has been completed, a professional quality video will be produced for each qualified judge. The publication subcommittee has been contacting potential authors to write a book on the history of the district. The notable cases subcommittee is researching to identify 20 of the most significant cases generated in the Eastern District. The education center subcommittee is working on plans for the learning center in the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis. The architecture of courthouses and the famous personalities subcommittees will compile information for use by both the publication and education center subcommittees.

Missouri Western
The branch's main goal is development of an interactive and part-traditional museum on the second public floor of the Kansas City courthouse. Several proposed architectural renderings have been completed, and the Society has formed two fund-raising committees to begin raising the $350,000 - $400,000 it will take to fund and maintain such a project.

The Nebraska Branch annually presents the Van Pelt History Prize for the best paper on a matter of legal significance submitted by an undergraduate or law student at any of Nebraska's colleges, universities, or law schools. In 2003, the reach of the Van Pelt History Prize was expanded to include high school students participating in the state finals of "Nebraska History Day," which is the state competition in the National History Day contest. The winner of the Van Pelt Prize in 2004 was Chavonn Davis, representing Loup County High School at Taylor, Nebraska. Ms. Davis made a dramatic presentation about Frances Farmer, a movie star incarcerated against her will in a mental hospital in the State of Washington during the 1930's. The presentation included full stage make-up. Efforts by reformers ultimately led to the passage of the federal Mental Health Act of 1983 which makes it unlawful to restrict the liberty of the mentally ill without due process. Work on the written Nebraska history continues. The author, Dr. John Wunder, will now be assisted by a former lawyer who has recently completed his Ph.D.

South Dakota
The branch is investigating conducting oral history interviews with Judges Andrew Bogue, John Jones, and Richard Battey in conjunction with the University of South Dakota. Their oral history spans a 35-year period of the history of our court. In addition, the branch continues to sell paperweight replicas of the historic Sioux Falls courthouse.

History of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Thomas H. Boyd, Esq.
Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

At long last, the full-length written history of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has been completed and is undergoing the publication process.

This written history is a project that has been developed through the Court of Appeals Branch of the Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth Circuit. The Historical Society is a Missouri not-for-profit corporation qualified for 501(c)(3) status.

Several years ago, the Court of Appeals Branch engaged Professor Jeffrey B. Morris of the Touro Law School to write a full-length history of the Eighth Circuit. Professor Morris is a highly accomplished legal historian who has published 15 books, including Calmly to Poise the Scales of Justice; A History of the Courts of the District of Columbia Circuit, and Federal Justice in the Second Circuit.

Professor Morris’ history of the Eighth Circuit will be published by the University of Minnesota Press. The Court of Appeals Branch expects the publication process to be completed and the book will be available sometime next year.

The book is tentatively entitled, Establishing Justice in Middle America, and is made up of seven chapters that cover various eras of the Court. The Honorable William H. Webster has been kind enough to write the forward to the book.

In order to complete this project, the Court of Appeals Branch is still in the process of raising additional funds. Toward this end, it has been seeking support from law firms located in the various states throughout the Circuit.

For further information regarding Professor Morris’ history of the Eighth Circuit, feel free to contact Tom Boyd at 612-604-6505 or tboyd@winthrop.com.

State and Federal Court Historical Societies Meeting

The Eighth Circuit Historical Society hosted the 2004 annual meeting of the State and Federal Court Historical Societies, a national organization which seeks to promote court historical activities. The meeting was held in St. Louis from September 30 to October 2, 2004. This group meets annually in conjunction with the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH). Events, all held in the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse, included an opening reception, a day of programs, and a tour. Senior Judge Edward L. Filippine, Eastern District of Missouri, led the tour and served as keynote speaker for the State and Federal Court Historical Societies' AASLH luncheon. Ann Fessenden, Circuit Librarian, and Joan Voelker, Archives Librarian, served on the planning group for local arrangements and program and spoke on a panel discussing the role of librarians in court historical programs. Appeals Branch President Tom Boyd secured a donation from the St. Louis law firm of Historical Society board member Ann Buckley, Armstrong Teasdale LLP, for the reception.

Eighth Circuit Court Archives

The U.S. Courts Library Eighth Circuit serves as the repository of the Court Archives. As such, the library collects, organizes, and preserves material documenting the history of all the federal courts and judges in the Eighth Circuit. Typical materials relate to judicial biography and ceremonies (investitures, portrait ceremonies, memorials), court history, and courthouses.1


The archives collection is located in the headquarters library’s archives and rare books room on the 22nd floor of the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri. The archives room has a temperature, humidity, and light controlled environment, and materials are stored in acid-free housing in order to preserve the life of the collection. Materials are cataloged, so they may be searched in the library’s online catalog, WebCat.

The library is the official repository of archival materials for the Court of Appeals and the recommended repository for all the other federal courts in the Eighth Circuit. While courts and branch libraries may wish to collect historic materials for local access, the recommended practice is to make a copy for local collections, when feasible, and send the original material to the St. Louis library for preservation in the Court Archives.

Because the Eighth Circuit is one of the few circuits to have an archives program with an organized collection, environmentally controlled room, and archives librarian, the Court Archives will be the subject of a FJTN Court to Court program scheduled for January, 2006.

Circuit Librarian Ann Fessenden is curator of the collection, and Joan Voelker is the Archives Librarian. For more information about the Court Archives, contact Joan at 314-244-2671. To contribute to the Court Archives, send materials to: Attn: Archives, U.S. Courts Library 8th Circuit, 111 S. 10th Street, Room 22.300, St. Louis, MO 63102.

1Official case files are not collected; non-current case files are sent by the courts to the National Archives.

Wall of Honor
Dana McWay, Clerk of U.S. Bankruptcy Court,
Eastern District of Missouri

Many categories of people work within the Judiciary and contribute to its success. As an institution, the Judiciary typically memorializes individual contributions of the many judges who have interpreted the law by placing portraits of judges throughout courthouses in the nation. Two groups who are not ordinarily recognized in a tangible way in a courthouse are chambers and clerk’s office staff. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri decided to change that practice by creating a Wall of Honor as a physical remembrance of the two groups’ contributions.

Located within nonpublic space in the Thomas F. Eagleton courthouse, the Wall of Honor is a commemorative wall plaque listing individual names of staff who have retired from or died while in service to the Court. The Wall serves the dual purposes of honoring former staff members while at the same time communicating to current staff that they too will be remembered in the future for their years of service. The overriding theme throughout the project is that the judges and the court as a whole value the contribution of court staff and recognize that these contributions are part of the foundation supporting the court today.


Several factors were considered in physically creating the Wall. The approach of low cost, low tech, and low maintenance was paramount throughout the project. Second, it needed to incorporate the architectural elements of the courthouse into the design. Third, the court needed to be able to add to it over time as additional employees retired. Finally, it needed to convey sufficient gravitas to all who view it. We at the Eastern District of Missouri believe that we have addressed each of these factors. A picture of the Wall of Honor reflects how these factors materialized into physical form.

The Court dedicated the Wall of Honor at a ceremony in April of 2005, and the ceremony is the subject of a Court-to-Court program to be broadcast on the Federal Judicial Television Network (FJTN) in October of 2005. Information about this project can be obtained from Dana McWay, Clerk of Court, at (314) 244-4601 or dana_mcway@ca8.uscourts.gov.


First All-Woman District Court Panel

On September 4, 2002, then-Chief Circuit Judge David Hansen appointed Circuit Judge Diana Murphy, Judge Joan N. Ericksen of the District of Minnesota, and Judge Karen E. Schreier of the District of South Dakota, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2284(b)(1), to hear the Voting Rights Acts case of Quick Bear Quiver v. Hazeltin, Civ. 02-5069. This was the first all-woman district court panel to serve in the Eighth Circuit.

The judges were chosen by random drawing from all of the active district and circuit judges within the Eighth Circuit. It is probable that this is the first three-judge district court panel consisting entirely of women. A hearing was held before the three judges on April 26 in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Blackmun Contributions to History: Papers and Oral History
Joan Voelker, Archives Librarian

After serving the cause of justice throughout his career, Justice Blackmun served the cause of history. He left us with both an extensive chambers paper collection and oral history interview. In a New York Times book review for Linda Greenhouse’s Becoming Justice Blackmun, Laura Kalman writes, “IF there is a special place in heaven for those considerate of the claims of history, Justice Harry Blackmun deserves a spot. Some justices destroy their papers....But Blackmun...kept everything....”

On March 4, 2004, the Library of Congress opened Justice Harry A. Blackmun’s papers to researchers, journalists, and the general public. March 4 was the fifth anniversary of the Justice’s death and the date he had selected for full and unrestricted access to his papers.


The papers’ release was eagerly awaited by scholars and journalists such as Tony Mauro of the Legal Times who predicted the papers would be “an unprecedented treasure trove of inside information about the Supreme Court.” Indeed, the Blackmun papers have drawn the curtain on the mysterious Court. Known as a “pack rat,” Blackmun kept everything from hotel receipts to notes exchanged on the bench to judicial opinions. His papers have provided insight into the inner workings of the Court as an institution and into the interactions of the justices as colleagues and as humans. The papers reveal information on such fascinating topics as the Roe v. Wade decision; the deteriorating relationship between himself and Chief Justice Warren Burger, his childhood friend from St. Paul; humor in the Court; deliberations over important issues such as school prayer; and Blackmun’s shift against the death penalty.

The collection spans the years of 1913 to 2001 and contains 530,800 items occupying 1,585 containers and 630 linear feet. The bulk of the collection documents his years on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

The entire collection is available for viewing in person at the Library of Congress’ Manuscript Division Reading Room in Washington, D.C. The 257-page finding aid is available on the Library of Congress web site at http://www.loc.gov/rr/mss/blackmun/.

The United States Court of Appeals series, 1934-1998, highlighted in this article, covers his years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, 1959-1970. This series occupies approximately 38 containers and includes:

• Correspondence, 1959-1970: largely personal interests and activities
• Administrative File, 1959-1970: appointment books, chronological file, court calendars documenting Blackmun’s personal and official schedule while a circuit judge; includes some correspondence regarding scheduling and administrative matters
• Administrative Panel File, 1968-1969: documents related to Blackmun’s six months of service on the administrative panel
• Case Files, 1953-1971: includes slip opinions (when present), correspondence and memoranda, opinions, miscellaneous papers, oral argument notes, and clippings.... Most of the case file correspondence is between Blackmun and his fellow judges, court clerks, and staff of the West Publishing Company.
• Subject File, 1934-1998: relates to Blackmun’s administrative and professional duties as a circuit judge and contains material documenting his appointment to the court, work with various judicial conferences, attendance at professional meetings, friendship with Warren E. Burger, recruitment of Minnesota students for Harvard University, and his committee service with the United Methodist Publishing House. Also includes Blackmun’s speeches and writings while a circuit judge.

The Blackmun Papers contain other materials of special interest to the Eighth Circuit. The Pre-Judicial File, 1913-1996, includes diaries covering his work as a law clerk for U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit Judge John B. Sanborn during the years of 1932-1933, as well as correspondence with Judge Sanborn. General correspondence in the Supreme Court File includes letters from friends and colleagues from his early career in Minnesota, and figured prominently among these correspondents is U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Myron H. Bright. The Subject File within the Supreme Court File also includes materials related to Justice Blackmun’s attendance at Eighth Circuit judicial conferences, and the Addition File, 1959-2001, includes daughter Sally Blackmun’s tribute given during the dedication of the Harry A. Blackmun Rotunda in St. Louis’ Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse.

Oral History
Justice Blackmun agreed to 38 hours of interviews with Harold Hongju Koh, Yale law professor and former law clerk to Justice Blackmun. The interviews were conducted at the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal Judicial Center, from July 6, 1994 to December 13, 1995. The 38 videos and the comprehensive transcript have been made available on the Library of Congress’ public web site (http://www.loc.gov/rr/mss/blackmun/) within the last year. A copy of the transcript is also available in the U.S. Courts Library Eighth Circuit.

According to the Library of Congress’ web site, the oral history transcript provides “a personal account of Blackmun's life from his youth through his career on the United States Supreme Court, including his years as a student at Harvard University, a lawyer in private practice in Minneapolis, Minnesota, resident counsel for the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Association, and judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.”

Bench and Bar: Please remember to contribute to history by preserving your private papers and donating them to an archival institution.

Portrait Ceremonies

Hon. Theodore McMillian

Photo by Wiley Price, St. Louis American

On September 10, 2003, approximately 400 people gathered to honor U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Theodore McMillian for the presentation of his portrait. The ceremony was held as a special en banc session of the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis. The proceedings were held in the Court of Appeals en banc courtroom on the 28th floor and were viewed via closed circuit television in the 27th and 3rd floor courtrooms, the lst floor jury assembly room, and the 22nd floor multipurpose room.

In attendance were family, friends, current and former law clerks, and judges from all levels of the Eighth Circuit federal courts and the Missouri state courts. Chief U.S. Circuit Judge James B. Loken presided over the portrait ceremony, and Gentry Sayad, a former law clerk, served as master of ceremonies.

Judge McMillian was the first African American to sit on the benches of the St. Louis City Circuit Court, 22nd Judicial District; the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District; and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He was the first African American appointed to the federal bench in the seven states of the Eighth Circuit.

During his fifty years of judicial service, Judge McMillian has impressed his colleagues and the legal community with his intelligence, objectivity, diligence, compassion, and dignity, as was evidenced by the speakers’ testimonies on his character and career. Speakers included Ann Carter Stith, Missouri Supreme Court Judge Joseph J. Simeone, career law clerk Marilyn Tanaka, former law clerk Harry B. Wilson, Chief U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson, Eastern District of Missouri, and former Chief U.S. Circuit Judge Donald P. Lay.

Delores Reynolds, Judge McMillian’s sister, and Cheryl Green, his daughter, unveiled the portrait, which was painted by renowned St. Louis artist Gilbert Early. U.S. Circuit Judge Donald R. Ross, who administered the oath of office to Judge McMillian in 1978, accepted the portrait on behalf of the Court. In the painting, Judge McMillian is wearing a distinctive robe with four gold stripes on each arm. This robe was given to him by his law clerks in honor of his 80th birthday celebration in 1999. A reception followed the portrait ceremony in the 1st floor East lobby.

Hon. Pasco M. Bowman II

A special session of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, with fifteen judges present, was convened on October 29, 2004, for the presentation of the portrait of the Honorable Pasco M. Bowman II, who took senior status in 2003 after twenty years on the bench. Chief Judge James B. Loken presided over the ceremonial session held in the Court of Appeals courtroom in the Charles Evans Whittaker United States Courthouse in Kansas City, Missouri. Chief Judge Loken praised Judge Bowman "as a remarkable jurist, a warm colleague, and a very good friend." Mr. R. Christopher Abele, Judge Bowman's first law clerk, served as master of ceremonies at the presentation. Chris led the effort of other former law clerks and the Judge's assistant, Arla Woerth, to commission the portrait of his "tremendous mentor and friend."


Mr. J. Randall Coffey of the Kansas City law firm Bioff Finucane Coffey Holland & Hosler, who clerked for Judge Bowman from 1985 to 1986, spoke on behalf of the "older generation" of law clerks. He recalled his clerkship interview with the Judge, which "turned into a four-hour chat." Randy noted, among other personal traits, the "casual easiness" and "scholarly reflection" of the Judge. Ms. Shannon Kimball of the law firm Sutherland Asbill and Brennan in Atlanta clerked for the Judge from 2000 to 2002. She shared her belief that Judge Bowman "embodies the real meaning of success" as evidenced by "a life well lived and enjoyed, a life which gains the respect and admiration of others through kindness, compassion, and humor." Associate Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court spoke of Judge Bowman's "counsel and friendship" and congratulated the Judge "on a wonderful life, a wonderful career, both on and off the bench."

Chris then introduced the portrait artist, Jason Bouldin of Oxford, Mississippi, who spoke of his vision for the portrait, to portray "a personality that is characterized by fairness, kindness, and one who may be approached." The Judge's children Ann Bowman Hoover, Helen Bowman Miller, and Benjamin Bowman, together with Jason, unveiled the portrait. Chief Judge Loken accepted the portrait on behalf of the Court, and the portrait now hangs in the Thomas F. Eagleton United States Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri. After the ceremony, Judge Bowman commissioned Jason to paint a second, identical portrait, which hangs in the Court of Appeals courtroom in Kansas City.

Judge Bowman graciously thanked everyone for attending and expressed appreciation to each personally for his or her part in the ceremony. In addition, he offered particular thanks to his former law clerks who made the portrait possible. He invited the attendees to continue the festivities at a reception in the Bell Room of the courthouse. The special session was adjourned.

Hon. David R. Hansen


The Presentation of the Portrait of the Honorable David R. Hansen was held during an afternoon ceremony at the United States Courthouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday, March 4, 2005. The ceremony followed morning oral arguments presented to three panels of the Court of Appeals. Ten active judges and three senior judges of the Court were on the bench for the ceremony, which was also attended by numerous United States District, Bankruptcy, and Magistrate Judges, along with many former Iowa State court colleagues of Judge Hansen.

Twenty-five of Judge Hansen's former and future law clerks were present for the ceremony, along with many colleagues, friends, family members, and the portrait artist, Jason Bouldin. Samuel A. Thumma, Esq., of Phoenix, Arizona, spoke for Judge Hansen's District Court law clerks, and Jennifer C. Brooks, Esq., of Washington, D.C., spoke for his Court of Appeals clerks. Gretchen M. Wolf, Esq., of Chicago, Illinois, a recent law clerk, acted as Mistress of Ceremonies, and Judge George G. Fagg, a longtime friend, mentor, and judicial colleague of Judge Hansen on both the State and Federal Bench, recounted Judge Hansen's legal career in an entertaining and informative address.

Mr. Bouldin and Judge Hansen's three grandsons presented and unveiled the portrait. A reception, co-hosted by the Linn County Bar Association and the Dean Mason Ladd Inn of Court, was held at the Cedar Rapids Art Museum following the ceremony.

Judge Hansen was appointed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa by President Reagan in March of 1986. He was elevated to the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit by President George H.W. Bush in November 1991. He served as Chief Judge of the Eighth Circuit from February 2002 to April 2003.

Hon. Stephen M. Reasoner


On March 11, 2005 a portrait of the late Judge Stephen Reasoner was unveiled in U.S. Courthouse in Little Rock. Family, friends, and the judiciary of the Eastern District of Arkansas were in attendance.

Several of Judge Reasoner’s close friends spoke at the ceremony. U.S. Circuit Judge Morris Arnold, a long time friend, said, “His sense of humor was one of his best characteristics.” Master of ceremonies Robert Jones III and the Judge’s wife, Susan Reasoner, spoke of how much Reasoner loved being a federal judge. Others speaking at the unveiling were Mariam Hopkins, his first law clerk, Jennifer Horan, federal public defender, and Circuit Judge David Laser of Jonesboro.

Susan Reasoner and her son, Capt. Brian Reasoner of San Antonio, unveiled the portrait. A reception followed.

Courtroom Dedication

Hon. G. Thomas Eisele


On February 6, 2004, in a public ceremony, the Eastern District of Arkansas dedicated Courtroom 530 as the "G. Thomas Eisele Courtroom." Senior District Judge Eisele presided in Courtroom 530 for 29 of his 34 years on the bench. The G. Thomas Eisele Courtroom was recently remodeled, and a plaque designating it as the "G. Thomas Eisele Courtroom" will soon adorn one of its walls. Currently, Judge Susan Webber Wright presides in the G. Thomas Eisele Courtroom. Judge Eisele presently presides in Courtroom 570, formerly Judge Stephen M. Reasoner's courtroom, but will move to the Ceremonial Courtroom of the new Courthouse complex , presently under construction, upon its completion. The Ceremonial Courtroom is also slated to be named in Judge Eisele's honor..

Ceremony of Honor

Hon. John F. Nangle


Judge John F. Nangle was honored in a ceremony sponsored by the Eastern District of Missouri’s Federal Practice Memorial Trust on June 28, 2005. The ceremony was held in the en banc courtroom of the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis.

The Federal Practice Memorial Trust was established in 1987, at the suggestion of Judge Nangle, to “study, improve, and facilitate the administration of justice, including, the continuing education of lawyers and the judiciary and the preservation of the history of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.” The Trust has organized and sponsored educational seminars, commissioned paintings of the District’s federal judges, donated those paintings to the U.S. Courts, arranged public memorial services for the deceased judges, and assisted in the work of the Historical Society.

Judge Nangle served as Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Missouri from 1983 to 1990, and has been appointed to several national positions of leadership, including the Judicial Conference Committee on the Operation of the Jury System, Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference, Ad Hoc Committee on Asbestos Litigation, Mass Torts and Judicial Resources Working Groups. Judge Nangle served as Chair of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation from 1990 to 2000. In addition to serving the Eastern District of Missouri, Judge Nangle sits by designation for the Southern District of Georgia.

In Memoriam

U.S. Court of Appeals
Hon. Richard Sheppard Arnold (Sept. 23, 2004)

U.S. District Courts
Arkansas, Eastern District
Hon. Stephen M. Reasoner (Aug. 14, 2004)
Hon. Robert G. Renner (March 1, 2005)
Hon. J. Earl Cudd (April 20, 2005)
Hon. Harry H. MacLaughlin (May 3, 2005)
Missouri, Eastern District
Hon. Clyde S. Cahill, Jr. (Aug. 18, 2004)
Missouri, Western District
Hon. Elmo B. Hunter (Dec. 27, 2003)
Hon. William G. Cambridge (Sept. 30, 2004)
North Dakota
Hon. Paul Benson (April 22, 2004)

U.S. Bankruptcy Courts
Hon. Hartley A. Nordin (Oct. 4, 2004)
Missouri, Eastern District
Hon. Robert E. Brauer (June 8, 2004)

Memorial articles are in the
U.S. Courts Library Newsletter at

Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth Circuit

Board of Directors

Hon. Richard G. Kopf–President
Frances Ross–Vice President
Ann T. Fessenden–Secretary
Sheila Greenbaum–Treasurer

Court of Appeals
Hon. Donald P. Lay
Thomas H. Boyd

Eastern District of Arkansas
Hon. William R. Wilson, Jr.
Frances Ross

Western District of Arkansas
Hon. Jimm L. Hendren
Katherine C. Gay

Northern District of Iowa
Hon. Mark W. Bennett
Eric W. Lam

Southern District of Iowa
Hon. Ronald E. Longstaff
F. Richard Lyford

District of Minnesota
Hon. John R. Tunheim
Randall M. Tietjen

Eastern District of Missouri
Hon. E. Richard Webber
Ann E. Buckley

Western District of Missouri
Hon. Ortrie D. Smith
F. Russell Millin

District of Nebraska
Hon. Richard G. Kopf
Mary Hewitt Jones

District of North Dakota
M. Daniel Vogel

District of South Dakota
Hon. Karen E. Schreier
Mark F. Marshall

Ex-Officio Board Member
Hon. Richard W. Peterson

8th Circuit Historical Society website:


The Historical Society News is published biennially by the U.S. Courts Library for the Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth Circuit. To obtain a copy or inquire into membership, contact:

U.S. Courts Library, 8th Circuit
Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse
Room 22.300
111 S. 10th Street
St. Louis, MO 63102