Lake, Mary Sabina Daggett (1880–1955)

By: Abby Hardy Moran

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: November 13, 2019

Mary Sabina Daggett Lake, botanist and author, was born on November 11, 1880, in Fort Worth, Texas, the daughter of E. M. and Laura Alice (Palmer) Daggett. She attended the public schools of Fort Worth and then later Cottey College in Missouri, where she majored in botany and music. For twelve years she was research assistant in a private herbarium. She was educational director of the Garden Center of Fort Worth from 1935 until her death. In this capacity she inaugurated nature classes for children, started a gardener's library, conducted workshops and flower shows, and promoted soil conservation and highway beautification. As a charter member of the Fort Worth Garden Club she helped organize the Texas Federation of Garden Clubs (later renamed the Texas Garden Clubs) and was its state president from 1939 to 1941. In 1943 she was made a life member of both the Texas Garden Clubs, Incorporated, and the National Federation of Garden Clubs. She was also a flower-show judge, a popular speaker on botanical subjects, and an organizer of garden clubs throughout the Southwest. From 1926 to 1955 she served on the Fort Worth Park Board, of which she became president in 1946. Her article "Wildflowers of Texas," written with Eula Whitehouse, ran for many years in the Texas Almanac. During the Texas Centennial, as historical research chairman, she interviewed old-timers and wrote a series that ran in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, From 1937 to 1955 she was garden editor of this newspaper. In recognition of her accomplishments Texas Christian University awarded her an LL.D. degree in 1946. She was married to Will F. Lake on March 23, 1899, and they had three children. She died on March 1, 1955.

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Mary Daggett Lake Collection, Fort Worth Public Library.

  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Science
  • Scientists and Researchers
  • Women
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Publications, Journals, and Magazines
Time Periods:
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • Progressive Era
  • Great Depression
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • World War II
  • Texas Post World War II
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Fort Worth
  • North Texas

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

Abby Hardy Moran, “Lake, Mary Sabina Daggett,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 13, 2019

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