A native of San Augustine County, William Henry Stark (1851-1936) lived in Burkeville and Newton before moving to Orange in 1870. Here he worked in the early area sawmills and became acquainted with every phase of the lumber industry. In 1881 Stark married Miriam Melissa Lutcher (1859-1936), the daughter of Henry Jacob Lutcher, a partner in the Lutcher and Moore Lumber Company. Stark joined his father-in-law's firm and, because of his knowledge of milling operations, was soon placed in charge of two mills in Louisiana. Stark's success in the lumber industry led him to invest in other businesses, including iron and coal production, real estate, and ranching. His progressive ideas, including deep water ports on the Sabine River and an irrigation system that provided stimulus for the region's rice industry, led to increased growth for the city of Orange. Stark also served as a regent for the University of Texas, 1911-15, an office later held by his son Lutcher Stark, who became chairman of the University Board. The many contributions W. H. Stark made to Orange are reflected in the city's steady growth, industrial strength, and community pride.