While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Howard C. Williams

STARK, WILLIAM HENRY (1851–1936). William Henry Stark, industrial and financial leader, son of John Thomas and Martha Ann (Skidmore) Stark, was born on March 19, 1851, in San Augustine, Texas. His father was a merchant and later a judge in Orange County. Stark received the first of a meager scholastic education in Burkeville, Texas. His mother died in 1863, while his father was in the Confederate service. He cared for his family until his father's return in 1865. While in his teens Stark rode a mail contract on a pony between Burkeville and Orange, and in July 1870 he moved to Orange to seek employment in the sawmills. For many years he operated a large livery stable in Orange and took a prominent part in the affairs of the town, playing for a time in one of the city bands. He married Miriam Melissa Lutcher (see STARK, MIRIAM), daughter of Henry Jacob Lutcher, on December 22, 1881. His wife, also a philanthropist, gave generous donations to the causes of art, charity, and education. In the early 1880s Stark joined the executive forces of the Lutcher Moore Company, which Henry Jacob Lutcher had established. Stark became president of the Lutcher Moore Cypress Lumber Company of Lutcher, Louisiana, and the Dibert, Stark, and Brown Lumber Company of Donner, Louisiana. He also built a sawmill in Gallup, New Mexico. At one time he was either president or financially interested in the Orange Car and Steel Company, the Orange Rice Mill, the First National Bank, Sabine Packing Company, the Orange Products Company, the Sabine Supply Company, Orange Investment Company, the Holland Hotel Company, the Texas Creosoting Plant, Yellow Pine Papermill, the Orange Cameron and Land Company, and many other varied holdings in Orange County and Southeast Texas. Stark served as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas from 1911 to 1915. His son, Henry Jacob Lutcher Stark, later served on the Board of Regents and was chairman of the board for many years. Stark died October 8, 1936, and was buried in the family mausoleum in Evergreen Cemetery in Orange, Texas. A Texas Historical Commission marker commemorates his contributions to Orange County.

Marcellus E. Foster and Alfred Jones, eds., South and Southeast Texas (n.p.: Jas. O. Jones, 1928). Orange Leader, October 9, 1936.

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: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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, Howard C. Williams, "STARK, WILLIAM HENRY," accessed August 10, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fstdd.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...