Visit The University of Texas homepage

John T. Mills (1817-1871)

Missing portrait
The Library has been unable to locate a portrait of John T. Mills. If you have information regarding this or other missing portraits, please contact Tarlton's Archives and Special Collections department at .

Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the Republic of Texas, 1839-1845

Born November 17, 1817 in County Antrim in northern Ireland, John T. Mills immigrated with his parents to Beaufort County, South Carolina as a child. He studied law in South Carolina. In 1837 he moved to Clarksville, Texas, where he practiced law and was married.

Between the years 1839 and 1845 Mills held three consecutive judgeships of the Third, the Seventh, and the Eighth Judicial Districts, which automatically made him an associate justice of the supreme court. Beginning in 1846 he was appointed judge of several state district courts, serving until 1850. In 1849 he made an unsuccessful bid for the governorship.

In 1854 Mills' wife died, and he remarried and moved to Marshall. His second marriage produced a son. Mills died in Marshall on November 30, 1871 and is buried in Marshall Cemetery.

Notable opinions

Dangerfield v. Secretary of State, Dallam 358 (Tex. 1840) (denying the president of the Republic as well as Congress the power to appoint chief justices of the counties of the republic in lieu of general election).

Edwards v. Peoples, Dallam 359 (Tex. 1840) (affirming jury's verdict for damages in sale of diseased slave in absence of plaintiff's showing that verdict was manifestly contrary to law and evidence).


Conradt, J. C. Mills, John T., Handbook of Texas Online (last updated June 6, 2001).

Ericson, Joe E. Judges of the Republic of Texas (1836-1846) 199 (Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing Co., 1980).

Extended bibliography

Ericson, Joe E. Judges of the Republic of Texas (1836-1846) 199 (Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing Co., 1980).

Fulmore, Zachary Taylor. The History and Geography of Texas as Told in County Names 202 (Austin, Texas: E. L. Steck, 1915).

Neville, A. W. The Red River Valley - Then and Now 177 (Paris, Texas: North Texas Publishing Co., 1948).

Richardson, Thomas Clarence. 3 East Texas, Its History and Its Makers 995 (New York, New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1940).

Additional information available in Southwestern Historical Quarterly as follow:
Volume 34, page 64
Volume 47, page 23
Volume 49, page 378
Volume 60, page 17
Volume 67, page 123
Volume 73, page 184
Volume 76, page 7, 11, 13