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 How Beaumont Streets Got Their Names

Mrs. Louanza Calder
Mrs. Louanza Calder

BEAUMONT streets twist and turn like the old part of Boston or New York or New Orleans. The streets lie along the lines of old paths from store to store, from blacksmith shop to station or homes.

In the matter of naming streets a glance at the early maps reveals the fact that the first settlers of Beaumont confined themselves largely to the patriots fresh in their memory, streams that flowed through the then state of Coahuila and Texas, and the trees of the forest. In fact the forests were almost stripped bare of names for streets in the young village that was soon to become a lumber city. Among this list are found ash, beech, cedar, catalpa, cottonwood, cypress, elm, hemlock, pine, plum, spruce and sycamore.

Of the streets named by the original group of pioneers who laid off the town as shown from the first map of the city, the following are listed: Cypress, Travis, Pine, Walnut, Ann, Magazine, Elizabeth, Mulberry, Tevis, Hickory, Main , Pearl, Orleans, Sabine, Neches, Trinity, Jefferson, Cedar, Bonham, Crockett, Bowie, Fannin, Forsythe, Wall, College, Washington, Milam, Franklin and Austin.

Many believe that Railroad avenue is a new street for the convenience of the Kansas City Southern, but it is the most historical of all, dating back to the sixties. The big planters in east Texas had no railroad connections, and they took their slaves and began the construction of a road from east Texas to Sabine Pass. The road was progressing nicely when the Civil War put a stop to operations. Part of the rails went into Sabine lake, while it is reported that much of the material was carried over a few blocks and became a part of the Sabine and East Texas road. Railroad avenue was the route of the original East Texas-Sabine Pass road.

James H. Rachford has probably named more streets in Beaumont than any other man, when he laid out a number of additions and was instrumental in handling of others. Here is how some of the streets got their names:

Alfred street was named by judge George C. O'Brien for Alfred John, his nephew, who now lives in Baton Rouge, and who is the son of Alfred S. John, an early mayor of Beaumont.

Alamo was named by Louis Hebert and V. Wiess after the shrine of Texas liberty.

Anderson was named for Glover Anderson.

Amarillo was named after the city of Amarillo in the Panhandle.

Andrus was named for J. D. Andrus who lived in that district and was the father of Tom Andrus.

Archie was named for Archie Holmes, son of J. W. Holmes.

Ashley was named by J. E. Jirou after B. F. Ashley.

Austin was named for Stephen F. Austin, one of the colonizers of Texas, and for whom the state capital is named.

Averill was named after W. C. Averill who married Miss Di Vernon McFaddin, daughter of William McFaddin, and the Averill addition is a part of the headright league of William McFaddin.

Barr was named for relatives of Mr. Averill, his oldest son being named Barr Averill.

Blanchette was named for Valerie Blanchette, father of Ed, Hardy, Horace and Coy Blanchette, the late Lee Blanchette, and Mesdames W. L. Thomas, and J. H. Tucker.

Bowie was named for General Bowie of Alamo fame.

Brandon was named for Brandon Chaison, the third son of Jeff Chaison. He was killed when his horse fell on him while rounding up cattle.

Brooklyn was named by Mrs. Stockholm in memory of the native city of her husband.

Brooks was named after former Congressman Lycurgus Broocks, the c having been dropped.

Broussard was named after the Broussard family by O. H. Pennock, Sr. and Sam Potts.

Buford was named by James H. Rachford after Mrs. A. R. Buford, mother of Tom and Frank Buford, Mrs. Ida Barr and the late Mrs. R. W. Waterman. This was formerly the old brickyard road leading to the first industry that came to Beaumont. There was an effort made by the city council to change the name to Green avenue, but it would not stick.

Calder was named for Mrs. Louanza Calder, and for many years was known as Calder road. Old settlers recall hearing Mrs. Calder tell of her trip with Mr. Calder to Beaumont from Port Gibson, Mississippi, making the trip by horseback . Mrs. Calder carried a baby in her arms and a little negro girl rode behind her saddle. The trip went fairly well until they came to Duncan's woods in Orange county, where they were lost for a day and night before they could get their bearings. Mr. and Mrs. Calder had nothing to eat during that time, and the baby and little negro girl were given some starch that they happened to have in saddle bags.

Caldwell in the Averill addition was named for Mrs. W. P. H. McFaddin, whose maiden name was Caldwell, she being the daughter of the late J. L. Caldwell of Huntington, West Va., capitalist and city builder.

Carroll was named by James H. Rachford for George W. Carroll.

Church street was formerly Yankee Doodle street and part of it is still known by that name.

College street was named by the original promoters of the town of Beaumont, the present site of the high school being set aside and so designated for that purpose.

Collier's Ferry takes its name from the road of that name. A ferry first started in 1831 has been operated continuously since that time.

Corley was named for Robert Corley, and Coward for Jack Coward.

Crockett was named after David Crockett, who gave up his life in the Alamo.

Doucette was named for Al Doucette by I. D. Polk and Dewey was christened shortly after the battle of Manilla bay for the American admiral.

Emmett was named by Mr. Rachford for Emmett Langham.

Elizabeth was named by the original plotters of the city and was probably for some lady living in this section of the practically unsettled district. (ed. note: Elizabeth Street was named for Elizabeth Ward Dalton.)

Fletcher was named for Colonel William A. Fletcher, one of Beaumont's prominent pioneers, whose influence will long be felt in the life of the community.

Forsythe was named for John Forsythe, American statesman, who was secretary of state from 1831 to 1844.

Franklin was named for Benjamin Franklin.

Gladys was named for Gladys City, which is a part of Spindletop. Gladys City was named for Miss Gladys Bingham, now Mrs. J. Bain Price.

Herring was named by Mr. Rachford for J. J. Herring. It was the first wide street in Beaumont, being 80 feet from curb to curb.

John was named for Miss Irma John, now Mrs. Amos K. Gordon of Baton Rouge, granddaughter of the late Captain George W. O'Brien.

Keith street was named for John W. Keith, pioneer, and father of Robert, Henry, Jim and Will Keith.

Liberty was named for Liberty road, which led from Beaumont to the city of Liberty when Houston was a village.

Market was named such by reason of the early organizers dedicating a block of ground thereon for a market house. This block is now occupied by the City Hall.

McFaddin keeps green the memory of the McFaddin family, one of the early and prominent pioneer connections here. The home of W. P. H. McFaddin is on this street, which passes through his father's headright league.

Orange was named for the city of Orange. It was formerly Bibb, having been named for D. A. Bibb.

Sabine Pass took its name from the old road to Sabine Pass. Until not many years ago Park street was known as Sabine.

Milam was named in honor of Ben Milam, who was killed in the Texas war for independence. When San Antonio was besieged he shouted: "Who will go with old Ben Milam into San Antonio?" The whole army volunteered, but he selected a picked few and went into the city.

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