Stark, Henry Jacob Lutcher (1887–1965)

By: Howard C. Williams

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: August 30, 2017

Henry Jacob Lutcher Stark, industrial and financial leader, son of William H. and Miriam M. (Lutcher) Stark, grandson of Henry Jacob and Frances Ann Lutcher, was born in Orange, Texas on December 8, 1887. His parents were outstanding leaders in the industrial and financial centers of the South and Southwest. His grandfather, Henry Jacob Lutcher, founded the Lutcher and Moore Lumber Company empire in East Texas. Stark had one sister who died in youth. He attended public school in Orange and graduated from the University of Texas in 1910, with a bachelor of arts degree. During his successful business career Stark was active in banking, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, and the petroleum industry. He and his family were best known for activities in the lumber industry. Their lumber holdings extended from East Texas across South Louisiana, through the Lutcher and Moore Lumber Company; the Dibert, Stark, and Brown Cypress Lumber Company; and the Lutcher and Moore Cypress Lumber Company. The Lutcher and Moore Lumber Company was a pioneer in promoting adoption of grade marking of timber and allied products from southern pine timber. On December 1, 1924, the company shipped the first carload of grade-marked lumber. Largely as a result of the enthusiastic public acceptance of the grade-marked product, the Southern Pine Association at its annual meeting the following year adopted the practice of grading lumber products by numbers. After the death of Lutcher Stark, the Lutcher and Moore Lumber Company was sold to Boise Southern, an unincorporated joint venture of Boise Cascade Corporation, of Boise, Idaho, and Southern National Gas Company of Birmingham, Alabama. Stark was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by Baylor University in 1933, and by Southwestern University, Memphis, Tennessee, in 1938. In 1919 Governor W. P. Hobby appointed Lutcher Stark to the University of Texas Board of Regents, and he served on that board for twenty-four years, twelve years as chairman. During his tenure, he led fundraising efforts to build Texas Memorial Stadium. Stark's name was added to the Longhorn Hall of Honor at the university in 1958. In 1963 he was awarded a distinguished service award by Texas Woman's University. Lutcher Stark married Nita Hill of Austin, on April 6, 1911. She died on October 11, 1939. During their marriage two sons, Homer B. H. Stark and William H. Stark II, were adopted. On April 6, 1941, Lutcher Stark and Ruby Childers were married. Ruby died July 12, 1942. Stark and Nelda Childers were married December 16, 1943. They actively continued the collection of western art, crystal, porcelain, and rare botanical books and prints, all of which are now displayed in the Stark Museum of Art. In 1961 Lutcher and Nelda Stark organized The Nelda C. and H. J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, a non-profit, charitable corporation with Stark as first chairman. He continued in that capacity until his death, when Nelda Stark succeeded her husband. The Stark Foundation now owns and operates the Stark Museum of Art, the Frances Ann Lutcher Theater, Stark Park, and the restored W. H. Stark House. The foundation continues to make acquisitions for the Stark Museum of Art when appropriate works of art are available. Other activities include funding a substantial scholarship program available to students throughout Texas and contributions to other charitable and educational activities in Texas. Lutcher Stark died on September 2, 1965, and was buried in the family mausoleum in Evergreen Cemetery in Orange, Texas. The H. J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports, which opened on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin in 2009, was named in his honor.

Robert S. Maxwell and Robert D. Baker, Sawdust Empire: The Texas Lumber Industry, 1830–1940 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983). Orange Leader, September 4, 1965.

  • Education
  • School Trustees and Regents

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Howard C. Williams, “Stark, Henry Jacob Lutcher,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 28, 2022,

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August 30, 2017