Port Arthur, city (1990 pop. 58,724), Jefferson co., SE Tex., on Sabine Lake; inc. 1898. A deepwater port of entry on the Sabine-Neches Canal, it is an extensive oil port, with many large refineries, chemical plants, and oil rigs and ships. There is natural-gas processing, printing and publishing, and the manufacture of building materials and metal products. Agricultural products include rice, soybeans, and cattle. The Sabine region had already been visited and settled, and livestock and rice had been raised, before Arthur E. Stilwell decided (1894) to found a railroad terminus there. American financier and promoter John Warne Gates (Bet-a-Million Gates) also contributed to the early growth of the city. A ship channel was completed in 1899. Port Arthur boomed after the discovery (1901) of oil at Spindletop. The city holds an annual event recognizing the oil industry.
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