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

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 a 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 after being restored.
After leveling and cleaning!

Tom Bean Monument Restoration Project

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

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

Read more about the project:

Tom Bean Monument Restoration Complete!


Past Mayors

Name From To
Daniel P. Harrison November 2020 Current
Sherry E. Howard January 2008 November 2020
Tom Wilthers May 2003 January 2008
Lonnie Jones June 2002 November 2002
David Schaab August 1999 June 2002
Bill Garner May 1998 August 1999
James Yowell March 1997 May 1998
Bill Garner May 1996 March 1997
Ralph Hall May 1992 May 1996
Bill Garner April 1986 May 1992
Fern Hamm April 1983 April 1986
Eddy Hamilton January 1983 April 1983
Bill Garner April 1981 January 1983
David Davis January 1981 April 1981
A. T. (Ted) Jenkins April 1980 January 1981
Bill Garner April 1978 April 1980
J. G. Blythe November 1973 April 1978
Burl Shields March 1969 November 1973
Von Ray Montgomery April 1966 March 1969
Carl Odle April 1962 April 1965
Raymond Stephens April 1956 April 1962
Bob Langford April 1950 April 1956
C. S. Teague March 1950 April 1950
Andrew H. (Pete) Davis April 1935 February 1950
GE Ball 1933? April 1935
Ice B. Reeves 1887 1933?