Beaumont, Texas: Wikis


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City of Beaumont
—  City  —
Location in the state of Texas
Coordinates: 30°04′48″N 94°07′36″W / 30.08°N 94.12667°W / 30.08; -94.12667Coordinates: 30°04′48″N 94°07′36″W / 30.08°N 94.12667°W / 30.08; -94.12667
Country United States United States
State TexasTexas
County Jefferson
Settled 1835
Incorporation 1838
Gentilic Beaumonter
 - Type Council-Manager
 - City Council Mayor Becky Ames
Dr. Alan B. Coleman
W. L. Pate, Jr.
Jamie D. Smith
Audwin M. Samuel
Gethrel ‘Get’ Williams-Wright
Nancy Beaulieu
 - City Manager Kyle Hayes
 - Total 222.6 km2 (85.9 sq mi)
 - Land 220.2 km2 (85.0 sq mi)
 - Water 2.4 km2 (0.9 sq mi)
Elevation 5 m (16 ft)
Population (2000)
 - Total 113,866
 Density 517.1/km2 (1,339.4/sq mi)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 409
FIPS code 48-07000[1]
GNIS feature ID 1330268[2]

Beaumont is a city in and county seat of Jefferson County, Texas, United States,[3] 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 Henry Millard for Jefferson 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.[4] His firm, J.P. Pulsifer and Company, donated the first 50 acres (200,000 m2) upon which the town was founded. Beaumont's first mayor was Alexander Calder.[5]

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.

Lucas Gusher, Spindletop

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.[6]

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.


Local Government

According to the city’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s various funds had $177.5 million in Revenues, $164.5 million in expenditures, $633.2 million in total assets, $332.7 million in total liabilities, and $122.2 million in cash and investments.[7]


Beaumont is a council-manager form of government. Elections are held annually, with the Mayor and Council members each serving two-year terms. All powers of the City are vested in the Council, which enacts local legislation, adopts budgets, and determines policies. Council is also responsible for appointing the City Attorney, the City Clerk and Magistrates, and the City Manager. The city council is composed of two councilmembers-at-large, and four councilmembers representing four Wards of the city.[8]

Position Name Elected to Current Position Areas Represented

Council Districts

  Mayor Becky Ames 2007–present Citywide
  At Large Position 1 W.L. Pate, Jr. 2007–present Citywide
  At Large Position 2 Gethrel "Get" Williams-Wright 2007–present Citywide
  Ward 1 Dr. Alan Coleman 2007–present North Beaumont
  Ward 2 Nancy Beaulieu 2003–present West Beaumont
  Ward 3 Audwin M. Samuels 1984–1992, 1999–Present Central Beaumont
  Ward 4 Jamie D. Smith 2007–present South Beaumont

State representation

The Texas Department of Transportation operates the Beaumont District Office in Beaumont.[9] The Texas Ninth Court of Appeals is located in the Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont.[10]

Federal representation

The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates the Beaumont Federal Correctional Complex in an unincorporated area in Jefferson County, near Beaumont.[11]


According to the City's 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[7] the top employers in the city are:

Refineries, Port of Beaumont and the Jefferson County Courthouse
# Employer # of Employees
1 Beaumont Independent School District 2,861
2 Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital 1,706
3 Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital 1,614
4 City of Beaumont 1,323
5 Jefferson County 1,209
6 Lamar University 1,176
7 ENGlobal Corporation 600
8 West Corp 463
9 Wal-Mart 450
10 Goodyear Tire & Rubber 394

Jason's Deli has its headquarters in Beaumont.[12]

Originally Sweet Leaf Tea Company had its headquarters in Beaumont.[13] The headquarters moved to Austin in October 2003.[14]

Another important element of the economy is the Port of Beaumont, one of Texas busiest seaports.


Beaumont is on Texas' coastal plain, about 30 miles (48 km) inland from the Gulf of Mexico, and just south of the dense pine forests of East Texas. The city is bordered on the east by the Neches River and to the north by Pine Island Bayou. Before being settled, the area was crisscrossed by numerous small streams. Most of these streams have since been filled in or converted for drainage purposes.

The island directly across from Riverfront Park is called Trinity Island. There are also three other islands in the Neches River around the downtown area/port: Harbor, Smith and Clark.

Beaumont is located at 30°4′48″N 94°7′36″W / 30.08°N 94.12667°W / 30.08; -94.12667 (30.079912, -94.126653).[15]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 85.9 square miles (222.6 km²), of which, 85.0 square miles (220.2 km²) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.4 km²) of it (1.07%) is water.


The city of Beaumont, Texas is within the humid subtropical climate regime.[16] This city is within the Piney Woods, which cover the eastern region of Texas, as well as adjacent Louisiana.[17] This region of Texas receives the most rainfall in the state, with more than 48 inches (1,200 mm) annually. This is due to the warm gulf waters that carry humid air to the region, where it condenses and precipitates. Hurricanes also strike the region, the most disastrous of which was the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 as well as Hurricane Ike in 2008. Hurricane Ike was the largest and most damaging hurricane to hit Beaumont to date, striking September 13, 2008. Causing $32 billion in damage, it is the third most costly hurricane in United States history.[18] The humidity of the region greatly amplifies the feeling of heat during the summer. The winters are kept moderate by warm gulf currents. Wintry precipitation is unusual, but does occur. A recent snow event was December 24, 2004, the first such occurrence since 1989. However, more recently, Beaumont and the surrounding areas received a light snow on December 11, 2008. Up to 4 inches in the west end. And almost a year later , Beaumont and the surrounding areas received a trace to half an inch of light snow on December 4, 2009. These are the earliest measurable snowfalls at the airport since the late 1800s. And even more recently the Beaumont area had a trace of snow on February 24, 2010 that only lasted for only 30 minutes and quickly melted on contact with the ground. The area suffered a severe ice storm in January 1997.

On August 18, 2009 a tornado hit the west end of Beaumont, and caused damage to several local businesses and cars. Injuries were minimal.[19]

Environmental concerns

The Beaumont-Port Arthur region is cited as one of the most polluted urban areas in the United States due to various energy industries and chemical plants in the area. It has caused many residents to become sick and has generated debates through the media.[20] Many environmental justice organizations have kept track of cities such as Beaumont-Port Arthur and others in Texas regarding similar pollution, its effect on "...the poor, the minority, the disenfranchised, the children, the elderly..." and lax regulation.[21]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 113,866 people, 44,361 households, and 29,100 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,339.4 people per square mile (517.2/km²). There were 48,815 housing units at an average density of 574.2/sq mi (221.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 46.39% Caucasian, 45.85% African American, 0.24% Native American, 2.48% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.55% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.93% of the population.

There were 44,361 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% were married couples living together, 18.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,559, and the median income for a family was $40,825. Males had a median income of $35,861 versus $24,255 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,632. About 16.4% of families and 19.6% of the population were below the poverty line, most of which was African American.



Art Museum of Southeast Texas, notice the last remaining column from the Perlstein Building.
  • Art Museum of Southeast Texas (AMSET), with its Perlstein Plaza, dedicated in memory of pioneer real estate developer Hyman Asher Perlstein (1869–1947), who arrived in Beaumont in 1889 as a poor Jewish immigrant from Lithuania and eventually became one of the city's major builders. The museum stands on the site of the Perlstein building, which was the tallest structure between Houston and New Orleans when it was erected in 1907. Only one column still remains from the building. AMSET, formerly the Beaumont Art Museum, exhibits 19th-21st Century American art and offers 10-14 educational programs in any given year. Admission is free, and the museum is open seven days per week.
  • Dishman Art Gallery
  • Beaumont Botanical Gardens
  • Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum.
  • Red Lobster's historical marine museum
  • Edison Museum - about inventor Thomas Edison
  • John Jay French Museum. The John Jay French Museum is an historic home that has been converted into a museum. Its purpose is to illustrate the life of a prosperous Texas pioneer family from 1845-1865. The home, built in 1845 by French, a tanner and merchant, showcases period furnishings, clothing and pioneer household utensils. Outbuildings on the grounds include a blacksmith shop, tannery, privy and smokehouse.
  • Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum. Museum dedicated to the life of the Beaumont native and accomplished athlete.
  • Fire Museum of Texas - Home of one of world's largest fire hydrants. Antique fire trucks and equipment chronicle the history of firefighting in Texas. Educational programs stress the importance of fire safety.
  • The Art Studio, Inc. (TASI), a non-profit arts cooperative and art gallery space that rents subsidized space to visual artists. Also hosts poetry readings, music events, film screenings. Housed in a converted warehouse in the industrial district of Beaumont's downtown.
  • Julie Rogers Theater, formerly City Hall and Auditorium
  • The Jefferson Theatre, built in 1927, is an historic theater that presents musical and stage performances as well as limited revival screenings of classic films. It is featured on the National Register of Historic Places and recognized as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.
  • Crockett Street Entertainment Complex
  • The McFaddin-Ward House, built in 1905-06 in the Beaux-Arts Colonial style. The structure and its furnishings reflect the lifestyle of the prominent family who lived in the house for seventy-five years. A very large historic home with a substantial carriage house. The entire grounds are currently a public museum with a substantial permanent collection of antique furniture and household items. Educational programs focus on history and are geared toward children and adults.
  • The Clifton Steamboat Museum opened its doors on October 26, 1995 with construction beginning in the earlier months of 1994. The theme of the museum is Heroes... Past, Present, and Future and honors our military and civilian heroes. The Clifton Steamboat Museum consists of a 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2), two-story museum that is handicap accessible, and contains various exhibits. Our museum art exhibits bring to life the wars fought in Southeast Texas and Louisiana, as well as the Steamboat Era, World Wars I and II, Korea, and Vietnam. Upper art galleries of the museum feature original bronze sculptures; Native American artists, wildlife, and frontier paintings from famous artists. A special gallery in the museum is dedicated to the Boy Scouts. This boy scouts gallery features many historical scouting artifacts, some dating back before the 1960s, and is sure to spark the interest of boy scouts past and present. There is also the tugboat, "Hercules", standing at 36 feet (11 m) high, 22 feet (6.7 m) wide, and 92 feet (28 m) long which is included on the museum tour.
Built in 1903 as First Baptist Church, this building is now Tyrrell Historical Library


Downtown Beaumont, Texas from Laurel St.

Beaumont has 8 buildings over 100 feet tall, the tallest being Edison Plaza building, built in 1987, it is 254 feet tall.[22] The old Edson Hotel, built in 1928 and which now houses offices, is nearly the same height at 240 feet.[23] One of the most prominent downtown buildings is the San Jacinto Building. Built in 1922, it sports one of the largest four faced clock towers in the nation, each dial being 17 feet in diameter.[24] In 1922 the 11 story Hotel Beaumont was built across the street from the San Jacinto, the Hotel bears a resemblance to the old Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta. The second oil boom of 1925 brought more people and wealth to Beaumont, the same year the 12 story American National Bank Building (now Orleans Building), was erected, and in 1926 Forrest Goodhue built the 11 story Goodhue Building. The Jefferson Theatre was built one year later by the Jefferson Amusement Company for $1 million and was Beaumont's showpiece for many years. In 1928 the City Hall and Auditorium was built. It is now the Julie Rogers Theater.

Beaumont's Jefferson County Courthouse is one of the tallest county courthouses in the state and is an excellent example of Art Deco architecture.[25] Across the street from the Jack Brooks Federal Building is Kyle Block, built in 1933. The storefront was recently restored and is considered to be one of the best examples of Zig-Zag architecture in Texas.[26]


Colleges and universities

Beaumont has one state university, Lamar University, and one two-year college, Lamar Institute of Technology.

Primary and secondary schools

Beaumont is served by the Beaumont Independent School District.

Premier High School of Beaumont, a public charter school, is in Beaumont.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont runs three Catholic elementary schools in Beaumont, St. Anne Catholic School, St. Anthony Cathedral Catholic School, and Our Mother of Mercy Catholic School. Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School is the city's lone Catholic high school. Cathedral Christian School on US 69 enrolls kindergarten through 6th grade, and Legacy Christian Academy, on Highway 105, enrolls 6th through 12th grade.



  • Beaumont Enterprise (Daily)
  • Examiner (Weekly)
  • Southeast Texas Record (Weekly legal journal covering Jefferson & Orange County Courts)


  • KFDM 6 (CBS)/DT 6.1 with CW Network on 6.2 (digital RF channel 21 / PSIP 6)
  • KBTV 4 (Fox)/DT 40
  • KBMT 12 (ABC)/DT 12.1 with NBC on 12.2 (digital RF channel 50 / PSIP 12)
  • KITU-TV 34/DT 33 (TBN)
  • KUIL-LP 64 /K36ID-D 36 (Independent) (operated by KVHP, the Fox affiliate in Lake Charles, Louisiana)
  • The region currently has no PBS station of its own; Houston's KUHT is the region's de facto PBS station.


  • KLULZ 106.1 Rock (Big Dog) Clear Channel (Previously KIOC)
  • KCOL 92.5 Oldies (Cool 92.5) Clear Channel
  • KVLU 91.3 NPR located at Lamar University with HD-Radio
  • KYKR 95.1 Country (Kicker) Clear Channel
  • KAYD 101.7 Country (KD 101) Cumulus
  • KTCX 102.5 Urban (Magic 102.5) Cumulus
  • KQXY 94.1 Top 40 (Q94) Cumulus
  • KKMY 104.5 Adult Contemporary (Mix) Clear Channel
  • KQBU 93.3 Party 93 Univision (Based out of Houston; licensed to Port Arthur)
  • KQQK 107.9 Spanish Top 40 (XO "Equis O") Libermann (Based out of Houston; licensed to Beaumont)
  • KFNC 97.5 Sports/Talk (ESPN 97.5 The Ticket) Cumulus (serves Houston market; 2,000 ft (610 m) tower south of Winnie)
  • KHJK 103.7 Variety Hits (103.7 Jack FM) Cumulus (serves Houston market; 2,000 ft (610 m) tower NW of Winnie)
  • KTJM 98.5 Regional Mexican (La Raza) Liberman (Based out of Houston; licensed to Port Arthur)
  • KHPT 106.9 "Best of the 80s and more" COX (serves Houston market from 2,000 ft (610 m) Splendora tower)
  • KLVI 560 AM Talk/Fox News Clear Channel
  • KOLE 1340 AM //KRCM 1380 AM Fox Radio (1380 is moving to Shenandoah, south of Conroe, soon)
  • KBPO 1150 AM Port Neches (off air)
  • KZZB 990 AM Martin Broadcasting; poor range and low audio
  • KDEI 1250 AM Catholic / Radio Maria
  • KIKR 1450 AM Regional Mexican "La Gran D" (simulcast on KBED 1510)

Famous businesses from Beaumont

  • Conn's - Chain of Appliance and Electronic stores
  • Gulf Oil - Gulf Oil Company founded 1901, now Chevron
  • Humble Oil - 50% of Humble Oil sold to Standard Oil of NJ to build its first refinery in Baytown. Merged and renamed Exxon 1972. Now ExxonMobil
  • Jason's Deli - Fast Casual chain with locations in 20 states.
  • Magnolia Petroleum Company - Startup began in Corsicana in 1898, but became a major company in Beaumont in 1901. Owned KFDM radio, now 560 KLVI in the 30s through the 50s. Its refinery in Beaumont along with Texas Oil Co. & Gulf's in Port Arthur, TX were 3 of the largest in the world. Magnolia later sold 45% ownership to Standard Oil of NY, Socony. Combined companies years later into Mobil now ExxonMobil
  • Port of Beaumont - Young town of Beaumont grew quicker around this harbor about 1840 and would mark the spot that would become the port. Ranks consistently among the top 5 ports in the country for tonnage
  • Sweet Leaf Tea - A ready-to-drink organic tea company started in Beaumont in 1998 by Clayton Christopher and David Smith, later moved to Austin, TX.
  • The Texas Oil Company - Founded in 1902 just west of Beaumont (Sour Lake, Texas) became Texaco;, now owned/part of Chevron formerly Standard Oil Company of California.
  • The Texas Coffee Company - Home of Seaport Coffees and Texjoy Steak Seasoning among other products distributed regionally. The company was founded in 1921 by Charles J. Fertitta, Sr. In 1968, the Texas Coffee Company became the first company in the United States to begin packaging coffee in vacuum-packed foil bags (see


Notable residents


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Joseph Perkins Pulsifer". The Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 2007-03-01. 
  5. ^ Rienstra, Ellen Walker; Linsley, Judith Walker (2003). Historic Beaumont: An Illustrated History. Historical Publishing Network. pp. 21. ISBN 1893619281. 
  6. ^ TSHA Online - Texas State Historical Association - Home
  7. ^ a b City of Beaumont CAFR Retrieved 2009-07-21
  8. ^ "Mayor and City Council". City of Beaumont, Texas. Retrieved 2007-03-06. 
  9. ^ "Beaumont District Office." Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved on January 11, 2010.
  10. ^ "Contact Information." Texas Ninth Court of Appeals. Retrieved on March 10, 2010.
  11. ^ "FCI Beaumont Low Contact Information." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on January 11, 2010.
  12. ^ "Corporate Office Contact Information." Jason's Deli. Retrieved on February 25, 2010.
  13. ^ "Contact Us." Sweet Leaf Tea Company. June 7, 2001. Retrieved on January 10, 2010.
  14. ^ "History." Sweet Leaf Tea Company. Retrieved on January 10, 2010.
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  16. ^ Thomas J. Larkin and George W. Bomar. Climatic Atlas of Texas. Retrieved on 2008-03-19.
  17. ^ World Wildlife Fund. Piney Woods forests (NA0523). Retrieved on 2008-03-19.
  18. ^ Jeff Masters (2008). "Hurricane Ike Damages". Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  19. ^ "Police: Tornado hits Beaumont store". Associated Press. August 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  20. ^ Rhor, Monica (2007-10-20). "Texas toxic town lures industry while residents wheeze". Associated Press. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  21. ^ "Environmental Injustice in Beaumont Texas". Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BEAUMONT, a city and the county-seat of Jefferson county, Texas, U.S.A., situated on the Neches river, in the E. part of the state, about 28 m. from the Gulf of Mexico and 72 m. N.E. of Galveston. Pop. (1890) 3296; (1900) 9427, of whom 2953 were negroes; (1906, estimate) 13,105. It is served by the Gulf & Interstate, the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe, the Kansas City Southern, the Texas & New Orleans, the Colorado Southern, New Orleans & Pacific, the Beaumont, Sour Lake & Western (from Beaumont to Sour Lake, Tex.), and the (short) Galveston, Beaumont & North-Eastern railways. The Neches river from Beaumont to its mouth has a depth of not less than 19 ft.; from its mouth extends a canal (9 ft. deep, 100 ft.wide, and 1 2 m. long), which connects with the Port Arthur Canal (180 ft. wide and 25 ft. deep) extending to the sea. Situated in the midst of a region covered with dense forests of pine and cypress, Beaumont is one of the largest lumber centres of the southern states; it is also the centre of a large rice-growing region. The manufactories include rice mills, saw mills, sash, door and blind factories, shingle mills, iron works, oil refineries, broom factories and a dynamite factory. In 1905 the cleaning and polishing of rice was the most important industry, its output being valued at $1,203,123, being nearly twice the value of the product of the rice mills of the city in 1900, 25.9% of the total value of the state's product of polished and cleaned rice, 46.1% of the value ($2,609,829) of all of Beaumont's factory products, and about. 7.4% of the value of the product of polished and cleaned rice for the whole United States in 1905. After the sinking of oil wells in 1901, Beaumont became one of the principal oil-producing places in the United States; its oil refineries are connected by pipe lines with the surrounding oil fields, and two 6-in. pipe lines extend from Beaumont to Oklahoma. Beaumont was first settled in 1828, and was first chartered as a city in 1899.

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