Groves received the most important assignment of his career in 1942 when, after receiving the rank of temporary brigadier general, he was appointed commanding officer of the highly secret Manhattan Engineer District, better known as the Manhattan Project, with a $2-billion budget and broad powers to tap the country's resources to develop, construct, and test the atomic bomb. He also established an air force unit to drop the bomb and a committee to recommend sites for its delivery. Promoted to permanent brigadier general and awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1945, Groves retired from the army in 1948. Subsequently, he was vice president in charge of research at the Remington Rand Corp. until his retirement in 1961.
See his Now It Can Be Told: The Story of the Manhattan Project (1962); biographies by W. Lawren (1988) and R. S. Norris (2002).
Groves is named after "Asa E. Groves" a Port Arthur, Texas land developer. He had several hundred pecan trees planted which added charm to this quaint bedroom community.
There were 6,182 households out of which 31.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.8% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18 (see Recreation), 8.5% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $42,692, and the median income for a family was $50,892. Males had a median income of $41,404 versus $23,493 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,147.
The only PAISD school in groves is the Port Arthur Alternative Center.
Oil refineries surround Groves and other nearby cities, including Beaumont, Port Neches, Nederland, and Port Arthur. These refineries are some of the largest and most important producers in the nation, hence a major spike in gas prices before and after Hurricane Rita.
Groves, along with the rest of Jefferson County, is a very industrial oriented and business friendly area. There is continuing and sustained industrial growth in all facets of this geographical area. Southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana, with their major industrial bases, are critical to the nations energy and petrochemical needs.
Noted author and poet Mary Karr is from Groves, as is PGA golfer Chris Stroud, Tennessee sportscaster/producer Jon W. Knowles and Major League Baseball player Ben Weber of the Houston Astros.
Groves is the home to the Texas Pecan Festival, where local organizations sponsor rides and booths. Local organizations sell food, and there is fun for all ages in a fair-like venue.
Groves has rebounded surprisingly well from its ordeal with Hurricane Rita in September 2005.