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LABELLE, TEXAS. LaBelle is on Taylor Bayou ten miles south of Beaumont in central Jefferson County. Although officially recognized settlers had lived in the Taylor Bayou area since the 1830s, a post office was not established at the community known as Lower Taylor's Bayou until 1888. In that year new postmaster J. E. Broussard named the post office LaBelle in honor of his fiancee, Mary Bell Bordages. The area's first school was probably started by Leo (Peg Leg) Craigen, near what would later become the Port Arthur Country Club. Located in the fertile but flood-prone prairies of the upper Texas Gulf Coast, LaBelle was the site of one of several pumping stations designed to control flooding and drainage along Taylor Bayou. Because of its somewhat isolated location, the LaBelle post office was discontinued in 1914. Local schools were consolidated with those of Fannett in 1923. Fourteen years later, however, the discovery of large quantities of oil and natural gas at the LaBelle oilfield, five miles south of the community, sparked new interest in the area. Scattered residences, the pumping station, and oilfields and gas lines to the south marked the LaBelle community on maps during the mid-1970s.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Robert E. Nicks, Hamshire-Fannett ISD: A Glimpse of the Past and Present (MS, Sam Houston Regional Library, Liberty, Texas). Fred Tarpley, 1001 Texas Place Names (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Robert Wooster, "LABELLE, TX," accessed November 15, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrl04.
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