By Denise Gomez
Past the easternmost boundaries of Houston lies the ancient Neches River, where various settlements formed along the banks long before our region’s towns, highways, and industries emerged. This “ideal place for a town” became Tevis Bluff, named for the 1824 settlers Noah and Nancy Tevis, who operated one of three ferries along the river intended for people and cattle to cross as they moved westward. Although the Tevis family had owned their land for several years, they had to wait until 1835 to obtain an officially recognized deed. Unfortunately, Noah Tevis died shortly after the Tevis deed petition was approved. He left his estate to his wife, who took a leadership role as the town of Beaumont began to form its boundaries. Nancy, called “the mother of Beaumont,” stood alongside Joseph Grigsby and the three principals of the Joseph P. Pulsifer Company, Henry Millard, Joseph Pulsifer, and Thomas B. Huling, to form “the townsite company.” The company donated land, a total of two hundred acres donated by the three entities, and divided all but a couple blocks of the land set aside for public spaces—a hospital, a college, and a “steam mill square.”
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Click here to browse the Tyrrell Historical Library Digital Collections, which hosts images and materials of Beaumont’s history.
Watch the video below by author Denise Gomez, created for the Houston History Fall 2015 Class