Born on a farm near Munfordville, Kentucky, Carden attended the rural schools and Bowling Green (Kentucky) Business and Normal School. He studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1895 and commenced practice in Munfordville, Kentucky. He also engaged in agricultural pursuits and in banking. Sheriff of Hart County 1887-1890. He was elected county attorney of Hart County in 1890 and served from 1891 to 1894. He served as master commissioner of the circuit court of Hart County 1900-1915.
Carden was elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-second, Seventy-third, and Seventy-fourth Congresses and served from March 4, 1931, until his death in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 13, 1935. He was interred in Munfordville Cemetery, Munfordville, Kentucky.