Fannett is an census-designated place in Jefferson County, Texas, United States, about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Beaumont. It is part of the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. The community is named after B. J. Fannett, a local landowner who opened a general store there in the 1890s. When Japanese immigrants brought rice farming to the area, Fannett grew to meet the farmers’ needs. Although oil has been discovered near Fannett, the town’s population has remained small. Official 2000 census estimates place its population at 105. In 1961, the Fannett Independent School District was combined with that of neighboring Hamshire, forming the Hamshire-Fannett Independent School District.
In 1993 and again in 2004, Fannett was the center of a controversy over the naming of Jap Road (now Boondocks Road). The road had been named in the early 20th century to honor immigrant rice farmer Yoshio Mayumi. However, the meaning of the word “Jap” had changed over time, transforming an honor into an ethnic slur. Fannett is home to the Clifton Steamboat Museum, which features a large exhibit on Lieutenant Commander Harry Brinkley Bass (after whom the USS Brinkley Bass was named).