Tom Bean's Main St. in 1915
Tom Bean’s Main St. in 1915

Tom Bean now has a History Club! The club will focus on events, people, buildings, etc. that make up the exciting and unique past. We want to preserve the history of our city for the upcoming generations.  Join Tom Bean History Club’s Facebook Group

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Marker [017-1] Taken from Regional Web
Thomas Bean, a wealthy Bonham landowner and surveyor, donated fifty acres of land in southeast Grayson County to be used for a branch railroad line from Sherman to Commerce. Bean died in 1887; in that year the city of Tom Bean was established.

Nearby Whitemound, which was bypassed by the railroad, lost its post office to Tom Bean’s city in 1888; many Whitemound settlers moved to the new town. Mr. Bean’s estate began to sell town lots surrounding the railroad in the 1890s. The city school was moved in 1891 from a one-room structure to a two-story building with an auditorium.

Several Christian denominations, including the Church of Christ, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Methodist, established churches in town. The city charter was signed in 1897 and the first mayor was Ice B. Reeves.

In the early days of the 20th century, the city boomed. Within a few years, it boasted a grain company, a furniture company, a drugstore, a newspaper called the Tom Bean Bulletin, a saloon, a dance hall, a movie theater, and the Tom Bean social club. As time progressed, the sharp increase in automobile travel and transport, and the decline of cotton as the principal crop of the area, led businesses to the larger cities of Denison and Sherman.

Though never again the railroad boomtown of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the community enjoyed a growth spurt in the 1950s and 1980s, celebrating its centennial in 1987. The city of Tom Bean continues to thrive.

Community History

Ice B. Reeves, first Mayor of Tom Bean.

TOM BEAN, TEXAS. Tom Bean is on State Highway 11 and Farm roads 902 and 2729, ten miles southeast of Sherman in southeastern Grayson County. It was established in 1888 as a stop on the St. Louis Southwestern Railway, and that year a post office opened there. The community was named for Tom Bean, a surveyor from Bonham, who, in hopes of enticing the rail line to extend its tracks across land that he owned in Grayson County, donated a fifty-acre tract for a townsite and railroad right-of-way.

The presence of the railroad drew settlers and businesses from the nearby community of White Mound, and by the early 1890s the incorporated town of Tom Bean had the post office and a school, a general store, a blacksmith shop, a cotton gin, and a weekly newspaper. By around 1900 its population stood at 299, and in the mid-1920s the town had a population of 367, with twenty businesses. In the mid-1950s Tom Bean had 286 people and eleven businesses. After the 1950s its population began to grow, reaching 570 by the mid-1970s and 926 in the late 1980s, when the town had four businesses. In 1990 Tom Bean reported 827 residents. The population reached 941 in 2000.

Graham Landrum and Allen Smith, Grayson County (Fort Worth, 1960; 2d ed., Fort Worth: Historical Publishers, 1967).

Handbook of Texas Online, Brian Hart, “TOM BEAN, TX,” accessed October 01, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlt23.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Tom Bean Monument Restoration Project

The community has been working to raise private donations to restore Tom Bean’s headstone at Willow Wild Cemetery in Bonham, Texas.

Generous donors have raised the $2500 needed to fix the underlying concrete and re-level the monument, and Paris Monument is donating their services to clean the historic structure.

Updates about the projects’ progress:

First Phase of Tom Bean Monument Restoration Complete!


Past Mayors

Sherry E. HowardJanuary 2008Current
Tom WilthersMay 2003January 2008
Lonnie JonesJune 2002November 2002
David SchaabAugust 1999June 2002
Bill GarnerMay 1998August 1999
James YowellMarch 1997May 1998
Bill GarnerMay 1996March 1997
Ralph HallMay 1992May 1996
Bill GarnerApril 1986May 1992
Fern HammApril 1983April 1986
Eddy HamiltonJanuary 1983April 1983
Bill GarnerApril 1981January 1983
David DavisJanuary 1981April 1981
A. T. (Ted) JenkinsApril 1980January 1981
Bill GarnerApril 1978April 1980
J. G. BlytheNovember 1973April 1978
Burl ShieldsMarch 1969November 1973
Von Ray MontgomeryApril 1966March 1969
Carl OdleApril 1962April 1965
Raymond StephensApril 1956April 1962
Bob LangfordApril 1950April 1956
C. S. TeagueMarch 1950April 1950
Andrew H. (Pete) DavisApril 1935February 1950
GE Ball1933?April 1935
Ice B. Reeves18871933?