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Laura Ingalls Wilder Biography, Family, Children, Autobiography, Museum and Books

Laura Ingalls Wilder Biography

Laura Ingalls Wilder was an American writer. She was born on February 7, 1867 as the second of five children to Charles Phillip Ingalls and Caroline Lake in the Big Woods region of Wisconsin.

She is known for the Little House on the Prairie series of children’s books released from 1932 to 1943 which were based on her childhood in a settler and pioneer family. On December 10, 1882, two months before her 16th birthday, Wilder accepted her first teaching position. She taught three terms in one-room schools when she was not attending school in De Smet. Between 1883 and 1885, she taught three terms of school, worked for the local dressmaker, and attended high school, although she did not graduate.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum

The museum exhibits include artifacts spanning over a century of the lives of the pioneering history described in the “Little House” books. Visitors can see Pa’s fiddle, handwritten manuscripts for the “Little House” books, keepsakes of the Ingalls and Wilder families, tools and articles made by Almanzo, needlework made by Laura and many other items familiar to her loyal readers.

Also featured within the museum is a section dedicated to the life, writings and career of Rose Wilder Lane. Rose’s desk, her manuscripts and souvenirs from world travels are displayed to reflect the creative and exciting life of the Wilders’ only daughter.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder

The museum at Rocky Ridge Farm is by far the most comprehensive Ingalls and Wilder family collections in the world. It’s truly a testament to Laura’s love for these treasures that they remained safe though all of her travels.

The Laura Ingalls Wilder – Rose Wilder Lane Museum operates solely on sales and con tributions from visitors and members of the non-profit Wilder Home Association. If your interested in the restoration, preservation and education of Laura’s legacy, learn how you can Become a Member.

Ingalls Family

Her parents were Charles Phillip Ingalls and Caroline Lake. She was the second of five children. The eldest was Mary Amelia and the younger siblings were Caroline Celestia, Charles Frederick, and Grace Pearl.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Children

She married Almanzo Wilder on August 25, 1885. On December 5, 1886, Wilder gave birth to her daughter Rose Wilder. In 1889, Wilder gave birth to a son who died at 12 days of age before being named. He was buried at De Smet, Kingsbury County, in South Dakota. On the grave marker, he is remembered as “Baby Son of A. J. Wilder”.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Autobiography

In 1929–1930, already in her early 60s, Wilder began writing her autobiography, titled Pioneer Girl. At the time, it was rejected by publishers and was never released. At her daughter’s urging, Wilder rewrote most of her stories for children. The result was the Little House series of books. In 2014, the South Dakota State Historical Society published an annotated version of Wilder’s autobiography, titled Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography.

Pioneer Girl includes stories that Wilder felt were inappropriate for children: e.g., a man accidentally immolating himself while drunk, and an incident of extreme violence of a local shopkeeper against his wife, which ended with the man’s setting their house on fire. She also describes previously unknown sides of her father’s character. According to its publisher, “Wilder’s fiction, her autobiography, and her real childhood are all distinct things, but they are closely intertwined.” The book’s aim was to explore the differences, including incidents with conflicting or non-existing accounts in one or another of the sources.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Books

  • Little House in the Big Woods
  • Farmer Boy
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek
  • By the Shores of Silver Lake
  • The Long Winter
  • Little Town on the Prairie
  • These Happy Golden Years

Laura Ingalls Wilder – Video