About This Place
Orange is a city in Orange County, Texas, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 18,643. It is the county seat of Orange County, and is the easternmost city in Texas. Located on the Sabine River at the border with Louisiana, it is part of the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. Founded in 1836, it is a deep-water port (to the Gulf of Mexico).
This community was originally called Green Bluff for a man named Reason Green, a Sabine River boatman who arrived at this location sometime before 1830. A short time later, in 1840, the town was renamed Madison in honor of President James Madison. To resolve the frequent post office confusion with another Texas community called Madisonville, the town was renamed "Orange" in 1858. The area experienced rapid growth in the late 19th century due to 17 sawmills within the city limits, making Orange the center of the Texas lumber industry. Orange's growth led to the arrival of many immigrants in the late 19th century, including a moderately-sized Jewish population by 1896. In 1898, the County built a courthouse in the city, which eventually burned down and was replaced by the Orange County Courthouse.
The harbor leading into the Port of Orange was dredged in 1914 to accommodate large ships. Ship building during World War I contributed to the growth in population and economy. The Great Depression, not surprisingly, affected the city negatively, and it was not until World War II that the local economy was boosted again. A U.S. Naval Station was installed and additional housing was provided for thousands of defense workers and servicemen and their families. The population increased to just over 60,000 residents.