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 »


Clayton T. Shorkey

Daisy Elgin
Houston native Daisy Elgin, a coloratura soprano, received high praise for her performances on the East Coast during the late 1920s. She made her Houston debut in 1930. Mary Alice Elgin Collection, Texas Music Museum.

ELGIN, DAISY PETTIT (1901–1975). Daisy Pettit Elgin, opera singer, was born in Houston on November 6, 1901, to Robert Wilson and Daisy (Pettit) Elgin. In the early 1920s she received her musical training in New York under the direction of Charlotte Maconda. She was a coloratura soprano with a light, agile voice and extensive range. Her sister, Mary Alice, an accomplished pianist, also studied in New York. In May 1927 Daisy Elgin signed a concert contract with the management of R. E. Johnston in New York, and later that year her performances on the East Coast received glowing reviews. Her Houston debut was in 1930 and included arias such as "Ah! Fors' e Lui," from La Traviata and "Una Voce Poco Fa," from The Barber of Seville.

During the early 1930s Elgin had a Sunday night radio program, the Cox & Blackburn Frigidaire Hour, on KPRC in Houston. She also frequently appeared on tour throughout the United States with Beniamino Gigli and Giuseppe de Luca. Throughout the mid-to-late 1930s Elgin continued touring which included performances in major Texas cities, and she spent summers in New York. She was often a featured artist on the National Broadcasting Company’s radio network. Elgin lived in Houston later in life and was a member of Christ Church Cathedral. She never married. She died in Houston on June 19, 1975, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery.


Daisy Elgin Collection, 1928–1941, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Houston Post, June 21, 1975. Vertical Files. Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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, Clayton T. Shorkey, "ELGIN, DAISY PETTIT," accessed May 24, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/feltr.

Uploaded on June 26, 2014. Modified on February 7, 2017. 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...