Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon


LUTCHER, FRANCES ANN ROBINSON (1841–1924). Frances Ann Robinson Lutcher, philanthropist and humanitarian, daughter of David Robinson, was born on October 17, 1841, in Pennsylvania. She married Henry Jacob Lutcher on January 23, 1858. They had two children, Miriam Melissa (see STARK, MIRIAM M. L.), who married William H. Stark, and Carrie Launa, who married Dr. Edgar W. Brown, Sr. The Lutchers moved to Orange, Texas, in 1878. Mrs. Lutcher was one of Orange's greatest benefactors. She built the First Presbyterian Church in honor of the Lutcher family and dedicated it to Orange on January 28, 1912. This magnificent marble structure was reputedly the first structure west of the Mississippi River to have air-conditioning. A Texas Historical Commission marker was placed there in 1978. In 1921 Mrs. Lutcher dedicated the Frances Ann Lutcher Hospital, the first modern hospital in Orange. It had the most up-to-date equipment of the time and also maintained a nurses' training program and a home for student nurses. The hospital was particularly needed for the many workmen injured at the surrounding sawmills and in other timber-industry accidents. These men had previously been transported long distances by train for treatment. Mrs. Lutcher had the finest orchid collection in the South. During World War I soldiers in the area called her the "Orchid Lady" because of the orchids that she gave away. She was an ardent traveler and journeyed through the United States and the world up into her eighties. She made her home, however, in Orange from 1877 until her death. She died on October 21, 1924, while on vacation in New York. She was buried in the family mausoleum in Evergreen Cemetery in Orange.


Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin.

Howard C. Williams


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

Howard C. Williams, "LUTCHER, FRANCES ANN ROBINSON," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 25, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.