|City of Beaumont
Location in the state of Texas
|Coordinates: 30°04?48?N 94°07?36?W / 30.08000°N 94.12667°WCoordinates: 30°04?48?N 94°07?36?W / 30.08000°N 94.12667°W
|| United States
| o Type
| o City Council
||Mayor Becky Ames
W. L. Pate, Jr.
Audwin M. Samuel
| o City Manager
| o City
||85.9 sq mi (222.6 km2)
| o Land
||85.0 sq mi (220.2 km2)
| o Water
||0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)
||16 ft (5 m)
| o City
| o Estimate (2016)
| o Density
||1,339.4/sq mi (517.1/km2)
| o Urban
||147,922 (222th U.S.)
| o Metro
||404,872 (130th U.S.)
| o Summer (DST)
||77701-77710, 77713, 77720, 77725, 77726
|GNIS feature ID
||Neches River, Pine Island Bayou
Beaumont ( BOH-mont) is a city in and the county seat of Jefferson County, Texas in the United States, within the Beaumont-Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located in Southeast Texas on the Neches River about 90 mi (140 km) east of Houston (city center to city center), Beaumont had a population of 118,296 at the time of the 2010 census, making it the twenty-fourth-most populous city in the state of Texas.
Beaumont was founded as a town in 1835. The early European-American settlement had an economy based on the development of lumber, farming, and port industries. In 1892, Joseph Eloi Broussard opened the first commercially successful rice mill in the state, stimulating development of rice farming in the area; he also started an irrigation company (since 1933 established as the Lower Neches Valley Authority) to support rice culture. Rice became an important commodity crop in Texas, and is now cultivated in 23 counties.
A big change occurred in 1901 with the Spindletop gusher, which demonstrated the potential of the huge oil field. With Spindletop, several energy companies developed in Beaumont, and some continue. The area rapidly developed as one of the major petro-chemical refining areas in the country. Along with Port Arthur and Orange, Beaumont forms the Golden Triangle, a major industrial area on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Beaumont is home of Lamar University, a national Carnegie Doctoral Research university with 14,966 students, including undergraduates and post graduates. Over the years, several corporations have been based in this city, including Gulf States Utilities which had its headquarters in Beaumont until its takeover by Entergy Corporation in 1993. GSU's Edison Plaza headquarters is still the tallest building in Beaumont (as of 2017).
In 1824 Noah and Nancy Tevis settled on the west bank of the Neches River and developed a farm. Soon after that, a small community grew up around the farm, which was named Tevis Bluff or Neches River Settlement. In 1835 the land of Tevis, together with the nearby community of Santa Anna (in total, 50 acres (20 ha)), was purchased by Henry Millard (1796?-1844), Joseph Pulsifer (1805-1861), and Thomas Byers Huling (1804-1865). They began planning a town to be laid out on this land. Their partnership, J.P. Pulsifer and Company, controlled the first 50 acres (200,000 m2) upon which the town was founded. This town was named Beaumont, after Jefferson Beaumont, the brother-in-law of Henry Millard. They added more property for a total of 200 acres.
Beaumont became a town on 16 December 1838. Beaumont's first mayor was Alexander Calder. From the town's founding in 1835, business activities included real estate, transportation, and retail sales. Later, other businesses were formed, especially in railroad construction and operation, new building construction, lumber sales, and communications. The Port of Beaumont became a successful regional shipping center. Beaumont was a small center for cattle raisers and farmers in its early years. With an active riverport by the 1880s, it became an important lumber and rice-milling town. It exported rice as a commodity crop.
The Beaumont Rice Mill, founded in 1892 by Joseph Eloi Broussard, was the first commercially successful rice mill in Texas. In addition, Broussard founded a company to operate an irrigation system to support rice culture. (It became a public institution, the Lower Neches Irrigation Authority.) This helped stimulate the expansion of rice cultivation from 1500 acres in 1892 to 400,000 acres in 23 counties by his death in 1956. Beaumont's lumber boom, which reached its peak in the late 19th century, was stimulated by the rebuilding and expansion of the railroads in the state and region after the Civil War.
The rise of Beaumont's mill economy drew many new residents to the city, many of them immigrants. The first Jewish man in the city was from Louisiana, others migrated from the South, and were joined by immigrants. They worked as merchants and in a variety of jobs in the growing city and ranching area. In 1895 Jews formed their first congregation. 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.
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 more than tripled in two months 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.
William Casper Tyrrell, nicknamed "Captain W.C.", was a leading businessman and oil tycoon in the city in the early 20th century, developing businesses during the Texas Oil Boom. An entrepreneur from Pennsylvania and Iowa, he arrived after the gusher at Spindletop, and invested in development of a commercial port in the city, and an irrigation system to support the local rice industry, as well as residential and retail development of suburban property. He was also a philanthropist. He purchased and donated First Baptist Church, whose congregation had moved to a new facility, to use as the city's first public library, now known as the Tyrrell Historical Library.
When the city became a major center for defense shipbuilding during World War II, tens of thousands of rural Texans migrated there for the new high-paying jobs. The Roosevelt administration ordered the defense industry to be integrated, and many Southern whites were working closely with blacks for the first time. Housing was scarce in the crowded city, and racial tensions increased. In June 1943 after workers at the Pennsylvania shipyard in Beaumont learned that a white woman had accused a black man of raping her, nearly 2,000 went to the jail where a suspect was being held, attracting more men along the way and reaching a total of 4,000. Ultimately the white mob rioted for three days, destroying major black neighborhoods and killing five persons. No one was prosecuted for the deaths. The riot in Beaumont was one of several in 1943 which centered in the defense industry, including Los Angeles,Detroit,Chicago and Mobile, Alabama as well as other cities across the country. The wartime social disruption was similar to war time riots which had occurred in other parts of the country during and following World War I.
In the postwar years, Beaumont's port continued in importance. As was typical with other cities, post-war highway construction led to the development of new suburbs and dispersal of the population in search of new housing. Recently, there has been some renewal in Downtown Beaumont and in other areas of the city.
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. This eliminated 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, respectively. Mandatory evacuations were issued in advance of both storms.
In August 2017, Beaumont and surrounding areas experienced severe flooding as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Due to the flooding, Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital evacuated all of its highest level of acuity patients with the help of National Guard helicopters. In addition, many Beaumont residents had to be rescued by both boats and helicopters as a result of the floodwaters. As of February 2018, many residents in the area are still attempting to recover from the hurricane.
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) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) (1.07%) is water.
Beaumont lies on Texas' coastal plain, about 30 miles (48 km) inland from the Gulf of Mexico, one hour drive east of Houston, 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 is within the humid subtropical climate regime, and is within the Piney Woods region of eastern Texas. The area around Beaumont receives the most rainfall in the state: more than 48 inches (1,200 mm) annually. Summers in the area are usually hot and humid, due to the moisture that flows inland off of the Gulf of Mexico. Winters are usually kept mild by the warm gulf waters. Hurricanes also pose a threat to the region. Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008 both caused significant damage. Hurricane Harvey in 2017 caused historic flooding throughout the city.
On August 18, 2009, a tornado hit the west side of Beaumont, causing damage to cars and several local businesses. Injuries were minimal.
While wintry precipitation is unusual, it does occur. The most recent significant wintry event to occur was December 8, 2017 when the Southeast Texas Regional Airport recorded 3 inches of snowfall. December 11, 2008 and December 4, 2009 were also days that Beaumont saw measurable snowfall. Snow also fell across the Beaumont area on Christmas Eve 2004. In January 1997, a severe and historic ice storm struck the region, leaving thousands without power and major tree damage in its wake. In unofficial records, Beaumont received as much as 30 inches of snow during the blizzard of February 1895 that impacted the Gulf Coast.
|Climate data for Beaumont, Texas (1981-2010 normals)
|Record high °F (°C)
|Average high °F (°C)
|Average low °F (°C)
|Record low °F (°C)
|Average precipitation inches (mm)
|Average precipitation days
|Source: NOAA The Weather Channel (records)
The Beaumont-Port Arthur region has historically 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. Even so, as of July, 2014, the Beaumont-Port Arthur region was not under any Environmental Protection Agency non-attainment restrictions; however, counties in the Greater Houston area, the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, and El Paso were. As of October, 2014, the Beaumont-Port Arthur area was not under any Texas Commission on Environmental Quality attainment compliance deadlines. Regardless, according to an article published in 2007 focusing on Port Arthur, a neighboring city to the southeast of Beaumont, pollution was believed to have caused some area residents to become sick. This has generated debates throughout the local media.
As of the census 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 33.5% non-Hispanic 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.
According to the City's 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report the top employers in the city are:
||# of Employees
||Conn's Appliances Inc
||Beaumont Independent School District
||Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital
||Memorial Herman Baptist Hospital
||City of Beaumont
||Richard Design Services, Inc.
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.
In addition to companies doing business within the city limits, several large industrial facilities are located within the city's five-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction boundaries including the ExxonMobil Beaumont refinery and chemical plants, Goodyear Beaumont chemical plant, and DuPont chemical plant.
Jason's Deli has its headquarters in Beaumont.Conn's Appliances did have its headquarters in Beaumont; however, in mid-2012, Conn's moved its corporate headquarters to The Woodlands. Originally Sweet Leaf Tea Company had its headquarters in Beaumont. The headquarters moved to Austin in October 2003.
Businesses associated with Beaumont
- Bethlehem Steel/Trinity Industries Shipyard: dating from 1917 to 1994 under the names of Beaumont Shipbuilding and Drydock Company (1917-1922), Pennsylvania Shipyards (1922-1948), Bethlehem Steel Company (1948-1988), and Trinity Industries (1989-1994). Over eight hundred (800) vessels were built and repaired at the shipyard including barges, ships, and offshore drilling rigs including seventy-two (72) jack up offshore drilling rigs, the second-most offshore drilling rigs built in the United States, and seventy-one (71) Type C1 ships built for the U.S. Maritime Commission during World War II
- Conn's: Chain of appliance and electronic stores; now headquartered in The Woodlands 
- Dresser Industries: A Dresser-Ideco plant was a major employer for seventy-seven years. The plant, with around 350 employees, closed in 1985.
- 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 30 states; still HQed in Beaumont.
- 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 1930s through the 1950s. Its refinery in Beaumont along with Texas Oil Co. & Gulf's in Port Arthur, Texas 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 five 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, Texas.
- 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.
Arts and theatre
Museums and buildings open for tours
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 with a collecting focus on Texas art and Folk Art and offers 10-14 educational programs in any given year. Admission is free, and is the only museum open seven days per week.
- Beaumont Children's Museum Started in 2008 and opened in 2012, the museum moved to a temporary location in 2015 to the Beaumont Civic Center
- The Art Studio (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.
- Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum. Museum dedicated to the life of the Beaumont native and accomplished athlete.
- The Beaumont Art League is the oldest non-profit art gallery in the area, operating for 70 years. The two gallery spaces (at the old Fairgrounds on Gulf Street) host art exhibitions and juried shows year-round, including the notable BAL National Exhibition (formerly the Tri-State Show), which attracts artists from across the country.
- The Chambers House, built in 1906, this home is open for tours. It is filled with period furniture, personal items, and artifacts used in the home.
- The Clifton Steamboat Museum opened on 26 October 1995. The theme of the museum is "Heroes... Past, Present, and Future", honoring military and civilian heroes. The Clifton Steamboat Museum consists of a 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2), two-story museum. 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 of America. This gallery features many historical scouting artifacts, some dating before the 1960s. The tugboat, Hercules, 36 feet (11 m) high, 22 feet (6.7 m) wide, and 92 feet (28 m) long, is included on the museum tour. Tours available by appointment only.
- Dishman Art Museum is the university art museum of Lamar University. The museum features 19th and 20th century European and American Art, as well as Tribal Art from Africa and New Guinea.
- Edison Museum - about inventor Thomas Edison The museum features exhibits and artifacts about Thomas Edison and his innovations.
- 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.
- John Jay French House. This historic home is operated as a museum, to illustrate the life of a prosperous Texas pioneer family from 1845 to 1865. French, a tanner and merchant, built his home in 1845; it showcases period furnishings, clothing and pioneer household utensils. Outbuildings on the grounds include a blacksmith shop, tannery, privy and smokehouse.
- The McFaddin-Ward House, was built in 1905-06 in the Beaux-Arts Colonial style and is located in the Oaks Historic District. The structure and its furnishings reflect the prominent family who lived in the house for seventy-five years. This very large historic home has a substantial carriage house. The complex has a substantial permanent collection of antique furniture and household items. Educational programs focus on history and are geared toward children and adults.
- Red Lobster's historical marine museum
- Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum, this complex includes several reconstructed buildings reminiscent of the original Gladys City. The buildings contain artifacts from the period.
Other historic buildings
Built in 1903 as First Baptist Church, this building is now Tyrrell Historical Library; a 2010 addition stands on the left
- Beaumont Ballet Theatre - The company performs two times a year, a Fall Premier performance and Cinderella, performed in the spring.
- Beaumont Civic Ballet Chartered in 1971, the ballet produces several performances each year, including The Nutcracker.
- Beaumont Community Players - Begun in 1925, the Beaumont Community Players have performed several plays and musicals each year except for the World War II period. The Community Players have had several homes over the years including Little Theatre at Fair Park and Jefferson Theatre. Performances are now at the Betty Greenburg Center for Performing Arts.
- Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music - Lamar University presents a variety of jazz, orchestral, opera, choir and chorus, brass, and concert band performances throughout the year.
- Symphony of Southeast Texas - Founded in 1953 as the Beaumont Symphony Orchestra, the symphony has been performing several performances each year since then. Several guest artists including Van Cliburn and Ferrante & Teicher have appeared with the symphony.
Tourism and recreation
- The Beaumont Botanical Gardens is located near the entrance to the 500 acre Tyrrell Park. On its 23.5 acre grounds, it includes over ten themed gardens, the 10,000 sq ft Warren Loose Conservatory and a large collection of bromeliads.
- Tyrrell Park and Cattail Marsh features a botanical gardens and conservatory, the Henry Homberg Municipal Golf Course, a 900-acre cattail marsh nature area, and a 2.8 mile nature trail. restrooms, shelters, Babe Zaharias Drive Monument, baseball backstop, lighted basketball goals, benches, drinking fountains, 2.8-mile (4.5 km) nature trail, picnic tables
- Neches River Adventures is a two-hour eco-tour down the Neches River and bayous.
- Ford Park includes Ford Arena, as well as twelve competition softball fields, and exhibit halls.
In 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 five distinct museums.
Other entertainment and recreation venues located downtown include the following.
- Beaumont Civic Center - The 6,500 seat civic center is located in downtown Beaumont.
- The Event Centre and plaza features include a twelve-acre Great Lawn for concerts and a walking path. A 3,800 sq ft canopy with stage overlooks the Great Lawn, and a 14,000 sq ft canopy overlooks a two-acre lake with a thirty-five foot fountain. A 16,000 sq ft event hall is used for indoor events.
- Beautiful Mountain Skate Plaza' - Located adjacent to the Event Centre is the 10,000 sq ft skate park. The skate park opened in 2013. The park includes ledges, rails, banks, bank-to-bank, quarter pipes, and stairs. The park also has an amphitheater for other events.
Within 30 minute drive
- Big Thicket National Preserve, located north of Beaumont, hiking, canoe paddling, and swimming are some of the available activities.
- McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, located about 30 minutes away from Beaumont, the refuge provides nature trails as well as photography, fishing, and hunting activities.
- Sea Rim State Park, about 30 minutes from Beaumont adjacent to the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, Sea Rim State Park provides access to Gulf of Mexico beaches as well as hiking trails.
- Village Creek State Park is located just north of Beaumont. Numerous activities including canoe paddling are provided.
- Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, located in Orange, about 20-25 minutes east of Beaumont, Shangri-La Gardens has sculptured gardens and natural settings, as well as boat tours.
- Stark Museum of Art, also located in Orange, provides several exhibits.
- Since 1907, Beaumont has been home of the South Texas State Fair and Rodeo, held at Ford Park during March. It is the second-largest fair in the state, attracting more than 500,000 visitors in 2009. 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, a new, larger facility on the west end of Beaumont. The fair was previously held in the fall but was moved to spring after hurricanes Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008 caused its cancellation twice within three years. YMBL Championship Rodeo is held at Ford Park during the South Texas State Fair. The rodeo is an annual event and is sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Admission to the rodeo is included in fair admission.
- The Gusher Marathon, organized 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 Montagne.
- 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.
- July 4 Celebration - Each year, a July 4 celebration is held in downtown Beaumont. The celebration includes live music in and around Riverfront Park, a concert by the Symphony of Southeast Texas in the Julie Rogers Theatre, followed by a fireworks display viewed from Riverfront Park.
- Lunch at the Lake - Each Monday starting in March, the City of Beaumont provides live music and seating at the Event Centre in downtown Beaumont. Ten vendors feature a wide choice of food selections.
- Downtown Winter Parade - On the first Saturday of December, downtown hosts the Beaumont 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.
- Neches River Festival Parade - Part of the Neches River Festival held in April, this is a downtown parade. The festival has been held since 1948.
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 (formerly Division I-AA).
According to the city's 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city's various funds had $219.0 million in revenues, $202.8 million in expenditures, $900.1 million in total assets, $586.8 million in total liabilities, and $202.2 million in cash and investments.
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 council members elected at-large, and four council members each elected from single-member districts, the four Wards of the city.
||Elected to Current Position
||At Large Position 1
||At Large Position 2
||W.L. Pate, Jr.
||Audwin M. Samuels
List of mayors of Beaumont, Texas
- Alexander Calder, circa 1840
- Archibald N. Vaughan, circa 1860
- John C. Craig, 1881-1882
- Emmett E. Fletcher, circa 1917
- E.J. Diffenbacher, circa 1918
- B.A. Steinhagen, circa 1922
- J. Austin Barnes, circa 1925
- P. D. Renfro, circa 1936
- Otho Plummer, circa 1952-1954
- Elmo R. Beard, circa 1955
- Jimmie P. Cokinos, 1956-1960
- Ken Ritter, 1970-1978
- Maury Meyers, 1978-1982, 1986-1990
- William E. "Bill" Neild 1982-1986
- David Moore, circa 1994-2001
- Guy Goodson, pro tem circa 2001
- Evelyn M. Lord, circa 2002
- Guy N. Goodson 2004-2007
- Becky Ames, 2007-present
The Texas Department of Transportation operates the Beaumont District Office in Beaumont.
The Texas Ninth Court of Appeals is located in the Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates the Beaumont District Parole Office in Beaumont. The Texas Department of Corrections operates three facilities of various custody types in unincorporated areas of Jefferson County, with a total capacity of about 7500 inmates.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates the Beaumont Federal Correctional Complex in an unincorporated area in Jefferson County, south of Beaumont.
Colleges and universities
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. The university is currently classified as a national university. It is also classified as a Doctoral Research University by the Carnegie Foundation. With over 100 degrees offered, the university'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. This has prompted a building boom at the campus. The school's enrollment as of Fall, 2015 was above 14,966 students.
Lamar Institute of Technology
Lamar Institute of Technology, located directly adjacent to Lamar University, serves as the region's technical college for two-year degrees and certificates. Originally a part of Lamar University and its predecessors since 1923, Lamar Institute of Technology was chartered in 1949 when the Lamar College Bill was passed. The bill was sponsored in the Texas Legislature by State Representative Jack Brooks and Senator W.R. Cousins, Jr. of Beaumont. Lamar Institute of Technology became a separate entity in 1995. As of Fall, 2014, enrollment totaled 2,920 students.
Primary and secondary schools
Beaumont is served by the Beaumont Independent School District.
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.
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 serve Beaumont and the area. The Examiner is primarily an investigative reporting paper. the Southeast Texas Record is a legal journal that covers Jefferson and Orange County courts.
- KBTV (FOX) 4.1 with BOUNCE on 4.2; RF channel 40
- KFDM (CBS)/DT 6.1 with (CW Network on 6.2) RF channel 25 / PSIP 6.x; KBTV is operated by the same owners of KFDM, Sinclair Broadcast Group.
- KBMT (ABC)/DT 12.1 with (NBC) at 720p on 12.2; RF channel 12 / PSIP 12.x with Cozi on 12.3 and MeTV on 12.4. Tegna owns KBMT.
- KEBQ-TV 9 (Soul Of The South)
- KUMY-TV 22
- KITU-TV (TBN) 34.1 - 34.5; RF channel 33
- KUIL-LD/K36ID LMAed by KBMT/London from KVHP; RF channel 43/36 and PSIP 12.5/.6 with MyTV on 12.5
- LUTV Lamar University's video service that provides C-SPAN-like coverage on local government proceedings, and original programming from students. It does not have an over the air channel and is available only on cable TV.
The region currently has no PBS station of its own; KUHT on channel 8 and KLTL on channel 20 (a Louisiana Public Broadcasting affiliate) 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.
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. The Beaumont Municipal Airport (BMT) near the western city limit is available for general aviation travel.
Amtrak's Sunset Limited serves Beaumont's train station.
The city operates the Beaumont Municipal Transit System, a citywide bus system called (BMT).
For a full list of people associated with Beaumont, Texas see: People from Beaumont, Texas
- Chip Ambres, minor league baseball player
- Kelly Asbury, film director, writer, illustrator and voice actor
- Doug Ault, Major League Baseball player
- Melvin Baker, football player
- Jerry Ball, football player for SMU and in NFL, 3-time Pro Bowl selection; born in Beaumont
- Vance Bedford, football coach
- Charlotte Beers, businesswoman and former Under Secretary of State
- James Brown, starting quarterback of Texas Longhorns from 1994-97
- Ben Broussard, Major League Baseball first baseman
- Jay Bruce, Major League Baseball player, three-time All-Star; born in Beaumont
- James Busceme, boxer who fought Alexis Arguello for world title in 1982
- Wayde Butler, football player
- Tracy Byrd, country music artist; grew up in Vidor
- Henry E. Chambers, Louisiana historian and educator; was a school principal in Beaumont
- Mark Chesnutt, country music artist; grew up in Nederland
- William Roy Cousins, Sr., represented Beaumont for 2 of 4 terms he served in Texas State Senate
- Wilfred Roy Cousins, Jr., served in Texas House of Representatives and as state senator; instrumental in passing Lamar College Bill and creating Port Commission
- Robert Crippen, astronaut
- Tiffany Derry, celebrity chef, Top Chef contestant and fan favorite winner
- Mel Farr, football player, UCLA, first-round draft choice of Detroit Lions, NFL Rookie if the Year; born in Beaumont
- Miller Farr, NFL player, first-round draft choice, three-time AFL All-Star; born in Beaumont
- Debra Jo Fondren, model and actress, lived in Beaumont
- Lew Ford, Major League Baseball player
- Herman Fontenot, NFL player
- Genesis, transgender adult film actress; born in Beaumont.
- Larry Graham, bass player for Sly and The Family Stone, pioneered "slapping" technique, founder and frontman of Graham Central Station
- Detrick Hughes, poet, author
- Harry James, musician and bandleader in Grammy Hall of Fame
- Blind Willie Johnson, Baptist minister and seminal gospel/blues bottle-neck guitarist
- George Jones, country music artist; grew up in Vidor
- Louie Kelcher, NFL player, 4-time All-Pro for San Diego Chargers; born in Beaumont
- Jerry LeVias, college and NFL football player, member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
- Bruce Lietzke, professional golfer, 22 victories, member of winning 1981 Ryder Cup team
- Barbara Lynn, R&B music artist
- Bob Mann, political historian, columnist, head of Department of Journalism at LSU; born in Beaumont
- Masada, pro wrestler
- Christine Michael, Texas A&M running back
- Kevin Millar, Major League Baseball player; played in college for Lamar
- Frank Middleton, NFL player
- Roger Mobley, child actor; police officer in Beaumont
- Vamsi Mootha, Indian-American physician-scientist
- David Ozio, bowler, won 11 titles on PBA Tour; executive at Etonic Shoe Company
- Kendrick Perkins, NBA player; member of 2008 NBA champion Boston Celtics
- Mark Petkovsek, Major League Baseball player
- Dade Phelan, Republican member of Texas House of Representatives from District 21; real estate developer born in Beaumont
- Bob Pollard, NFL player
- Pam Radford, Litigation Superstar
- Kheeston Randall, football player
- Nick Rankin, actor, born in Beaumont
- Taylor Reed, football player
- J.P. Richardson, "The Big Bopper", DJ, rock & roll singer, killed with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens in 1959 plane crash
- Allan Ritter, member of Texas House of Representatives from Jefferson and Orange counties, born in Beaumont
- Frank Robinson, Major League Baseball player and manager, member of Hall of Fame; born in Beaumont
- Kevin Russell, musician, born and raised in Beaumont
- Brian Sanches, Major League Baseball player; grew up in Nederland, TX
- Bubba Smith, football player, College Football Hall of Fame, Super Bowl V champion in NFL and actor
- Tom Tierney, noted paper doll artist, cartoonist, and painter
- Billy Tubbs, basketball coach at Lamar, Texas Christian and Oklahoma University, 1988 NCAA Final Four
- Jason Tyner, Major League Baseball player
- Helen Vinson, actress, appeared in more than 40 films between 1932 and 1945; born in Beaumont
- Clay Walker, country music artist; grew up in Vidor, Texas
- Ben Wells, defensive back for CFL's Montreal Alouettes
- Edgar Winter, rock music artist, brother to Johnny Winter; born in Beaumont
- Johnny Winter, blues and rock music artist, brother to Edgar Winter; born in Beaumont
- Will Wynn, former mayor of Austin
- Mildred Ella ("Babe") Didrikson Zaharias, Olympic champion athlete and Hall of Fame pro golfer; one of the founders of LPGA
- Gus Zernial, Major League Baseball player, 1951 American League home run leader; born in Beaumont
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. The old Edson Hotel, built in 1928 is nearly the same height at 240 feet (73 m). 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. 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. 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.
The Oaks Historic District has many restored historic homes.
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