1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Beaumont (Texas)

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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; (1910, census) 20,640. It is served by the Gulf & Interstate, the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fé, 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 12 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.