Early Chief Justices and County Judges of Trinity County (1850-1982)
Compiled by Patricia B. Hensley
When Trinity County was organized in 1850 out of Houston County, the first Chief Justice was David Johnston. He was appointed on April 1, 1850 and his office was not called County Judge at that time. The first Chief Justice elected was John A. Campbell on August 7, 1854. This was followed by the election of Alexander Blackshear on August 1, 1858. William Rogers served Trinity County during the Civil War having been elected on august 6, 1860.
During Reconstruction, after the Civil War, the Provisional Governor Hamilton appointed S. G. Tullos as Chief Justice on August 21, 1865. This was followed by the appointment of B. F. Harper as the first County Judge on June 25, 1869.
After Reconstruction, the present Texas Constitution was adapted I 1876 and W. C. Thompson was elected Trinity County Judge on September 15, 1876. Thompson resigned on November 13, 1876 and C. B. Wood took over the office. Wood who is buried in the cemetery at Pennington resigned September 29, 1877 and J. E. B. Laird took office. On November 2, 1880, K R. Blackshear was elected followed by John B Turner on November 7, 1882.
C. J. Hinson started a long stretch as County Judge on November 2, 1886 until November 6, 1894, when John B. Turner returned for two years. C. J. Hinson picked up the reins again on November 3, 1896, and served until November 4, 1902, when C. H. Crow began his first term in office. Judge Crow served until November 3, 1908, when C. J. Hinson was again elected to office.
C. M. McKinnon was elected on November 5, 1912 and was in office when the courthouse was built in 1914. A. M. Campbell was elected November 7, 1916 and was serving when World War I broke out. C. H. Crow returned to office on November 5, 1918. Fred. J. Berry was elected November 2, 1920 and served until C. H. Kenley was elected November 2, 1926. W. Hutson served during the depression years having been elected on November 8, 1932. On November 8, 1938, Leo B. Brannen was elected County Judge and served during World Was II. W. H. Poston, elected November 7, 1944, died in office and E. A. Lester was appointed on April 16, 1945 to fill the office. The election on November 7, 1950 found Crit Chandler taking over as Judge.
J. V. Price was elected November 4, 1958, and served until Albert Hutson was elected on November 5, 1974. Dan Dominey was appointed Judge on January 1, 1979. He served until November 2, 1982 when Jimmie Thornton was elected Trinity County Judge.