Beaumont (/ˈboʊmɒnt/BOH-mont) is a city in and county seat of Jefferson County, Texas, United States, within the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located on the Neches River and about 90 miles from Houston, the city had a population of 118,296 at the 2010 census making it the twenty-fourth most populous city in the state of Texas.
Beaumont's early history was centered around the development of lumber, farming, and port industries. In 1892 Joseph Eloi Broussard opened the first rice mill in the state, stimulating development of rice farming in the area; he also organized an irrigation authority to support rice culture. A big change occurred in 1901 with the Spindletop gusher, which demonstrated the potential of the huge oil field. The area transformed into one of the major petro-chemical refining areas in the country. Along with Port Arthur and Orange, Beaumont forms the Golden Triangle, a major industrial area on the Gulf Coast.
Beaumont is home of Lamar University, a national Carnegie Doctoral Research university with 15,000 students. Over the years, several corporations have called Beaumont home. For example, Gulf States Utilities had its headquarters in Beaumont until its absorption by Entergy Corporation in 1993. GSU's Edison Plaza headquarters is still the tallest building in Beaumont (as of 2011). With Spindletop, several energy companies developed in Beaumont, and some continue.