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Grayson County, Texas
"Tom Bean, Texas is named for the eccentric landowner who gave the land for the town site. Early records indicate that Tom Bean came to Texas in 1840 or 1842 as a surveyor, receiving land for his services. He died in 1887, the same year that the town came into existence. Mr. Tom Bean's obituary read as follows:"Mr. Tom Bean, the wealthiest and altogether the most eccentric man in Fannin County, died here yesterday, surrounded by the Negroes with whom he lived for many years." Bean is reported to have said that he had no family. "I woke up one morning and found myself in a bean patch so I named myself Tom Bean," says the legend. Legend says that Bean was generous, although he lived in poverty and seclusion during his later years. His obituary reported that he would not sell or lease his land because he wanted to keep it unfenced "so poor people could graze their livestock on it."
A rumor that has persisted through the years is that Bean came to Texas from Sandwich, NH to escape a "shotgun wedding" with the daughter of a prominent judge. Another rumor said he was wanted for murder and changed his name when he came to Texas. A Bean family in Alabama claiming to be relatives, reports that Tom was the son of a Hessian soldier who fought against the colonists during the American Revolution. Still another story says that Tom's mother was half-Indian, explaining his one blue eye and his one brown eye. More than 100 persons tried to claim the Bean estate which included 25,000acres of land in Grayson County alone. Before his death, Tom boasted that he could ride from Bonham, Texas to Austin, Texas and never get off his own land. "
Source: Sherman Democrat Newspaper August 12, 1979
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