Gorman is on State Highway 6 and Farm Road 8 on the southeastern edge of Eastland County. It grew out of the earlier community of Shinoak, which was renamed Gorman for Patrick Gorman, roadmaster of the Texas Central Railroad in 1889, when a new post office was granted. The first store was built by Dick Mason, and the town was incorporated on May 15, 1902, with H. T. (Tom) Hamrick as mayor. By 1904 Gorman had various stores, a hotel, a gin, a lumberyard, a canning factory, electric street lights, and a newspaper named the Gorman Ledger. Hankins College was located in Gorman from 1905 to 1912. During the Eastland County oil boom of 1917–22 Gorman became an important supply center, and its population grew considerably. The Kirk oilfield was also located nearby. Ku Klux Klan influence in Eastland County had waned by 1930, but as late as the 1960s the town remained all white. The first peanut-shelling machine in Texas was used in Gorman in 1940, and in 1986 Gorman had one of the most efficient shelling plants in the United States. Both the Texas Peanut Producers Board and the Southwest Peanut Growers' Association were headquartered in Gorman; the latter ran the western Peanut Price Support Program for the United States Department of Agriculture. Along with this major industry, Gorman had over thirty businesses and 1,226 inhabitants in 1980. In 2000 the population was 1,236.