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Mary Daggett Lake Papers


Mary Daggett Lake (1881 - 1955) was the daughter of E. M. (Bud) Daggett, who was the son of C. B. Daggett. C. B. Daggett was the brother of E. M. Daggett, who was known as the ‘Father of Fort Worth’.

She was born in Fort Worth and attended the public school until she attended Cottey College at Nevada, Missouri. On March 23, 1899, she married Will F. Lake, a local cattleman. Her principal interests were gardening and local history. She was the garden page editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and a charter member of the Fort Worth Garden Club. She was president of the Texas Federation of Garden Clubs and held offices with the Southwest Regional division of the National Council of State Garden Clubs. She was also director of the Garden in the Botanic Garden since 1935 and member and president of the Park Board.

She was also very involved with local history. She wrote a series of articles in the 1920s on the first 100 families in Fort Worth and collected materials about Fort Worth. She wrote the brochure, The Legend of the Bluebonnet. Also, she wrote the songs, Have You Ever Been to Texas in the Spring?, the official song of the Texas Federation of Garden Clubs and Pioneer Mother, the official memorial song of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. She died on March 1, 1955.


The library purchased the collection from the heirs of Mrs. Lake on January 8, 1956 for $2,000.00. The original collection consisted of books, pamphlets, bulletins, magazines, manuscripts, photographs, documents, clippings and sheet music. Originally the collection was maintained as a separate collection. Eventually, the collection was dispersed into the larger collections. These papers include the remaining archival type materials. The material was not well organized and various staff members organized the papers over the subsequent years.

Scope and Contents Note

  • Series I: Daggett Family Papers (1839 - 1953) - This series contains the bulk of the oldest materials in the collection and is mostly from 1870 - 1890. It consists of the personal papers of C. B. Daggett (1812 - 1888), E. B. Daggett (1838 - 1911), E. J. Daggett, E. M. Daggett (1810 - 1883), E. M. (Bud) Daggett (1850 - 1921), F. B. Daggett (1867 - 1939) and J. P. Daggett (1895 - 1944). It includes correspondence, deeds, typescripts, receipts, promissory notes, clippings and wills. The deeds include land in Fort Worth owned by the Daggetts. It also includes a receipt signed by John C. Hays of the Texas Rangers during the Mexican War, since E. M. and C. B. both served during the War. (2 boxes)
  • Series II: State and Local History - This series contains material Mary Daggett Lake obtained while doing research on state and local history for her articles for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. it also includes typescripts of many of the article she wrote. It also includes several file folders relating to the Regulator and Moderator War including the peace treaty signed between the two fractions. This series also contains correspondence between her and various Texas historians including J. Evetts Haley and J. Frank Dobie. (5 boxes)
  • Series III : Genealogical Notes and Manuscripts - This series consists of material acquired while researching the genealogy of the Lake and Daggett families. They were both prominent families in Texas. Some of the allied families include Hawkins, Farrar, Crank, Ferguson, Palmer/Parmer and Longmiller families. (3 boxes)
  • Series IV: First Hundred Families (1825 - 1925) - This series consists of material that Mary Daggett Lake used to write a series of articles on the early families of Fort Worth. The articles appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in the 1920s. The materials consist of typescripts of the articles, correspondence with family members, genealogies of some of the families and miscellaneous documents. The families include T. I. (Longhair) Courtright, Middleton Tate Johnson, the Peak family and Edward Tarrant. The bulk of this series is from the 1920s. (3 boxes)
  • Series V : Horticultural Affairs (1932 - 1953) - Mrs. Lake was very involved with the local Garden Club and was a longtime member of the Fort Worth Park Board. Materials include items relating to her involvement with the National Council of State Garden Clubs, the Texas Garden Clubs and the Fort Worth Garden Clubs. There is also material relating to conservation and highway beautification. The series also include a box on the Fort Worth Park System and material on the Fort Worth Botanic Garden including a list of plants. Also included is a typescript history of the Fort Worth Park League. The bulk of this series is from the 1930s and 1940s. (6 boxes)
  • Series VI: Mary Daggett Lake Scrapbooks (1916 - 1951) - This series consists of materials of two scrapbooks and loose clippings from another. The major item is a scrapbook she compiled on a trip to Chicago in 1926. (1 box)
  • Series VII: Woman’s Wednesday Club and Miscellaneous - This series contains miscellaneous typescripts and correspondence unrelated to materials elsewhere in the papers. Also, box one has materials relating to the Women’s Wednesday Club. This series also include a few photographs and her applications to various patriotic organizations. (2 boxes)
  • Series VIII: Rev. Charles S. G. Worsham Manuscripts (1901 - 1902) - Mrs. Lake collected documents from various sources. This series and the next three are papers she obtained. Rev. S. G. Worsham was born in Tennessee in June 1842 and soon after he moved to Dallas. He served in the Confederate Army and married Miss Ophelia V. Buchannan of De Soto Parish, LA. He became an ordained Baptist Minister in 1893. He died on July 24th, 1909 in Fort Worth. This series consists of manuscripts of short stories and poems that he wrote. (2 boxes)
  • Series IX: Albert Ruth Papers - This series consists of correspondence, notebooks, and typescripts relating to Albert Ruth and the Ruth Herbarium. Albert Ruth (1884 - 1932) was a leading authority in the study of plant life. He was a member of the faculty at the University of Tennessee for ten years, after which he became superintendent of the public schools of Knoxville for twenty-six years. He moved to Fort Worth with his collection of plant life. There were over 10,000 specimens when he sold his collection to the Garden Club and the Park Board for $500, although it was worth about $2500. The Ruth Herbarium was displayed at the Carnegie Public Library. It is currently at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. He died December 17, 1932. (1 box)
  • Series X: Gustave Cusson Weaver Scrapbook, J. J. Walker’s Diary and Miscellaneous (1834 - 1938) - This series consists of a scrapbook of Gustave Cousson Weaver, the diary of J. J. Walker including the journal of Alice Walker, autograph book of Bettie McKee, miscellaneous documents relating to B. F. and Elizabeth Bennett and a certificate for bounty land for J. J. Wolcomb from 1837. The Walker’s diary and journal which span the years 1834 - 1887 is among the most interesting documents in the collections because it provides a woman’s perspective. (1 box)
  • Series XI: Hyde Jennings Papers (1856 - 1904) - This series consists of the papers of Hyde Jennings, a prominent Fort Worth attorney. Hyde Jennings was born in Nacogdoches, Texas in August 1849, a son of T. J. and Sarah (Gray) Jennings. He was educated in various parts of Texas. He came to Fort Worth in 1872 with his parents. Jennings was married to Florence Van Zandt, a daughter of Maj. K. M. Van Zandt. He was the father of three sons and one daughter, K. V.; T. J.; Chilton and Martha. He died on November 11, 1903. This series includes materials relating to his practice of law including attorney’s dockets, case notes and contracts. It also includes material relating to his personal business deeds, genealogy, receipts, certificates and a list of plants on his residence. (1 box)
  • Series XII: Articles by Mary Daggett Lake - This collection consists of newspapers clippings of articles written by Mary Daggett Lake. It is arranged by subject. (4 boxes)
  • Series XIII: Articles by Others - This series consists of newspapers clippings of articles written by other people. The majority of the clippings are arranged by subject. The last four boxes include articles by columnists Bess Carroll, Edith A. (Guedry) Deen, J. Frank Dobie, C. L. Douglas, Lillian Halbert Gantt, Jack Gordon, Robert T. Hill, Howard W. Peak and Frank Reeves. (21 boxes)

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Last updated: Sept. 17, 2014