Stark, William Henry (1851–1936)

By: Howard C. Williams

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1996

Updated: July 1, 2022

William Henry Stark, industrial and financial leader, son of John Thomas and Martha Ann (Skidmore) Stark, was born on March 19, 1851, in San Augustine, Texas. His father was a merchant and later a judge in Orange County. Stark received the first of a meager scholastic education in Burkeville, Texas. His mother died in 1863, while his father was in the Confederate service. He cared for his family until his father's return in 1865. While in his teens Stark rode a mail contract on a pony between Burkeville and Orange, and in July 1870 he moved to Orange to seek employment in the sawmills. For many years he operated a large livery stable in Orange and took a prominent part in the affairs of the town, playing for a time in one of the city bands. He married Miriam Melissa Lutcher (see STARK, MIRIAM), daughter of Henry Jacob Lutcher and Frances Ann (Robinson) Lutcher, on December 22, 1881. His wife, also a philanthropist, gave generous donations to the causes of art, charity, and education. In the early 1880s Stark joined the executive forces of the Lutcher Moore Company, which Henry Jacob Lutcher had established. Stark became president of the Lutcher Moore Cypress Lumber Company of Lutcher, Louisiana, and the Dibert, Stark, and Brown Lumber Company of Donner, Louisiana. He also built a sawmill in Gallup, New Mexico. At one time he was either president or financially interested in the Orange Car and Steel Company, the Orange Rice Mill, the First National Bank, Sabine Packing Company, the Orange Products Company, the Sabine Supply Company, Orange Investment Company, the Holland Hotel Company, the Texas Creosoting Plant, Yellow Pine Papermill, the Orange Cameron and Land Company, and many other varied holdings in Orange County and Southeast Texas. Stark served as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas from 1911 to 1915. His son, Henry Jacob Lutcher Stark, later served on the Board of Regents and was chairman of the board for many years. Stark died October 8, 1936, and was buried in the family mausoleum in Evergreen Cemetery in Orange, Texas. A Texas Historical Commission marker commemorates his contributions to Orange County. See also LUMBER INDUSTRY and W. H. STARK HOUSE.

Marcellus E. Foster and Alfred Jones, eds., South and Southeast Texas (n.p.: Jas. O. Jones, 1928). Orange Leader, October 9, 1936.

  • Agriculture
  • Business
  • Education
  • Patrons, Collectors, and Philanthropists
  • Religion
  • Presbyterian
  • School Trustees and Regents
Time Periods:
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • Progressive Era
  • Great Depression
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • East Texas
  • Upper Gulf Coast

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

Howard C. Williams, “Stark, William Henry,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1996
July 1, 2022