Beaumont is a coastal city in the U.S. state of Texas. As the county seat of Jefferson County, within the Beaumont–Port Arthur metropolitan statistical area, it is located in Southeast Texas on the Neches River about 85 miles (137 km) east of Houston (city center to city center). With a population of 115,282 at the 2020 census, Beaumont is the largest incorporated municipality by population near the Louisiana border. Its metropolitan area was the 10th largest in Texas in 2019, and 132nd in the United States.
The city of Beaumont was founded in 1835. The pioneer 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 Texas, 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.
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