Robert Aldrich was a product of 19th Century America. He was born in Barnwell and was educated at the King’s Mountain Military Institute in York, the Arsenal Academy in Columbia and the Citadel in Charleston.
Then came four years of service in the Confederate Army. This was followed by reading law in his father’s office in Barnwell. Robert Aldrich was admitted to the bar on November 28, 1866.
Robert Aldrich had a 42 year career at the bar, primarily in Barnwell. When he was appointed a circuit judge in 1908, his first official act was a charge to the Grand Jury in Horry County. Judge Aldrich charged as follows: “We make the proud boast that in defense of South Carolina we stand ready with our lives and fortunes; and yet all these things are as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals if we fail to make the people secure in their lives, their liberty and their property. The law is no respecter of persons; the law has one measure for all, and the time has come when we should alter the old political slogan and proclaim from the mountains to the sea that this is a good man’s country, where every good man, white and black alike, can find a home, in fact as well as in name; where every good man can live and work and enjoy the fruits of his labor in tranquility and peace, and where every bad man must mend his ways or go elsewhere to pursue them.”
Such was the man his family honors today.