Historical Markers in
Jefferson County, Texas

1886 Hurricane at Sabine Pass Andrew F. Smyth Arthur Edward Stilwell Aubrey Wilson "Moon" Mullican Beach Road Beaumont Beaumont Beaumont Enterprise Beaumont: Lumber Mill City of the Nineteenth Century Beauxart Gardens Benjamin Johnson Birthplace of Babe Didrikson Zaharias Blind Willie Johnson Boudreaux House Capture of the USS Morning Light and USS Velocity Caroline Gilbert Hinchee House Central Baptist Church Central Fire Station Choates, Harry City of Beaumont City of Nederland City of Sabine and Sabine Pass Clubhouse of the Federated Women's Clubs of Port Arthur Commodore Leon Smith Community Retirement Home Congregation Temple Emanuel David Crockett Middle School (RAZED) Dr. Charles F. L. N. Graham Dugat-Hamshire House Early Oil Tanker Service Early Texas Oil Pipelines Ellwood-Craig House Evergreen Cemetery Federal Fatalities at the Battle of Sabine Pass Federated Women's Clubs of Port Arthur First Baptist Church of Beaumont First Baptist Church of Nederland First Baptist Church of Port Neches First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Port Arthur First Christian Church of Beaumont First National Bank Building First Security National Bank First United Methodist Church of Beaumont First United Methodist Church of Port Neches Fort Manhassett Fort Sabine Francis John (Frank) Trost (June 24, 1868 - August 4, 1944) French Trading Post Fuller, Ruby Ruth, Building Gates Memorial Library Grigsby's Bluff Hamshire House Harry James' Childhood Homesite Hebert Home Henry Millard Holmes Duke House Israel Chapel A. M. E. Church J.P. Richardson, Jr: The Big Bopper Jacob Harmon Garner Janis Lyn Joplin Jean Baptiste Chaison Jefferson County Courthouse Jefferson Theatre John Warne Gates Kate Dorman Kate Dorman Lakeshore/Lions Park Leo Edward Craigen Magnolia Cemetery Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church McFaddin-Ward House Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias Mildred Buildings Morris-Booz-White House Nancy Tevis New Hope Missionary Baptist Church Niles F. Smith North End Methodist Church O'Brien Oak Oil Pipelines, Early Texas Opelousas Trail Pivoto-Robinson Cemetery Pivoto-Robinson House Police Chief Reid Tevis Pompeiian Villa Port Arthur College Port Arthur College Radio Tower Port Arthur-Beaumont Interurban Railway Port of Beaumont Prater Cemetery Presbyterian Church of the Covenant Rainbow Bridge Richard Dowling Rock Island Baptist Church Sabine Pass Cemetery Sabine-Neches Canal Saint Anthony's Cathedral Sanders House Site of Collier's Ferry Site of First Mercantile Building Site of Fort Griffin Site of Old Aurora Site of Santa Anna Site of Spindle Top Hill Confederate Camp Site of the Home of Noah Tevis Site of World War ll Prisoner of War Camp South County Office Building South Park High School Southeast Texas Regional Airport Spaight's 11th Battalion Spanish-American War Fortifications Sparks Settlement Cemetery Spell Cemetery Spindletop to Port Arthur Oil Pipeline Corridor St. Paul United Methodist Church Tex Ritter Texas Company Refinery at Port Arthur (Port Arthur Works) Texas' First Rice Mill The Clubhouse, The Woman's Club of Beaumont The Hughen School The Kansas City Southern Railway in Port Arthur The Lucas Gusher The Mayumi Legacy The Port Arthur Refinery The Woman's Club of Beaumont Travis Street Substation Trinity Lutheran Church Tyrrell Public Library United States Forces at the Battle of Sabine Pass Visit Historic Sabine Pass Vuylstekke House West Beulah Missionary Baptist Church Westminster Presbyterian Church of Beaumont William McFaddin Woodworth House (Rose Hill) Woodworth House (Rose Hill) World War II Coastal Defenses at Sabine Pass Young Men's Christian Association of Beaumont Young Woman's Christian Association of Beaumont
The discovery of oil in 1901 near Beaumont, Texas, sparked an oil boom that transformed the state's economy and led to the rise of the modern petroleum industry.
Jefferson County, Texas, has a rich history that spans back several centuries. It is home to the indigenous tribes who had lived in the area for thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers. In the early 16th century, Spanish explorers reached the area and claimed it as part of New Spain. However, it was not until the early 19th century that the region began to see significant settlement.

In the early 1820s, Empresario Joseph Vehlein obtained a contract to settle 300 families in the region. The land, once inhabited by the Atakapa people, soon attracted settlers of various origins, including Americans, Europeans, and enslaved Africans. The area became known for its fertile soil, offering ideal conditions for agriculture and ranching.

The city of Beaumont was established in the mid-19th century and quickly developed into a major trading and shipping center due to its access to the Neches River and the Gulf of Mexico. The discovery of oil at Spindletop in 1901 marked a turning point in the county's history, as the region experienced a significant oil boom. This brought great prosperity and transformed the area's economy, leading to the development of the petrochemical industry in the following decades.

Throughout the 20th century, Jefferson County witnessed various social and economic changes. It played a key role in World War II, serving as the location for significant military activity, including the establishment of one of the largest military shipbuilding centers in the country. The county also experienced desegregation struggles during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s, which eventually led to greater equality.

Today, Jefferson County continues to be an important industrial center for petrochemicals and petroleum-related industries. It is also home to a diverse population and offers a mix of urban and rural landscapes, with a variety of cultural and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Jefferson County, Texas.

  • 1836: Jefferson County is established as a municipality of the Republic of Texas.
  • 1838: The town of Beaumont is founded.
  • 1840: Jefferson County becomes part of the newly-formed State of Texas.
  • 1845: Texas is admitted to the United States, and Jefferson County becomes a county within the state.
  • 1858: A railroad is completed, connecting Beaumont to surrounding areas.
  • 1865: The Civil War ends, and Jefferson County begins to recover from the war's impact.
  • 1881: The Spindletop oil field, the first major oil discovery in Texas, is found in Jefferson County.
  • 1901: The Lucas Gusher at Spindletop oil field erupts, launching the Texas oil boom.
  • 1925: The Neches River is first navigable by deep-draft vessels, boosting the county's shipping industry.
  • 1943: The Port of Beaumont is established as a major center for the shipping and petrochemical industries.
  • 1989: Hurricane Gilbert strikes Jefferson County, causing significant damage to the area.
  • 2005: Hurricane Rita makes landfall in Jefferson County, leading to widespread devastation.
  • 2017: Hurricane Harvey causes widespread flooding in Jefferson County.