On December 8, 1887, Henry Jacob Lutcher Stark was born in Orange to William H. and Miriam H. (Lutcher) Stark. His maternal grandfather, Henry J. Lutcher, had amassed wealth as a co-founder of the Lutcher and Moore Lumber Company and as a landowner with gas and oil interests. Under William Stark, the company continued to prosper, and when Lutcher Stark graduated from the University of Texas in 1910, he joined his family in their lumber empire. Although known to live modestly, he was ranked Texas' wealthiest man by the 1920s. He succeeded in a variety of business ventures, including banking, real estate, manufacturing, insurance and the petroleum industry. Governor W.P. Hobby appointed Lutcher Stark to the Texas Board of Regents in 1919. He served for 24 years, including 12 as chair. He was awarded honorary doctoral degrees by Baylor University and Southwestern University (Memphis, TN) in the 1930s, and was recognized in the University of Texas Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1958. Lutcher Stark collected art, rare books and other historical items, many of which he donated to Orange's Stark Museum of Art and to the University of Texas. He established a foundation and made significant contributions to educational and charitable groups throughout his life. He also served on various boards and as an officer for numerous local businesses,
and he sponsored many local programs, including early city sports teams and a boys band. His wealth and generosity continue to enhance the community through his foundation and its ongoing philanthropic work.