Robert J. Gamble as a US Representative and Senator from South Dakota. He was born in Genesee County, near Akron, New York on February 7, 1851. In 1862, he moved with his parents to Fox Lake, Wisconsin. In 1874, he graduated from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1875 and began practice in Yankton, Territory of Dakota, later South Dakota.
He became a district attorney for the second judicial district of the Territory of Dakota in 1880, and was a city attorney for Yankton in 1881 and 1882. Afterward, he went on to become a member of the Territorial council in 1885. Several years after South Dakota became a state, he was elected a representative to the Fifty-fourth Congress in 1895 as a Republican. Although an unsuccessful candidate in the 1896 election, he was re-elected to the Fifty-sixth Congress. During the Fifty-sixth Congress, he became the chairman of the now-defunct U.S. House Committee on Expenditures on the Public Buildings.
In 1901, Robert J. Gamble was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate. Re-elected in 1906, he served until March 1913, when he was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination. He was chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Depredations during the Fifty-seventh Congress, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard from the Fifty-eighth to the Sixtieth Congress, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Enrolled Bills during the Sixty-first Congress, and chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs during the Sixty-Second Congress.
In 1915, Gamble moved to Sioux Falls and resumed the practice of law. From 1916 to 1924 he served as a referee in bankruptcy for the southern district of South Dakota. He was a member of the National Executive Committee of the League to Enforce Peace. He died in Sioux Falls on September 22, 1924, and was buried in Yankton Cemetery in Yankton, South Dakota.