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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.
Rice became an important commodity crop in Texas, and is now cultivated in 23 counties.
Beaumont is home of Lamar University, a national Carnegie Doctoral Research university with 14,966 students, including undergraduates and post graduates.
Over the years, several corporations have been based in this city, including Gulf States Utilities which had its headquarters in Beaumont until its takeover by Entergy Corporation in 1993.
Along with Port Arthur and Orange, Beaumont forms the Golden Triangle, a major industrial area on the Texas Gulf Coast.Spindletop became the first major oil field and one of the largest in American history.With the discovery of oil at Spindletop, Beaumont's population more than tripled in two months from 9,000 in January 1901 to 30,000 in March 1901.Recently, there has been some renewal in Downtown Beaumont and in other areas of the city.In 1996, the Jefferson County courts, located in Beaumont, became the first court in the nation to implement electronic filing and service of court documents.