Beaumont was born when the thickly wooded banks of the Neches River were settled in the 1820s. Businessmen and adventurers stayed in the area once they saw the advantages of the river and the region’s abundance of timber and other agricultural resources. By 1880, Beaumont was a lumber, ranching, farming, and shipping center. The railroad spurred population growth from 2,500 to 5,000, then Providence intervened: the Lucas Gusher at Spindletop blew in on January 10, 1901, and suddenly more oil than had ever been seen ushered in a new world. The Rockefeller Standard Oil monopoly may have ended in the courts, but Spindletop’s oil dwarfed the known world supply, creating companies like Humble Oil (now ExxonMobil), Gulf, and Texaco. Beaumont continued to grow, and with a second boom in 1925, flowing oil brought more people and the building of a gracious city.