John T. Mills, early judge, was born in Ireland in November 1817. He moved with his parents to Beaufort County, South Carolina, where he studied law. In 1837 he moved to Texas and began to practice law. From 1839 to 1846 Mills successively held the judgeship of the Third, Seventh, and Eighth Judicial districts. Mills County was named in his honor. He married Mary Jane Vining of Clarksville in 1843. After her death in 1854, he married a Mrs. Adair and moved to Marshall. In the state election of 1849 Judge Mills was a candidate on the Democratic ticket for governor. He died on November 20, 1871, in Marshall.