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The Long Shadow

The Long Shadow
The Lutcher-Stark Lumber Dynasty

Using a wealth of primary materials, this lively biography traces the lives of three generations of the Lutcher-Stark family of Orange, Texas, who are renowned for their business achievements and generous philanthropy.

Series: Tower Books Imprint

The H. J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports
September 2016
640 pages | 6.125 x 9.25 | 212 b&w photos, 2 b&w illus. |

This family history tells the story of three generations of illustrious Texans whose progenitor, a Pennsylvania butcher-turned-lumberman named Henry Jacob Lutcher, came to East Texas in 1877 in search of new timber sources. In Orange, Texas, he established the Lutcher & Moore Lumber Company, at one time the largest lumber company in the nation, and made a substantial fortune. His spouse, Frances Ann, became a noted philanthropist, building a church and a hospital in Orange.

Their older daughter, Miriam, married the capitalist William Henry Stark, who expanded and diversified the family enterprises. Miriam became a noted rare book collector, eventually donating her collection to the University of Texas. The Starks’ son, H. J. Lutcher Stark, was a major philanthropist who benefited countless charities in his home region and at the University of Texas, serving for almost twenty-four years on its Board of Regents. With his wife, he created the Nelda C. and H. J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, where the legacy of the Lutcher and Stark families lives on.

This history places the families within the context of their times, divesting them of myth and presenting them factually as the exceptional people they were. It represents the first in-depth treatment of the wealth of primary material in the Stark Foundation’s archives, never before publicly available. It presents a part of Texas that is distinct in culture, history, and terrain while offering an intriguing saga of the lives and vicissitudes of this extraordinary family.

  • Acknowledgments
  • Prologue
  • Part I. The Visionary
    • 1. Williamsport . . . the Beginning
    • 2. Lutcher & Moore
  • Part II. The Capitalist
    • 3. The Quiet Man
    • 4. Romance and the “Empire of Trees”
  • Part III. The Philanthropist
    • 5. The Heir
    • 6. Over There
    • 7. Mamoose
    • 8. The Longhorns
    • 9. Old Man Depression
    • 10. Change and Loss
    • 11. Kiss the Boys Good-Bye: World War II
    • 12. Shangri-La
    • 13. The Cypress Tree
  • Epilogue: Nelda
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Beaumont, Texas
Rienstra is a contract historian and author for the Nelda C. and H. J. Lutcher Stark Foundation. She has coauthored several books, including A Pride of Kin and Giant Under the Hill: A History of the Spindletop Oil Discovery at Beaumont, Texas, in 1901.
Beaumont, Texas
Stiles taught in Lamar University’s history department for over three decades before retiring as an associate professor emeritus. She has worked as an independent author and researcher on Giant Under the Hill and other projects.