History of Port Neches
Ninety-five years ago, a community on the banks of the Neches River known as Grigsby’s Bluff became Port Neches with the birth of the petroleum industry in the area.
The actual history of the city goes back more than 160 years to 1834 when Joseph Grigsby, Port Neches’ first settler, came here with his family and established a community, which he named after himself.
Families came to Grigsby’s Bluff in the 1840’s and 1850’s, and the 1860 census record revealed that 80 persons were residents of the growing community.
The Civil War found the city the site of Confederate Fort Grigsby-guarding the Neches River for 9 months after the defenses of Sabine Pass was abandoned.
With the erection of refining and petrochemical plants in the area after the turn of the century, Grigsby’s Bluff became Port Neches in 1901, according to state historical archive records in Austin.
One of the first major plants erected was by Central Asphalt and Refining. In 1906, the Texas Company purchased and remodeled the plant making many improvements for the workers and the community.
This was only the beginning, for the small settlement has continued to grow until today. Port Neches can boast of having one of the largest synthetic rubber plants in the world and a multi-million dollar chemical plant.
In 1927, Port Neches incorporated. In 1941, local businesses formed and received the charter of the Port Neches Chamber of Commerce.
World War II and the government project that brought synthetic rubber to the rubber-starved war needs really put Port Neches on the map. Located on a bluff above the Neches River, which provides deep-water transportation, Port Neches is surrounded by large industry and has a population that has grown to more than 13,000.