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.