Collin Aldrich, first chief justice of Houston County, son of George and Polly (Bowen) Aldrich, Jr., was born on May 2, 1801, in Mendon, Massachusetts. His brother George came to Texas before the Texas Revolution, formed a partnership with Robert Anderson Irion of Nacogdoches in land trade, and later became first county surveyor of Houston County. Aldrich arrived in Red River County in 1829 and settled near Clarksville. In 1835 he obtained land on the Trinity River now in Houston County. He served as first postmaster at Aldrich (later Mustang Prairie) and helped organize the county government. He fought in the battle of San Jacinto and was appointed chief justice of Houston County by Sam Houston in 1837. His suitability for office was questioned by D. H. Campbell, a political adversary, who charged him with corruption and malpractice. Aldrich appealed to president-elect Mirabeau B. Lamar, and in 1838 his appointment was confirmed. Aldrich and his wife, Elizabeth (Lawrence Crownover), had at least four children. Aldrich died in June 1842 in Houston County.