• Newspaper
  • Community
  • History

    PA News history spans birth on train to E-Edition

    The Port Arthur News was born in 1897 in a baggage car on one of the earliest excursion trains brought by Port Arthur founder Arthur E. Stilwell to his “Magic City by the Lake.”

    As part of Stilwell’s million-dollar advertising campaign to draw attention — and residents — to his fledgling community, he sent out invitations to business and professional men to take advantage of opportunities here. David L. Stump, an editor from Asbury, Mo., and his two printer sons Leroy and Will set up a Washington hand press in a baggage car at the end of a nine-car excursion train.

    With the help of two younger sons, Mark and Forrest, the Stumps printed the first edition of the Port Arthur News on March 17, 1897, while the train was traveling from Kansas City on Stilwell’s Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Gulf Railway. The paper hit the streets the next day as the train arrived in Port Arthur, but the Stumps discovered that the newborn paper already had a rival. The Port Arthur Weekly Herald, published by F. Dumont Smith, made its debut the same day.

    Today, the Port Arthur News is a vital, working part of the city of Port Arthur and Mid- and South Jefferson County, Texas, with an average circulation of about 8,000.

    Digital news

    The newspaper also publishes panews.com, its sister Web site, and publishes an electronic edition daily. The News is active Twitter through @panews, is on Facebook, and shares photographs through SmugMug at photos.panews.com.

    Our Mission

    To be a dynamic and innovative publishing company where our teams of talented and motivated people produce the leading newspapers and related products for readers and advertisers in all communities within Mid and South Jefferson and Orange counties.

    We serve

    Port Arthur, Groves, Port Neches and Nederland and surrounding areas in Jefferson County and Bridge City and Orangefield in Orange County.

  • Market

    The Golden Triangle of Southeast Texas is a unique place in which vibrant industrial facilities exist alongside thriving habitats that create great opportunities for outdoors recreation. Mid- and South Jefferson County, Texas, is the hub of the petrochemical industry in the United States. The Motiva refinery in Port Arthur is the largest oil refinery in North America. Valero, TOTAL and Exxon all have oil refineries in the area. Huntsman, Flint Hills, Chevron-Gulf all have major chemical facilities in the immediate area.

    The Port Arthur waterfront is the home of the fourth busiest port in the United States. Port Arthur, Beaumont and Orange all have municipal ports in addition to the industrial ports along the waterfront. Because of the waterfront, export of Liquefied Natural Gas is creating a new industry.

    The coastal location also gives local residents some of the best in hunting, from alligator to teal, and fishing, both onshore and offshore.


    Jefferson County, 252,273

    Groves: 16,144

    Port Arthur, 57,745

    Nederland: 17,547

    Port Neches, 13,040


    Port Arthur’s location on the Texas Gulf Coast helps moderate the heat of summer and winter’s cold. The high temperature of typical summer days will be in the lower to mid-90, with the occasional heat wave with highs reaching 100. Winters average in the 50s with freezing temperatures common and snow and single digit temps rare. The area receives about 60 inches of rain a year and is subject to the possibility of hurricanes.

    Major employers

    Petrochemical industry, education, shipping, craft trades, machine fabrication, health care, hospitality and retail.


    Mid- and South Jefferson County students are served by public schools, charter schools, and parochial schools. For higher education, students turn to Lamar State College at Port Arthur, a two-year campus, or Lamar University in Beaumont, a four-year campus. A number of technical schools and skilled craft training programs are also available.


    “Laissez les bons temps rouler” means the party has started for the fun-loving Cajuns and Cajun wanna-bees when Mardi Gras time rolls around. The French-Cajun term literally means “let the good times roll,” and roll they do at the annual parades and festival that draw as many as 500,000 people to downtown Port Arthur, all to catch some beads. The Kewe of Aurora Majestic Ball fills the R.A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center to capacity with revelers decked out in the most outrageous of costumes. The royalty lead the parade and the willing subjects fall in to the tunes of Southeast Texas’ and Southwest Louisiana’s best Cajun and Zydeco bands.


    Situated on the Gulf of Mexico with a moderate climate, the Golden Triangle of Southeast Texas offers an array of outdoors activities. The fishing is great, whether from the banks or from numerous fishing piers in the area and public boat ramps are easily accessible. Biking and hiking are popular on the area’s public beach and at Sea Rim State Park, which has miles of beach front and thousands of acres in a marshland recreational area.

    Interesting tidbit

    Port Arthur founder Arthur Stilwell said he was told in a dream by “Brownies,” described as fairy-like creatures, where to locate his city by the sea. Stilwell founded Port Arthur as a port for his Kansas City Southern Railway to connect the agricultural and manufacturing areas of the Great Midwest to world markets via the Gulf of Mexico.

    Area information

    Port Arthur Convention and Visitors Bureau
    Located in the R.A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center
    3401 Cultural Center Drive, Port Arthur, TX 77642
    (409) 985-7822