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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
With an active riverport by the 1880s, it became an important lumber and rice-milling town. 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.
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.