James Gorman left his homeland of Ireland in the 1840’s because of the famine there. Because of the mass migration to America, he and his other countrymen found it difficult to find employment but were welcomed in the military. Information has not been located as to where he was assigned but it is said that he was in California during the War with Mexico.
Gorman came to the Fort Tejon area and made a living hunting meat to sell to the military and laborers during the building of Ft Tejon. He settled in the future area of the town named after him about the same year that the Fort was founded. He married in 1865 and built a large home where he and his wife took in travelers that made their way through the mountains on the well-traveled road that went by their farm.
At some time James’ brother, Henry Gorman, came to the same settlement and became the first postmaster of “Gorman Station” .
Periodically James would make trips to Los Angeles for supplies and on one such trip, in 1873, the Los Angeles newspaper reported:
“Mr. Gorman started for home shortly before sundown. On reaching a hill point on the road, about six miles from town, he attempted to push down the brake, when his foot slipped, and he fell from the wagon and was dragged underneath it, the wheels finally passing over his body inflicting injuries from which he died in a short time.”
Gorman left a wife and four children.
Additional information may be found in “A View from the Ridge Route” series