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GSU's Edison Plaza headquarters is still the tallest building in Beaumont (as of 2017).In 1824 Noah and Nancy Tevis settled on the west bank of the Neches River and developed a farm. From the town's founding in 1835, business activities included real estate, transportation, and retail sales.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.Beaumont was a small center for cattle raisers and farmers in its early years.
The wartime social disruption was similar to war time riots which had occurred in other parts of the country during and following World War I.
In addition, Broussard founded a company to operate an irrigation system to support rice culture.
(It became a public institution, the Lower Neches Irrigation Authority.) This helped stimulate the expansion of rice cultivation from 1500 acres in 1892 to 400,000 acres in 23 counties by his death in 1956.
Beaumont's lumber boom, which reached its peak in the late 19th century, was stimulated by the rebuilding and expansion of the railroads in the state and region after the Civil War.
The rise of Beaumont's mill economy drew many new residents to the city, many of them immigrants.