- Port Arthur, Texas
official_name = City of Port Arthur
imagesize = 250px
image_caption = Port Arthur
mapsize1 = 250px
map_caption1 = U.S. Census Map
unit_pref = Imperial
area_total_km2 = 372.3
area_land_km2 = 214.8
area_water_km2 = 157.6
area_total_sq_mi = 143.8
area_land_sq_mi = 82.9
area_water_sq_mi = 60.8
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 57755
population_density_km2 = 268.9
population_density_sq_mi = 696.5
timezone = Central (CST)
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
elevation_m = 2
elevation_ft = 7
latd = 29 |latm = 53 |lats = 6 |latNS = N
longd = 93 |longm = 56 |longs = 24 |longEW = W
Geography and history
Port Arthur is located on the western bank of
Sabine Lake. The Rainbow Bridge across the Neches Riverconnects Port Arthur to Bridge City. Port Arthur was founded by Arthur Edward Stilwellin the late 19th century, and was once the center of the largest oil refinery network in the world. Hunt, Herschiel. "The History of Port Arthur". Southern Publishing Concern, 1926.] Port Arthur experienced an economic decline under the corrupt administration of Mayor J.P. "Pink" Logan. Mayor Logan was indicted in December 1931 on election fraud charges. Logan's disgrace inspired the "Clean Government Movement", established by Logan's primary adversary, W.C. Welch. Hunt, Herschiel. "The History of Port Arthur". Southern Publishing Concern, 1926.] The efforts of the Clean Government Movement ultimately led the Texas Legislaure to establish the James Committee. The James Committee, headed by Dallas Representative Tom James, identified corruption and graft at all levels of Port Arthur's municipal government and law enforcement.
In the 1940s there was an influx of middle class
African Americans- most of them coming from neighboring towns, this led to what is often referred to as white flightwhere many whites moved to neighboring towns such as Port Acres, Nederland, Port Neches, and Groves; by the late 1950s the city was segregated. The African Americanswere forced to the west part of town. There the city built the Carver Terracehousing unit for low income African Americans. By the 1970s African Americans were able to purchase homes on the other side of the KCS Railroad and many Black families moved to other parts of the city. According to the 2006census, 60% of the city is currently African American.
Port Arthur produced singing legend
Janis Joplin, artist Robert Rauschenbergand Dallas Cowboyscoach Jimmy Johnson. In the last two decades, Port Arthur's profile has risen on the hip-hopscene with the emergence of the legendary rap duo UGK. Both members, Bun Band the late Pimp C, are from Port Arthur and often refer to their hometown in their songs.
Gulf Intracoastal Waterwayruns past the city, separated from Sabine Lake by Pleasure Island. The 18.5 mile man-made island was created from dredged material from 1899 and 1908 Corps of Engineers projects.
Port Arthur is located at coor dms|29|53|6|N|93|56|24|W|city (29.884864, -93.939902)GR|1.
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 143.8 square miles (372.3 km²), of which, 82.9 square miles (214.8 km²) of it is land and 60.8 square miles (157.6 km²) of it (42.32%) is water.
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 57,755 people, 21,839 households, and 14,675 families residing in the city. The population densitywas 696.5 people per square mile (268.9/km²). There were 24,713 housing units at an average density of 298.0/sq mi (115.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 20.02% White, 43.70% African American, 0.45% Native American, 5.89% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 8.88% from other races, and 2.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25.45% of the population.
There were 21,839 households out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 19.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.25.
In the city the population had 28.7% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,455, and the median income for a family was $32,143. Males had a median income of $30,915 versus $21,063 for females. The
per capita incomefor the city was $14,183. About 22.9% of families and 25.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.2% of those under age 18 and 14.4% of those age 65 or over.
Most of the City of Port Arthur is served by the
Port Arthur Independent School District. The portion around Southeast Texas Regional Airportis served by the Nederland Independent School District. The Sabine Pass community is served by the Sabine Pass Independent School District.
The Port Arthur Public Library, at 4615 9th Avenue at
Texas State Highway 73, serves as the public library system for the city. [http://www.pap.lib.tx.us/]
Southeast Texas Regional Airportin Port Arthur serves Beaumont and Port Arthur.
After decades of stagnation and neglect in the area economy, Port Arthur is in the early stages of an economic boom. Several large projects involving the energy infrastructure are underway or proposed, the two largest being the
Golden Passand Sabine Pass LNGterminals. These separate projects under construction in neighboring Sabine Pass have brought cumulative initial investments of $2 billion, and will employ thousands at peak construction.
Home to a large chunk of United States refining capacity, Port Arthur is now seeing renewed investment in several key installations.
Motiva Enterprisesis undertaking a major addition to its western Port Arthur refinery, expanding capacity to 600,000 barrels per day [ [http://www.setx.org/html/economy.php The Economy of Southeast Texas Home Page ] ] . This $6.7 billion project is the largest US refinery expansion to occur in 30 years [ [http://www.setx.org/html/economy.php The Economy of Southeast Texas Home Page ] ] . Premcor Refining (Now Valero) recently completed a $775 million expansion of its petrochemical plant, and BASF/Fina commenced operations of a new $1.75 billion gasification and cogeneration unit on premises of its current installation, which had just completed its own $1 billion upgrade.
Long past its heyday in the early 1900s, successive waves of economic recession have delivered a nearly vacant, boarded up, and sometimes dangerous central business district. The Hotel Sabine, the tallest building in Port Arthur, was abandoned and purchased by the city. An attempt to sell the building failed in 2005, with no interested buyers. Hurricane Rita struck a direct hit on the Proctor Street Seawall, and damaged many downtown businesses and homes. As economic activity picks up in the region, calls for downtown revitalization have been advanced [ [http://www.panews.com/archivesearch/local_story_233195307.html PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas - Plant expansions to create a housing boon ] ] [ [http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18775793&BRD=2287&PAG=461&dept_id=512588&rfi=6 The Beaumont Enterprise - Those who recall bustling downtown Port Arthur are still around; old way of life isn't ] ] . The true center of commercial activity has gravitated towards the junction of
US 69and Texas 365, with larger white-collar businesses moving to downtown Beaumont. As of 2008, the last downtown banking establishment, Capital Onewill relocate to Texas 365, which coincides with the closing of the last pharmacy, Walgreens, and the last grocery store, Lucky 7. Several municipal and county offices have moved in to fill the void.
Port Arthur also has a significant
air pollutionproblem that some believe has an impact on the health of its residents.Fact|date=September 2007 Others have had no signs, symptoms or problems related to local air pollution. There are 4 large industrial complexes in the southern part of the city. These factories can have "upsets", incidents where a dangerous situation at the plant necessitates the release of thousands of pounds of air toxins, often volatile organic compounds or nitrogen oxides, the two major contributors to ground-level ozone." [http://web.archive.org/web/20070514012400/http://www.kpft.org/news/080802story4.html "Port Arthur Stinks. Story by David Stiles."] KPFT-FM, retrieved January 31 2007] The chemicals are run through flares that incinerate almost all of the substance through combustion, but still emit dangerous amounts. The high incidences of asthmaand canceramong residents in western Port Arthur is often attributed to the frequency and magnitude of the upsets. Fact|date=September 2007
Tropical cyclones that affected Port Arthur
Tropical Storm Edouard
On the morning of
August 5 2008, Port Arthur saw the effects of Tropical Storm Edouard. The tropical storm made landfall to the west of the city, and wind speeds of 55 mph were recorded. [ [http://www.hurricanecity.com/city/portarthur.htm Port Arthur,Texas Hurricanes ] ]
Hurricane Rita, Port Arthur sustained major wind damage and some flooding.
Famous natives of Port Arthur
* Jimmy Johnson:
Super Bowland NCAA winning football coach has a street in the city in honor named Jimmy Johnson Boulevard
Evelyn Keyes(actress) : played Suellen in Gone With the Wind
Janis Joplin: iconic American singer.
Pimp C& Bun Bformed the rap group UGKin Port Arthur.
Stephen Jackson: NBA Basketball Player, NJ Nets, SA Spurs, Dallas Mavs, Golden State Warriors
Jonathan Babineaux: NFL player
Jordan Babineaux: NFL player
Kevin Everett: NFL player, Thomas Jefferson High School, University of Miami, Buffalo Bills.
* Aaron Brown: Univ. of Minn., NFL Kansas City Chiefs, Super Bowl MVP. High School two-time Basketball All-State, played one year of football and made All-State Fullback.
Jamaal Charles: University of Texas runningback, drafted in 2008 by KC Chiefs, 2nd round.
G.W. Bailey: Actor
Tommy Smiley: Lincoln High School, Lamar University, Cincinnati Bengals.
* Douglas Clark: sculptor
Marilyn Goudeau Guidry: author of the cookbook "The Best of Everything"
Amy Acuff: five-time US Outdoors high jumpchampion
* Eric Alexander: NFL player
Clifford Antone: blues club owner
James Gamble: All-American Basketball in college, SWAC Hall of Fame, street named after him in Port Arthur.
Harry Gunner: College All-American Football and Basketball in JUCO; MVP of the Hula Bowl; Number 1 in NFL draft, chosen by Cincinnati Bengals; was on the front page of "Sports Illustrated".
Pat "Hawk" Hardy: Martial Artist
Xavier Hernandez: Baseball player
Barbara Jacket: Lincoln High Coach, Prairie View Coach, Olympic Coach.
Robert Rauschenberg: artist
Lee Richards: Lincoln High School, Southern University, No. 1 baseball draft pick. chosen by St. Louis Cardinals. Was on the front page of "Sports Illustrated."
Rudy Robbins: Western actor, singer, songwriter, and stuntmanwho grew up in Port Arthur but was born in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana
DJ Premier: Accomplished music producer
Joe "Joe Boy" Washington: Oklahoma, Redskins, San Diego (How could you forget "Joe Boy"? One of NFL Best Monday Night performances.) fact|date=June 2008
Ken Webster: actor, director
* "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias: athlete and Olympic gold medalist
Gerald Williams: State High School Recordholder for most state championships( track and field)
Sherry Yeager Thorup: Location Manager, Film & Television fact|date=June 2008
Lynn Jackson: Meteorologist fact|date=June 2008
Chuck McElroy: MLB pitcher
Todd Dodge: Head Coach UNT, former coach Southlake-Carrolton HS
* [http://www.portarthur.net/ City of Port Arthur, Texas]
* [http://www.greatereasttexas.com/a6.aspx/ Historic Article on Port Arthur (WWII)]
* [http://www.codysewell.com/historical.html Lots of historical Port Arthur photos]
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