[p. 47]

Naming the Town

THE naming of the Neches river settlement as Beaumont is an incident regarding which there is no reliable record. Even the date at which the christening took place is not known, and legendary accounts vary in detail with reference to the manner in which the name was selected.

That Beaumont received its name as the result of a wager is the statement of Mrs. Pauline Wiess Coffin of Wiess Bluff. Several men gathered under some spreading oaks along the bank of the river, among them being J. Beaumont of Jasper county, and a Mr. Smith. It being agreed that the town had grown large enough to entitle it to a name, it was decided that the winner of a contest should have the distinction of naming the place. Mr. Beaumont won and named the place for himself.

Another account relates that the town was named in honor of a young lady from New Orleans who was a visitor at the time the townsite was surveyed by Henry Millard in 1837 from lands belonging to Tevis, Joseph Grigsby, and a firm of real estate dealers, Pulsifer, Huling and Millard. The young woman so signally honored, Miss Annette Beaumont, later became the wife of Henry Millard, a member of the land firm above referred to.

Thrall's history of Texas states of the naming of the county and city: "Beaumont is the county seat of Jefferson county; both were named for Jefferson Beaumont, who was a leading merchant of Natchez, Mississippi, coming to Texas during the Revolutionary period. He was for several nears chief justice of Calhoun county, where he died in 1863."

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