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.
Orange County, Texas has a rich history that dates back thousands of years to when it was inhabited by various Native American tribes. The earliest recorded human activity in the region can be traced back to the Coastal Coles Creek culture, which thrived from around 700 to 1200 AD. The area was later settled by the Atakapa Indians, who occupied the region until European explorers arrived in the 16th century.

Spanish explorers first arrived in the area in the 16th century, and French explorers followed shortly after. However, it was not until the early 19th century that permanent European settlement began in the present-day Orange County. The region became a part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and during the mid-1800s, the area attracted an influx of immigrants, primarily from the southern United States, seeking fertile land for farming.

The establishment of a port on the Sabine River in the mid-19th century greatly contributed to the growth and development of Orange County. The town of Orange was founded in 1836, and the advent of steamboats allowed for increased trade and transportation. The region's economy prospered with the lumber industry becoming a major player. Sawmills and logging camps emerged, and Orange County became a leading producer of timber.

In the early 20th century, the discovery of oil and the subsequent establishment of oil refineries provided an economic boost to Orange County. The region attracted oil companies and their employees, leading to rapid growth and increased prosperity. Today, Orange County continues to thrive with a diverse economy that includes industries such as petrochemicals, shipbuilding, agriculture, and tourism, while still preserving its historical roots and cultural heritage.

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

  • 1690 - The area now known as Orange County was explored by Spanish explorers.
  • 1821 - Mexico gains independence from Spain, and the region becomes part of Mexico.
  • 1836 - Texas declares independence from Mexico, and Orange County becomes a part of the Republic of Texas.
  • 1852 - Orange County is officially established as a county in the state of Texas.
  • 1861-1865 - Orange County, like the rest of Texas, is a part of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War.
  • 1895 - The city of Orange is incorporated.
  • 1901 - The Spindletop oil field is discovered near Orange, leading to an economic boom in the area.
  • 1903 - The City of Orange Heights is incorporated.
  • 1938 - The American Bridge Company opens a shipyard in Orange, contributing to the area's growth.
  • 1951 - The Mauriceville education system is consolidated into the Little Cypress Consolidated Independent School District.
  • 1973 - The City of West Orange is incorporated.