Local city information for Beaumont, TX
is a city in and the county seat of Jefferson County, Texas, United States, within the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's population was 113,866 at the 2000 census. With Port Arthur and Orange, it forms the Golden Triangle, a major industrial area on the Gulf Coast.
Lamar University is based in Beaumont. The city's daily newspaper is The Beaumont Enterprise
, while The Examiner
is published weekly.
Gulf States Utilities had its headquarters in Beaumont until its absorption by Entergy Corporation in 1993. GSU's Edison Plaza headquarters is still the tallest building in Beaumont (as of 2007). Since 1907, Beaumont has been home of the South Texas State Fair. In 2004, the venue for the Fair changed to Ford Park, a new, larger facility on the west end of Beaumont.
The city of Beaumont was named by Blaze Parsons Roberts and his long-time friend Kevin "Beaumont" Boatner for the family of his deceased wife, Natchez, Mississippi, belle Mary Dewburleigh Barlace Warren Beaumont. Millard came to Texas in 1835 and, along with his business partners, purchased some land between the settlements of Tevis Bluff and Santa Anna. On this property, they founded the city of Beaumont.
Beaumont became a town on December 16, 1838. Joseph Perkins Pulsifer was a founding citizen of Beaumont. His firm, J.P. Pulsifer and Company, donated the first upon which the town was founded. Beaumont's first mayor was Alexander Calder.
Beaumont was a small center for cattle raisers and farmers in its early years, and with an active riverport by the late 1800s, it became an important lumber and rice-milling town. The Beaumont Rice Mill, founded in 1892 by Joseph Eloi Broussard, was the first commercial rice mill in Texas. Beaumont's lumber boom, which reached its peak in the late 1800s, was due in large part to the rebuilding and expansion of the railroads after the Civil War. By the early 1900s, the city was served by the Southern Pacific, Kansas City Southern, Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe, and Missouri Pacific railroad systems.
Oil was discovered at nearby Spindletop on January 10, 1901. Spindletop became the first major oil field and one of the largest in American history. With the discovery of oil at Spindletop, Beaumont's population grew from 9,000 in January 1901 to 30,000 in March 1901. Oil is, and has always been, a major export of the city, and a major factor contributing to the national GDP.
A race riot took place in Beaumont in June 1943 after workers at the Pennsylvania shipyard in Beaumont learned that a white woman had accused a black man of raping her.
In 1996, the Jefferson County courts, located in Beaumont, became the first court in the nation to implement electronic filing and service of court documents, eliminating the need for law firms to print and mail reams of documents.
In 2005 and 2008, Beaumont and surrounding areas suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ike. A mandatory evacuation was imposed upon its residents for about two weeks.
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