Kountze, Texas is located about 27 miles northwest of Beaumont in central Hardin County. Established in 1882, the site was named for Herman and Augustus Kountze, financial backers of the Sabine and East Texas Railroad. A post office was established that same year. In 1884, Kountze was rejected by voters as the county seat, but after a courthouse fire in 1886, voters decided to make Kountze the Hardin county seat in 1887. In 1902, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway arrived in the area, and the area became a thriving lumber and retail community. The lumber industry began to slump, and a fire in 1916 slowed development. In the 1950s, nearby oil discoveries boosted the economy.