Beaumont, Texas

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Flag of Beaumont, Texas
Flag of Beaumont, Texas

Beaumont is a city and county seat of Jefferson County in U.S. state of Texas within the Beaumont—Port Arthur metropolitan area. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 113,866. With Port Arthur and Orange, it forms the Golden Triangle, a major industrial area on the Gulf Coast.

The Southeast Texas Regional Airport in Nederland, Texas, serves Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas. Lamar University is based in Beaumont. The city's daily newspaper is The Beaumont Enterprise.

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 2005). 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.



Oil was discovered at Spindletop near Beaumont on January 10, 1901. Spindletop became the first major oil field and one of the largest in American history.

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, 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. With the discovery of oil at Spindletop, Beaumont's population grew from 3,296 in 1890 to 9,427 in 1900.

A race riot took place in Beaumont in June 1943, after a white woman said she had been raped by a black man. [1]

In 1996, the Jefferson County courts, located in Beaumont Texas, 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 reems of documents.


Location of Beaumont, Texas

Beaumont is on Texas's coastal plain, about 30 miles 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 the Pine Island Bayou. Before being settled, the area that is now Beaumont was crisscrossed by numerous small streams, but most of these have been filled in or converted for drainage purposes.

Beaumont is located at 30°4'48" North, 94°7'36" West (30.079912, -94.126653)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 222.6 km² (85.9 mi²). 220.2 km² (85.0 mi²) of it is land and 2.4 km² (0.9 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.07% water.


Beaumont has a subtropical climate with mild winters and hot, humid summers. The most recent snow event was December 24, 2004, the first such occurrence since 1989, though the area did suffer a devastating ice storm in 1997.

Hurricanes have left their mark on Beaumont as well. In 1957 Hurricane Audrey, a strong category 4 hurricane (borderline category 5 at times) came onshore straight up the Texas/Louisiana border causing massive flooding and wind damage. 390 people lost their lives (other estimates show over 500), most in Louisiana due to drowning. In 1961 Hurricane Carla, the largest storm in terms of size, affected the entire Texas coast line from Jefferson County down to Brownsville. Carla caused millions of dollars in damage and still remains the strongest storm to strike the Texas coast. Beaumont suffered massive flooding due to poor drainage at the time and tornadoes. Some portions of the Golden Triangle never recovered but most parts grew back and prospered fully.

Beaumont lived without a strong hurricane until June 23, 1986. On that day, Hurricane Bonnie roared through the region with maximum winds at 90 miles per hour (gusts to 125 mph) creating a havoc on local roadways because of the massive amounts of rain dumped on the area. Some regions received upwards of 10-15 inches in some places, flooding homes and businesses. Many mobile home parks were destroyed, people were displaced, and some businesses in the area never recovered. Three people lost their lives in Bonnie. Nevertheless, Beaumont quickly recovered. The region had some hits and misses but none more so than in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew threatened the area. Beaumont was under a hurricane warning and evacuation procedures took place. It was rough going for the evacuation, which became the largest peacetime evacuation in the United States since Hurricane Carla in 1961. Andrew missed the Beaumont area, but it was a scare that still haunts the area today. More recently, Beaumonters dealt with Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. Although Beaumont and the vicinity did not get the damage and destruction that Houston got, marks were still left and some are still being felt today. Homes are still abandoned due to massive flooding that took place because of the non stop five-day rainfall. Total rainfall amounts associated with Allison reached the 20 inch mark in most towns and cities in Southeast Texas. Hurricane Lili threatened the area in 2002 as a category 4 hurricane, and prompted another "Andrew-style" evacuation. Though large, it went relatively smoothly and didn't mirror the 1992 evacuation. Lili veered north into central Louisiana and did not affect the region significantly. Hurricane Rita hit the city in 2005, leveling many buildings and leaving remaining residents without power. Virtually every building in the town was damaged, some even destroyed.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 113,866 people, 44,361 households, and 29,100 families residing in the city. The population density is 517.2/km² (1,339.4/mi²). There are 48,815 housing units at an average density of 221.7/km² (574.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 46.39% White, 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. 7.93% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

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

In the city the population is 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 are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 86.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $32,559, and the median income for a family is $40,825. Males have a median income of $35,861 versus $24,255 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,632. 19.6% of the population and 16.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 28.6% of those under the age of 18 and 12.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


Top Ten Employers [2]:

Points of interest

Famous people from Beaumont

External links

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