Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


Robert Wooster

LUTCHER, HENRY JACOB (1836–1912). Henry Jacob Lutcher, lumberman and industrialist, the son of Louis and Barbara Lutcher, was born at Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on November 4, 1836. His parents had immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1826. By 1857 Lutcher had entered business as a farmer and butcher. On January 23, 1858, he married Frances Ann Robinson. He subsequently entered the lumber trade and by 1865 had become a partner with G. Bedell Moore in the Lutcher and Moore Company. Although Lutcher continued to trade cattle, the rapid depletion of Pennsylvania timber threatened his lumber business. Seeking a new location, he and Moore made a grueling inspection tour of Texas in 1877. Lutcher moved to Orange the following year, and he and Moore invested heavily in the timberlands of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. Their plants at Orange and at Lutcher, Louisiana, were among the nation's largest and helped set off a lumbering bonanza in the region. The Lutcher and Moore plant at Orange also set precedents in the area by paying its workers in cash on a weekly basis after 1900, and by instituting a ten-hour workday in 1901. Lutcher diversified his industrial investments and helped finance the construction of both the Orange and Northwestern and the Gulf, Sabine and Red River railroads. He also lent powerful support to the deepwater movements in Jefferson and Orange counties that culminated in the construction of the Sabine-Neches Waterwayqv. Lutcher was a lifelong Democrat. He died at a Cincinnati sanitarium on October 2, 1912, after a paralytic stroke and was buried in the family mausoleum in Evergreen Cemetery, Orange. His two daughters, Miriam Lutcher Starkqv and Carrie Lutcher Brown, married into powerful local families and established a Lutcher-Stark-Brown dynasty that dominated area affairs for years to come. The Lutcher family donated the First Presbyterian Church and the Frances Ann Lutcher Hospital to the city of Orange. See also LUMBER INDUSTRY.

Robert S. Maxwell and Robert D. Baker, Sawdust Empire: The Texas Lumber Industry, 1830–1940 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Robert Wooster, "LUTCHER, HENRY JACOB," accessed November 17, 2018,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox