The US city of Beaumont serves as Jefferson County’s official county seat. It was founded in 1835 and is located in the Beaumont-Port Arthur metro statistical area. Beaumont is located along the Neches River, and approximately 85 miles east of Houston. In the pioneering era, the primary economic pillars of the city were farming, lumber, and port industries. Later in 1892, the first commercial rice mill started its operations courtesy of Joseph Eloi Broussard. The rice mill stimulated the economic development of the area, leading to the establishment of the Lower Neches Valley Authority to foster the area’s rice culture.