H.J. Lutcher Stark

Henry Jacob Lutcher Stark was born in Orange, Texas on December 8, 1887. He was the son of Miriam Lutcher and W.H. Stark. Lutcher graduated from Orange High School in 1905. He went on to the University of Texas in Austin. He was one of the first students to have a car on campus and is credited with naming the University’s mascot, the Longhorns. He graduated in 1910 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Lutcher married Nita Hill of Austin, Texas, in 1911. Lutcher Stark and his wife Nita adopted two twin boys in the 1920s. The boys were named for their adoptive grandfathers Homer Barksdale Hill Stark (Homer) and William Henry Stark II (Bill). After her death in 1939, Lutcher married Ruby Childers. Ruby died on July 12, 1942. He then married Ruby’s sister, Nelda Childers on December 16, 1943.

Like his father and grandfather, Lutcher worked in the family’s many businesses, including the Lutcher & Moore Lumber Company. Lutcher was a life-long art collector, like his mother and grandmother. After his parents’ deaths in 1936, Lutcher’s boyhood home was closed. He stayed in Orange, continuing his family’s tradition of philanthropy. Lutcher served on the University of Texas Board of Regents for twenty-four years. In 1961, he and his wife Nelda formed the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation. Their hope was to improve life in Southeast Texas. When he died at age seventy-seven in 1965, Nelda continued to lead the Foundation.