University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Eugene Pillot:

An Inventory of His Collection in the Performing Arts Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator: Pillot, Eugene, 1886-1966
Title: Eugene Pillot Collection
Dates: 1917-1955
Abstract: Joseph Eugene Pillot's notable plays include Two Crooks and a Lady, My Lady Dreams, Hunger, and Just Two Men. The Eugene Pillot Collection contains programs, printed works, correspondence, typescripts, photographs, and sheet music documenting his career as dramatist, poet, and lyricist.
RLIN Record ID: TXRC03-A11
Extent: 1 box, 1 oversize folder (0.42 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Biographical Sketch

Joseph Eugene Pillot, son of Teolin and Anna C. (Drescher) Pillot, was born in Houston, Texas, on 25 February 1886. After attending the University of Texas, he moved to the East Coast to pursue an interest in theater and the arts. In the 1910s, Pillot spent several years at Harvard working with George Pierce Baker's well-known 47 Workshop, where a number of his one-act plays were first produced.

Noted for its technical merits and popularity among American high school students, Pillot's play Two Crooks and a Lady (1918) proved his biggest success. It was produced and republished many times during the 1920s and 1930s. Pillot's other notable plays include My Lady Dreams, Hunger, and Just Two Men, all written in the early 1920s. During his career, Pillot also wrote poems and lyrics for religious songs, and in 1955 he authored the book Azalea for the River Oaks Garden Club in Houston.

Pillot died 4 June 1966.

Scope and Contents

The Eugene Pillot Collection contains programs, printed works, correspondence, typescripts, photographs, and sheet music documenting his career as dramatist, poet, and lyricist. The materials are arranged in a single series, Collection, 1917-55.

The collection includes typescripts of several poems and one play, printed copies of works published in newspapers and magazines, and a copy of his book Azalea. The bulk of the material relates to Pillot's career in the theater: correspondence from George Pierce Baker regarding royalties and other matters concerning performances of Two Crooks and a Lady; a few sketches of costumes and set designs; and a collection of over 100 programs from amateur and student performances of his plays (1918-26).

Relating to Pillot's career as a lyricist are copies of the sheet music for "Every Wind that Blows" (music by Leighton Lucas, 1932) and "Let Not Your Song End" (music by Noble Cain, 1954), as well as letters of acknowledgment from institutions and persons to whom Pillot sent copies of his songs.

The remainder of the collection includes several photographs of Pillot, his family, and friends and personalities such as composer Leighton Lucas, radio singer Jessica Dragonette, and actor-dancer Jacques Cartier. Many of these photos are signed. There are also some clippings and programs relating to theater in Austin, Texas.



Open for research

Index Terms

Baker, George Pierce, 1866-1935.
Cain, Noble, 1896-1977.
Lucas, Leighton, 1903-1982.
Dramatists, American--20th century.
American poetry--20th century.
Document Types
Sheet music.
Theater programs.

Administrative Information


Gifts, 1930s-1950s

Processed by:

Justin Glasson, 2002; Richard Workman, 2003


Strong, Julia Hurd. "Pillot, Joseph Eugene." The Handbook of Texas Online.

Eugene Pillot Collection--Container List

Series I. Collection, 1917-55

Box Folder
1 1-2* Works, 1920-55, undated (*"Gossip" and My Lady Dreams moved to oversize folder 1)
3 Correspondence, 1917-37 (bulk 1920-26)
4 Stage and costume designs, undated
5-6 Programs, 1918-26, 1934, undated
7* Family photographs, 1937, 1943, undated (*high school graduation portrait moved to oversize folder 1)
8 Miscellaneous photos, clippings, programs, etc., 1922-48, undated

Eugene Pillot Collection--Index of Works

  • "Acting has never been to me"--1.1
  • Azalea--1.1
  • "Color in Autumn"--1.1
  • Contemplation on a Terrace--1.2
  • "Crepe Myrtle"--1.1
  • "Every Wind that Blows"--1.1
  • "Four O'Clocks Bloom in the Afternoon"--1.2
  • "Gossip"--oversize folder 1
  • Jacques Cartier--1.2
  • Leaves at San Jacinto--1.2
  • "Let Not Your Song End"--1.2
  • My Lady Dreams--oversize folder 1
  • "My Love, the Dancer"--1.2
  • One Word Only--1.2
  • "Song on the Prairie"--1.2
  • The Star at San Jacinto--1.2
  • Telephone Number One--1.2
  • The Young Wonder--1.2