The son of German immigrants, Henry Jacob Lutcher (1836-1912) became a successful lumberman in his home state of Pennsylvania. Attracted by the vast timberlands of southeast Texas, he and his partner G. Bedell Moore moved part of their operation to this area in the 1870s. Following a short survey trip through East Texas in 1876, Lutcher settled in Orange. Here he oversaw the establishment of a large sawmill and began investing in area timberlands. The continued growth of the Lutcher and Moore lumber company led to the acquisition of several mills, including one at Lutcher, Louisiana, and property throughout the United States. A progressive businessman, Lutcher introduced several improved milling techniques, which were adopted by other mill owners and led to the early growth of the area's lumber industry. He also contributed to the development of the region's commerce through his active support of deep water ports at Sabine Pass, Orange, and Beaumont, and his interest in the construction of area rail lines.