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October 26, 2007

Pre-Spindletop Beaumont

119. [MAP]. RACHFORD, James H. Rachford’s Complete Map of the City of Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas Copyrighted 1897 by James H. Rachford, Publisher. For Sale by the Jefferson County Abstract and Map Company Beaumont, Texas. Jas. H. Rachford, Manager. [upper right: untitled inset map of Beaumont and vicinity showing rail system and the Gulf of Mexico] [lower left below neat line] Rand McNally & Co. Engravers, Chicago. [Chicago, 1897]. Lithograph map on heavy light brown paper, neat line to neat line: 79 x 53.5 cm. Creased where formerly folded, a few splits with minor losses, minor edge chipping (with losses at lower left and lower right blank margins), small voids at upper left and right blank corners.

            Professional detailed block-by-block and street-by-street map of a growing Beaumont as it expands to the north and south from its original configuration in a loop of the Neches River. Some property owners’ names are shown, as are other features, such as businesses and railroads. Various public areas, such as the court house and College Square, are also depicted. Just a few years after this map the discovery of the Spindletop Oil Field sent the town into a growing boom, in which its population doubled. One curious indication of the times is a small area just to the south of Magnolia cemetery which according to the map consists “3 acres deeded to white citizens of Beaumont for burial purposes.”

            James H. Rachford was a tireless promoter of Beaumont and served as county judge of Jefferson County in 1890. Because of his involvement in laying out additions, it is said that he named more streets in Beaumont than anyone else, including naming Rachford Avenue in the southwestern Van Wormer addition for himself. He was also a well-known ornithologist and an expert on the birds of the Beaumont area. He is extensively cited in late nineteenth-century books on ornithology, such as Oliver Davie’s Nests and Eggs of North American Birds (1898). ($500-1,000)

Sold. Hammer: $500.00; Price Realized: $587.50

Auction 21 Abstracts

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