September 2016

Timeline of the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Creation: March 3, 1891

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit was created by the Evarts Act (26 Stat. 826), passed by Congress on March 3, 1891.

First Judge: June 16, 1891

The Evarts Act established that the existing circuit judges and a newly-authorized judge in each circuit were the judges of the U.S. circuit courts of appeals. Henry Clay Caldwell, the existing circuit judge for the Eighth Circuit, was assigned as the first judge to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on June 16, 1891. Walter Henry Sanborn would receive his commission as the Courtís second judge on March 17, 1892.

First Meeting: June 16, 1891

On June 16, 1891, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit met for the first time, in St. Louis. In attendance were U.S. Supreme Court Justice David J. Brewer and U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Henry Clay Caldwell. Caldwell had succeeded Brewer as circuit judge for the Eighth Circuit in 1890.

First Oral Argument: October 12, 1891

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit heard its first case on October 12, 1891. Judge Caldwell presided and was joined by two district judges, Amos Thayer of the Eastern District of Missouri and Moses Hallett of the District of Colorado. (Colorado was part of the Eighth Circuit from 1876 to 1929. Thayer became the third judge appointed to the Court, in 1894.)