Beaumont, Texas

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Beaumont, Texas
Location in the state of Texas
Location in the state of Texas
Coordinates: 30°04′48″N 94°07′36″W / 30.08000°N 94.12667°W / 30.08000; -94.12667Coordinates: 30°04′48″N 94°07′36″W / 30.08000°N 94.12667°W / 30.08000; -94.12667
CountryUnited States
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • City CouncilMayor Becky Ames
Dr. Alan B. Coleman
W. L. Pate, Jr.
Bill Sam, Sr.
Audwin M. Samuel
Gethrel ‘Get’ Williams-Wright
Mike Getz
 • City ManagerKyle Hayes
 • Total85.9 sq mi (222.6 km2)
 • Land85.0 sq mi (220.2 km2)
 • Water0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)
Elevation16 ft (5 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total118,296
 • Density1,339.4/sq mi (517.1/km2)
Time zoneCST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes77701–77710, 77713, 77720, 77725, 77726
Area code(s)409
FIPS code48-07000[1]
GNIS feature ID1330268[2]
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Beaumont, Texas
Location in the state of Texas
Location in the state of Texas
Coordinates: 30°04′48″N 94°07′36″W / 30.08000°N 94.12667°W / 30.08000; -94.12667Coordinates: 30°04′48″N 94°07′36″W / 30.08000°N 94.12667°W / 30.08000; -94.12667
CountryUnited States
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • City CouncilMayor Becky Ames
Dr. Alan B. Coleman
W. L. Pate, Jr.
Bill Sam, Sr.
Audwin M. Samuel
Gethrel ‘Get’ Williams-Wright
Mike Getz
 • City ManagerKyle Hayes
 • Total85.9 sq mi (222.6 km2)
 • Land85.0 sq mi (220.2 km2)
 • Water0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)
Elevation16 ft (5 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total118,296
 • Density1,339.4/sq mi (517.1/km2)
Time zoneCST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes77701–77710, 77713, 77720, 77725, 77726
Area code(s)409
FIPS code48-07000[1]
GNIS feature ID1330268[2]

Beaumont (/ˈbmɒnt/ BOH-mont) 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 118,296 at the 2010 census making it the twenty-fourth most populous city in the state of Texas and the state's largest city east of Houston. With Port Arthur and Orange, it forms the Golden Triangle, a major industrial area on the Gulf Coast.

Lamar University with its 15,000 students is located 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 2011). 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.


In 1824 Noah and Nancy Tevis settled on the west bank of Neches River and organized a farm. Soon after that, a small community grew up around the farm, which was named Tevis Bluff or Neches River Settlement.[4] In 1835 the land of Tevises together with nearby community of Santa Anna (in total, 50 acres (200,000 m2) or 200,000 m2) was purchased by Henry Millard[5] (1796?–1844), Joseph Pulsifer[6] (1805–1861) and Thomas B. Huling[7] (1804–1865), who began planning a town to be laid out on this land.[4] This town was named Beaumont, after Jefferson Beaumont the brother in law of Henry Millard.

Beaumont became a town on 16 December 1838. Joseph Perkins Pulsifer was a founding citizen of Beaumont.[6] 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.[8]

Schaadt (2006) examines the entrepreneurship that made Beaumont thrive in its early years. From its founding in 1835, business activities included real estate, transportation expansion, and retail sales. Later, other businesses were formed, especially in railroad construction and operation, new building construction, lumber sales, and communications. They made Beaumont a successful regional shipping center. Beaumont was a small center for cattle raisers and farmers in its early years, and with an active riverport by the 1880s, 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 19th century, was due in large part to the rebuilding and expansion of the railroads after the Civil War. The rise of Beaumont's mill economy drew many new residents to the city, many of them immigrants, among them a group of Jews who would go on to form a congregation.[9] By the early 20th century, the city was served by the Southern Pacific, Kansas City Southern, Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe, and Missouri Pacific railroad systems.[10]

Lucas Gusher, Spindletop

Oil was discovered at nearby Spindletop on 10 January 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 contributor to the national GDP.

Captain W. C. Tyrrell was a leading philanthropist during the early 20th century. He helped fund such projects as the opening of a commercial port in the city, the development of the local rice industry, the development of suburban property, as well as the donation of the city's first public library, the Tyrrell Historical Library.[11]

The city became a major center for shipbuilding during World War II, as tens of thousands of rural Texans poured in for the new high-paying jobs. Housing was scarce and racial tension high when 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.[12]

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[edit]

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.[13]


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.[14]

PositionNameElected to Current PositionAreas Represented

Council Districts

 MayorBecky Ames2007–presentCitywide
 At Large Position 1Gethrel ‘Get’ Williams-Wright2007–presentCitywide
 At Large Position 2W.L. Pate, Jr.2007–presentCitywide
 Ward 1 & Mayor Pro-TemDr. Alan Coleman2007–presentNorth Beaumont
 Ward 2Mike Getz2011–presentWest Beaumont
 Ward 3Audwin M. Samuels1984–1992, 1999–presentCentral Beaumont
 Ward 4Bill Sam, Sr.2014–presentSouth Beaumont

State representation[edit]

The Texas Department of Transportation operates the Beaumont District Office in Beaumont.[15] The Texas Ninth Court of Appeals is located in the Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont.[16] The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates the Beaumont District Parole Office in Beaumont.[17]

Federal representation[edit]

The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates the Beaumont Federal Correctional Complex in an unincorporated area in Jefferson County, near Beaumont.[18]


According to the City's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report[19] the top employers in the city are:

Refineries, Port of Beaumont and the Jefferson County Courthouse
#Employer# of Employees
1Conn's Appliances Inc.3,419
2Beaumont Independent School District2,909
3Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital1,880
4Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital1,783
5City of Beaumont1,343
6Lamar University1,203
7Jefferson County1,193
8CB&I Matrix Engineering752
9ENGlobal Corporation468

A significant element of the region's economy is the Port of Beaumont, the nation's fourth largest seaport by Tonnage. The 842d Transportation Battalion, and the 596th Transportation Group are both stationed at the port in Beaumont.

Conn's Appliances and Jason's Deli did have their headquarters in Beaumont; however, in mid-2012, Conn's moved its corporate headquarters to Houston.[20][21] Originally Sweet Leaf Tea Company had its headquarters in Beaumont.[22] The headquarters moved to Austin in October 2003.[23]

Businesses associated with Beaumont[edit]


Jack Brooks Regional Airport (BPT), located 9 miles (14 km) south of Beaumont's central business district, serves the region with regional jet flights nonstop to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW), Texas with this scheduled passenger service being operated by American Eagle on behalf of American Airlines.

Amtrak's Sunset Limited serves Beaumont's train station.

Groundshuttle operates a daily shuttle to Houston Hobby Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The city operates a city wide bus system called Beaumont Municipal Transit (BMT).

Major Highways

US 69
US 96
US 287


Beaumont is located at 30°4′48″N 94°7′36″W / 30.08000°N 94.12667°W / 30.08000; -94.12667 (30.079912, −94.126653).[26] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 85.9 square miles (222 km2), of which, 85.0 square miles (220 km2) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) of it (1.07%) is water.

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.


The city of Beaumont, Texas is within the humid subtropical climate regime.[27] This city is within the Piney Woods, which cover the eastern region of Texas, as well as adjacent Louisiana.[28] 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 13 September 2008. Causing $32 billion in damage, it is the third most costly hurricane in United States history.[29] 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 24 December 2004, the first such occurrence since 1989. However, more recently, Beaumont and the surrounding areas received a light snow on 11 December 2008. Up to 4 inches (100 mm) 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 4 December 2009. These are the earliest measurable snowfalls at the airport since the late 19th century. Although in unofficial records, Beaumont received as much as 30 inches (760 mm) of snow on 14 February and 15 during the blizzard of 1895 that impacted the gulf coast with unusual cold weather. Unofficially the temperature reported to drop to a low of 4 °F (−16 °C) after the storm. The area suffered a severe ice storm in January 1997. On 18 August 2009 a tornado hit the west end of Beaumont, and caused damage to several local businesses and cars. Injuries were minimal.[30]

The Beaumont-Port Arthur region has been cited as one of the most polluted urban areas in the United States due to various energy industries and chemical plants in the area. According to an article published in 2007, the pollution was believed to have caused some residents to become sick and has generated debates throughout the media.[31]

As of July, 2014, the Beaumont-Port Arthur region is not under any Environmental Protection Agency non-attainment restrictions; however, counties in the Greater Houston area, the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, and El Paso are.[32] As of October, 2014, the Beaumont-Port Arthur area is not under any Texas Commission on Environmental Quality attainment compliance deadlines.[33]

Climate data for Beaumont, Texas (1981–2010 normals)
Record high °F (°C)86
Average high °F (°C)62.2
Average low °F (°C)42.5
Record low °F (°C)11
Precipitation inches (mm)4.94
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)
Source: NOAA[34] The Weather Channel (records)[35]


Historical population

As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 118,296 people, 45,648 households, and 28,859 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 per square mile (221.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 39.8% White, 47.3% African American, 0.0% Native American, 3.3% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 7.1% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.4% of the population.

There were 45,648 households out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.7% were married couples living together, 19.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.8% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.3% the age of 19 or under, 8.5% from 20 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.4 years. For every 100 females there were 95 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,699, according to the American Community Survey (5 year), and the median income for a family was $49,766. The per capita income for the city was $23,137. About 17.6% of families and 22.1% of the population were below the poverty line.


Arts and theatre[edit]

Art Museum of Southeast Texas, notice the last remaining column from the Perlstein Building.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum off Interstate 10 in Beaumont
Built in 1903 as First Baptist Church, this building is now Tyrrell Historical Library

Tourism and recreation[edit]

The Beaumont Botanical Gardens located at Tyrrell Park and include a Cattail Marsh and mile nature trail.[37]

Botanical Garden, Henry Homberg Municipal Golf Course, Cattail Marsh, restrooms, shelters, Babe Zaharias Drive Monument, baseball backstop, lighted basketball goals, benches, drinking fountains, 1-mile (1.6 km) nature trail, picnic tables

Downtown Beaumont[edit]

Main article: Downtown Beaumont

Downtown Beaumont is the center of Business, Government and night time entertainment in southeast Texas. Downtown features the Crockett Street Entertainment Complex with entertainment options from dancing, to live music to dining or a bar. In addition to the night time entertainment downtown also features a museum district with four distinct museums.

Golf Courses


The South Texas State Fair is held at Beaumont's Ford Park during March. It is the 2nd largest fair in the state with over 500,000 visitors in 2009.[38] The fair features a livestock show, a commercial exhibition, a carnival midway and numerous food choices. The Fair moved from the Fair Park Coliseum to Ford Park in 2004. The fair was previously held in the fall but had to be moved to spring after Hurricane Rita caused its cancellation.

The Gusher Marathon formed in 2010 by the local nonprofit Sports Society for American Health is the city's first annual marathon. The Gusher takes place in march and includes a 5K, half marathon and full marathon. The course begins at the Montagne Center of Lamar University and tours Downtown and Lamar before returning to the Montange.

The Beaumont Jazz & Blues Fest is a Jazz festival held in downtown Beaumont since 2005. The Boomtown Film and Music Festival is a film and music festival that began in 2008 to replace the Spindletop Film Festival.

Dog Jam is a rock concert held annually at Ford Park.

On the first Saturday of December downtown host the Downtown Winter Parade. The parade features floats that travel down Main, College and Pearl streets. In recent years the parade has also featured a lighted boat parade that travels down the Neches River, spectators can watch from Riverfront Park.


Professional Sports[edit]

University Sports[edit]

Main article: Lamar Cardinals

The sports teams of Lamar University compete in Division I NCAA athletics as the Lamar Cardinals. The athletics program is a full member of the Southland Conference. The Cardinals and Lady Cardinals compete in 17 varsity sports. The Cardinals Basketball team plays in the Montagne Center and Cardinals Baseball Team plays in Vincent-Beck Stadium. The university brought back football in 2010. As part of the return, Provost Umphrey Stadium was completely renovated. The return was official when the Cardinals Football team played its first game in 21 years in the fall of 2010. The team currently competes in the Southland Conference as a member of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).



The Beaumont Enterprise is the only daily newspaper serving Beaumont. Operating since 1880 The Enterprise is one of the oldest continually operated business in Beaumont. It is operated by the Hearst Corporation. Two weekly publications The Examiner and The Southeast Texas Record. The Examiner is primarily an investigative reporting paper. the Southeast Texas Record is a legal journal that covers Jefferson and Orange County courts.


KBTV is operated by the same owners of KFDM, Sinclair Broadcast Group.

The region currently has no PBS station of its own; Houston's PBS on channel 8 and Lake Charles LPB on channel 20 do not reach the area. KUHT has a construction permit for a digital translator on RF 24, which would share KFDM's antenna on 25 but the University of Houston has had financial cutbacks and recently cancelled a translator application in Victoria. What outcome this will have on the Beaumont facility remains to be seen.


FrequencyCall letters / licensed to (if not Beaumont)FormatOwnerNotes
560KLVINews, Talk radioClear Channel
990KZZBBlack gospel "Gospel 990"Martin Broadcasting
1150KBPO (Port Neches)Spanish-language Christian RadioChristian Ministries of the Valley
1250KDEI (Port Arthur)Catholic radioRadio Maria
1300KSET (Lumberton)SilentProctor-Williams, Inc.
1340KOLE (Port Arthur)VariousBirach Broadcasting
1450KIKRSports "Sports Radio 1450/1510 AM"Cumulus Broadcasting
1510KBED (Nederland)Sports "Sports Radio 1450/1510 AM"Cumulus BroadcastingSimulcast of KIKR only during daytime hours
1600KOGT (Orange)Country
88.1KLBTContemporary ChristianThe King's Musician Educational Foundation
88.5KGHYSouthern Gospel "The Gospel Highway"CCS Radio
89.7KTXBChristian radio "Family Radio"Family Stations
90.5KZFT (Fanette)Christian radioAFR
91.3KVLUPublic RadioLamar University
92.5KCOL (Groves)Oldies "Cool 92.5"Clear Channel
93.3 (Port Arthur)KQBURegional Mexican "Que Buena 93.3"Univision
94.1KQXYCHR "Q94"Cumulus Broadcasting
95.1KYKRCountry "Kicker 95.1"Clear Channel
97.5KFNC (Mont Belvieu)Sports "ESPN 97.5"Gow Media-Houston
98.5KTJM (Port Arthur)Regional Mexican "La Raza 98.5/103.3"Liberman Broadcasting-Houston
99.9KSHN (Liberty)Full service "Shine All 9"Trinity River Valley Broadcasting
100.7KKHT (Lumberton)Christian radio "100.7 The Word"Salem Broadcasting
101.7KAYD (Silsbee)Country "KD101"Cumulus Broadcasting
102.5KTCXUrban contemporary "Magic 102.5"Cumulus Broadcasting
103.3K277AG (Beaumont)Comedy "Comedy 103.3"Clear ChannelSimulcast of KKMY-HD2
104.5 (Orange)KKMYRhythmic CHR "104.5 Kiss FM"Clear Channel
105.3KXXF (Winnie)Mostly rock but varied (with Walton and Johnson morningsExcel Media
106.1KIOC (Orange)Rock "Big Dog 106"Clear Channel
107.9KQQKRegional Mexican "107.9 El Norte"Liberman Broadcasting-Houston


Downtown Beaumont, Texas from Laurel St.

Beaumont has 8 buildings over 100 feet (30 m) tall, the tallest being the Edison Plaza, which is 254 feet (77 m) tall.[40] The old Edson Hotel, built in 1928 is nearly the same height at 240 feet.[41] One of the most prominent downtown buildings is the 15 story San Jacinto Building. Built in 1921, it sports one of the largest four faced clock towers in the nation, each dial being 17 feet (5.2 m) in diameter.[42] In 1922 the 11 story Hotel Beaumont was built across the street from the San Jacinto. The Hotel Beaumont 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 12 story Goodhue Building which included a penthouse. In 1928, the Edson Hotel was built. No other buildings were built until Century Tower in 1962 and in 1982 Edison Plaza was built. In 1994 the 12 story LaSalle Hotel, built in 1927, was demolished.

The Jefferson Theatre was built in 1927 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.[43] Across the street from the Jack Brooks Federal Building is the Kyle Building, built in 1933. The storefront was recently restored and is considered to be one of the best examples of Zig-Zag architecture in Texas.[44]

The Oaks Historic District has many restored historic homes.


Colleges and Universities[edit]

Lamar University[edit]

Main article: Lamar University

Beaumont has one state university, Lamar University, which belongs to The Texas State University System. Lamar University was established in 1923 as South Park Junior College. Lamar University is a Doctoral granting institution with over 100 degrees offered. The school's main academic offerings are in Business, Nursing, Teaching and Engineering. Lamar University's enrollment has grown tremendously in the first decade of the 21st century.[45] This has prompted a building boom at the campus. The school's enrollment as of 2010 was above 14,000 students.

Lamar Institute of Technology[edit]

Lamar Institute of Technology is located directly adjacent to Lamar University and serves as the region's technical college for two-year degrees and certificates.

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Beaumont is served by the Beaumont Independent School District.

High Schools

Harmony Science Academy of Beaumont, public charter school. Premier High School of Beaumont, also a public charter school 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. Legacy Christian Academy, on Highway 105, enrolls PK-3 through 12th grade. All Saints Episcopal School, on Delaware St., enrolls Kindergarten through 8th grade.

Notable people[edit]

For a full list of people associated with Beaumont Texas see: People from Beaumont, Texas

See also[edit]


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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]