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Jefferson County TX
Jefferson County

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Beaumont Hotels



Jefferson County Seat, Texas Gulf Coast / East Texas

30° 4' 48" N, 94° 7' 36" W (30.08, -94.126667)
On the West bank of the Neches River
28 miles from Louisiana state line
85 miles E of Houston
25 miles W of Orange
17 miles NW of Port Arthur
Population: 118,299 Est. (2016)
118,296 (2010) 113,866 (2000) 114,177 (1990)

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Neches River Railroad Bridge in Beaumont, Texas
The Railroad Bridge in Beaumont
Click on image to enlarge

Photo courtesy Paul Winstone

Beaumont, Texas Topics:

  • History in a Pecan Shell
  • Beaumont Attractions
  • Beaumont People
  • Beaumont Stories
  • Jefferson County Courthouse next page
  • Jefferson County - Towns & Ghost Towns
  • Beaumont Hotels

  • Beaumont TX Jefferson County Courthouse & Jail, 1907 photo
    The 1893 Jefferson County Courthouse and Jail
    Click on image to enlarge
    1907 Postcard courtesy Dan Whatley Collection
    More Texas Courthouses | Texas Jails

    History in a Seashell

    Beaumont dates from 1824 when it was known as Tevis Bluff after Noah and Nancy Tevis - the first settlers. In 1835, Henry Millard and partners bought the Tevis' property for a planed town. Millard's wife's maiden name was Beaumont.

    The First Congress of the Republic of Texas granted it a charter in 1838 and Beaumont was designated the county seat for Jefferson County.

    By the early 1900s the city had four railroads and a population of 9,427.

    The city's history - as well as the State's - is divided by the discovery of oil at nearby Spindletop.

    They were only a few days into 1901 when Spindletop blew in - reportedly on the last length of pipe sunk before the well was abandoned.

    Three major oil companies - the Texas Company, Gulf Oil and Humble - were formed within a year of one another in 1901-02.

    1908: The Neches River was joined to Port Arthur by dredged canal.
    1910: Population 20,000
    1920: Population 40,000
    1925: A second oil discovery was made at Spindletop
    1930: population 58,000
    1941: Wartime prosperity comes with shipbuilding and increased oil
    1943: Martial law is declared after the Beaumont race riot erupts
    1950: Population 94,000
    1960: Population 119,000
    In the early 1960s the police department was reorganized after an investigation by the Texas House of Representatives looking into prostitution and gambling - unsavory residue from the oil boom.
    1970: Population 115,000
    1980: Population 118,000

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    Beaumont, Texas
    Landmarks / Attractions

    Crockett Street, Beaumont, Texas
    Crockett Street
    Photo by John Troesser, September 2004

    Beaumont's pride is demonstrated by its numerous restorations and a vibrant reclamation of the downtown area. The Hotel Beaumont, the Tyrrell Historical Library , the 14 story Art Deco Jefferson County Courthouse, a beautiful Federal Building and the current restoration of the Jefferson Theater and Hotel Beaumont makes this city an example for others.

    Parking is not a problem in a downtown that practically shines. Be sure to check out The Kyle Block - one of the best examples of Zig Zag architecture in the state.

    Among the city's museums are the John J. French Museum, the Gladys City Boom Town Museum (a full-scale replica of the Spindletop boomtown), the Texas Energy Museum with a large collection of Thos. Edison mementos and the Texas Fire Museum - with an excellent collection of vintage fire-fighting equipment.

    Jefferson County Courthouse, Beaumont, Texas
    Jefferson County Courthouse
    Photo by John Troesser, September 2004

    Beaumont, Texas Attractions

  • The Jefferson County Courthouse

  • The Kyle Block - One of the best examples of Zig Zag architecture in Texas

  • The Temple to the Brave - south of downtown in Pipkin Park

  • The Tyrrell Historical Library - Built in 1903 as the First Baptist Church

  • Neches River Rainbow Bridge & Veteran's Memorial Bridge

  • The Railroad Lift Bridge

  • The Beaumont Bank Building Bewilderment

    Book Hotel Here › Beaumont Hotels

  • The Kyle Block in Beaumont, Texas
    View of the entire Kyle Block looking south
    Photo by John Troesser, May 2003

    Temple to the Brave building
    The Temple to the Brave
    Pipkin Park

    Photo by John Troesser, 2000

    Tyrrell Historical Library, Beaumont, Texas
    The Tyrrell Historical Library
    Photo by John Troesser, 9-04

    Jefferson Theatre, Beaumont, Texas
    The Jefferson Theatre Marquee
    Photo by John Troesser, 2003

    Historical Marker: 345 Fannin St.

    Jefferson Theatre

    Built in 1927 by the Jefferson Amusement Company, this theatre quickly became a landmark in downtown Beaumont. Emile Weil, Inc., a New Orleans architectural firm, designed the structure. The interior is a showcase of fine materials and workmanship, with marble staircases and Spanish-style decoration. In addition to motion pictures, the Jefferson Theatre featured dramatic stage productions, vaudeville shows, and other live entertainment.

    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

    Beaumont TX Jefferson Theater

    Jefferson Theatre
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2011
    More Texas Theatres

    Neches River Railroad Bridge in Beaumont, Texas
    Southern Pacific Railway bridge across the Neches River
    Photo by John Troesser, 2000

    Beaumont Texas railroad bridge
    View of the library, theatre and the railroad bridge over the Neches River
    Photo by John Troesser, 2003

    Nueces River and Beaumont water tower
    The Neches River as seen from Hotel Beaumont
    Photo by John Troesser, 2003

    Beaumont, Texas air view of downtown and  Neches River

    Aerial view of the Neches River and downtown Beaumont
    Postcard courtesy Cruse Aviation

    Neches River, Beaumont, Texas

    The Neches River in Beaumont
    Postcard courtesy Cruse Aviation

    Ships in Beaumont, Texas
    Ships across from Pipkin Park in Beaumont
    Photo by John Troesser, 2000

    More Beaumont Bridges

    Neches River by Bob Bowman ›

    Beaumont, Texas Stories

    Spindle Top Oil Field, Beaumont, Texas
    Spindle Top Oil Field, Beaumont, Texas
    Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/%7Etxpstcrd/

  • Spindletop: Selling Wind and Hot Air by Michael Barr ("Texas in Hindsight")

  • Spindletop: When Oil Became An Industry by Archie P. McDonald, PhD ("All Things Historical")

  • The Vanishing of Marine Sulphur Queen by Mike Cox ("Texas Tales")
    "...So far as is known, the Texas woman was the last person to see the 504-foot, 7,240-ton tanker and her 39-man crew...."

  • YOCUM'S INN: The Devil's Own Lodging House by W. T. Block, Jr. ("Cannonball's Tales")
    Located on the old Opelousas cattle trail northwest of Beaumont.
    "A gentleman's life... held no attraction for Squire Yocum, a man who literally was nursed almost from the cradle on murder and rapine, and for many years Yocum's Inn was actually a den of robbers and killers."

  • A Brief History of Pioneer Entertainment in Beaumont, Texas by W. T. Block, Jr. ("Cannonball's Tales")

  • Home of the Cardinals by Archie P. McDonald (from "All Things Historical" column).
    Lamar University in Beaumont

  • Dick Dowling by Archie P. McDonald (from "All Things Historical" column). Sabine Pass' commander, Lieutenant Richard William Dowling, namesake of the Dick Dowling Junior High School.

  • The Case of Beaumont's Missing Marble Corpse by W. T. Block, Jr. ("Cannonball's Tales")
    It was July of 1901 in Beaumont, and the frenzy of oil excitement rushed on unabated. Gusher No. 15 had just blown in on the hill, and each arriving train deposited a new horde of traders and roughnecks, boomers and hangers-on of every hue in a city that was already smothering with new population... In the midst of all the oil madness, there emerged one of the strangest tales ever to unfold in the "sawdust city," the case of Beaumont's missing corpse that had turned to stone...

  • Olive, Hardin County, Texas - An Extinct Sawmill Town and the Olive-Sternenberg Partnership That Built It by W. T. Block, Jr. ("Cannonball's Tales")
    "Three miles north of Kountze, in Hardin County, Texas, where once the burly and towering pine trees shaded the forest floors beneath them, the town of Olive thrived between 1881 and 1912. It took its name from Sidney C. Olive of Waco, who was one-half of the partnership of Olive, Sternenberg and Company, the owners of the large Sunset Sawmill, which spawned the community.
    In 1876, while Beaumont was celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the United States, the same owners built the Centennial Sawmill on Brake's Bayou, Beaumont's first large lumber mill, and operated it until 1883...."

  • The Tale of Hardin County's Wild Family by W. T. Block, Jr. ("Cannonball's Tales")
    What 'boy' is there among us, either youthful or aged, who has not experienced a longing at some time or another to escape to the forest -- far from the amenities of civilization, such as table manners and school bells -- to live carefree and survive, Tarzan-like, from the products of the thickets and streams?...

  • "The Boll Weevil" by Mike Cox
    One of many long and short lines serving Texas was the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway, better known in the early 1900s as "The Boll Weevil." With headquarters in Houston, it ran from Cleburne to Beaumont. Chartered in 1902, and later operated for years in receivership, the line became part of the Burlington-Rock Island in 1930.

  • Snowfall in Galveston by Mike Cox
    On Feb. 14, 1895 it snowed 28 inches in Beaumont.

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  • Beaumont People

  • Miss Rita of Beaumont's Dixie Hotel by John Troesser
    The Philanthropic Madam of Oil City

  • “Godfather of Beaumont” by Fred B. McKinley
    Frank Yount and the Yount-Lee Oil Company, “the Godfather and Financial Gibraltar of Beaumont.”

  • "Babe" Didrikson by Archie P. McDonald
    The outstanding woman athlete of the twentieth century.
    "The Babe, who earned her nickname from sandlot baseball companions who thought she batted like Babe Ruth, was born in Port Arthur, Texas, on June 26, 1911, to Norwegian immigrants Ole and Hannah Didriksen. The Babe later changed the spelling of the family name slightly. The Didriksen’s moved to Beaumont in 1915..." more

  • Napoleon Bonaparte Wiess by W. T. Block
    Steamboat Captain and Confederate Soldier.

  • Capt. William E. Rogers: Beaumont Steamboatman by W. T. Block, Jr.
    Perhaps no one in early Beaumont was as popular and well-known as the steamboat captains, and one of them whose biography comes readily to mind was Capt. W. E. Rogers...

  • Former slave's death in 1889 attracted rare news coverage by W. T. Block, Jr.
    In February 1889, Beaumont Enterprise published an obituary about a Black centenarian, nicknamed "Old Sock," in an age when Black obituaries were usually printed only in Negro newspapers...

  • The Magnificent Montague by Bill Cherry
    His real name is Nathaniel Montague, but probably less than a handful of people know his given name. To the public, he’s always been known as The Magnificent Montague. He was born in New Jersey, left there before he graduated from a black military school to travel the seas as a merchant marine. And he got off of his ship in Galveston because he heard there was a disc jockey position open at a Beaumont radio station. He wanted to play music. It was 1954...

  • Ida Lee by C. F. Eckhardt
    On March 21, 1924, Mrs. Ida Lee Daughtery of Hall, Texas, died. She was a woman of some reputation—not as a ‘soiled dove,’ but as a devoted wife.

  • Meeting Miss Rita by Frances Giles
    My first and only meeting with Mrs. Rita Ainsworth took place on a hot and humid summer day in southeast Texas. Is there any other kind? I was about 14 years old at the time...

  • The Boys of Summer by Frances Giles
    Beaumont had long had different farm teams which groomed players for the big league, and Stuart Stadium was only 3 blocks from our house on Emile Street. In the 1957 season, our neighborhood was drawn into the fringes of the big time...

  • That's My Mom by Frances Giles
    The main sport played by kids in our neighborhood was baseball. I've mentioned before we had an unusually long season, mainly because it stayed warm for so long in Beaumont. The fact is, we just loved the game...

  • Bandit's bad baby brother by Wanda Orton

    Native Sons:
  • The Big Bopper by Clay Coppedge
  • The Big Bopper by by Archie P. McDonald

  • Tom Tierney
    Tom Tierney

    by John Troesser

    Jefferson County Texas 1940s
    Jefferson County 1920s map
    From Texas state map #10749
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Beaumont Tourist Information
    Beaumont Chamber of Commerce
    1110 Park St, Beaumont, TX77701

    Take a Road Trip

    Texas Gulf Coast | East Texas

    Beaumont, Texas Area Destinations:
    See Jefferson County

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