Thursday, January 5, 2017

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura Ingalls Wilder cropped sepia2.jpg
Laura Ingalls Wilder, circa 1885
BornLaura Elizabeth Ingalls
February 7, 1867
Pepin CountyWisconsin
DiedFebruary 10, 1957 (aged 90)
OccupationWriter, teacher, journalist, family farmer
Period1911–1957 (as writer)
GenreDiaries, essays, family saga(children's historical novels)
SubjectMidwestern & Western
Notable works
Notable awardsLaura Ingalls Wilder Medal
est. 1954
SpouseAlmanzo Wilder (1885–1949; his death)


Caroline and Charles Ingalls
Laura Ingalls Wilder (/ˈɪŋɡəlz/; February 7, 1867 – February 10, 1957) was an American writer 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.

Laura Ingalls Wilder was an American writer 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. 
BornFebruary 7, 1867, Pepin, WI
DiedFebruary 10, 1957, Mansfield, MO
SiblingsMary IngallsCarrie IngallsGrace IngallsFreddy Ingalls

Laura Ingalls was born on February 7, 1867, seven miles north of the village of Pepin in the Big Woodsregion of Wisconsin, to Charles Phillip Ingalls and Caroline Lake (née Quiner) Ingalls. She was the second of five children, following Mary Amelia. Their three younger siblings were Caroline Celestia, Charles Frederick (who died in infancy), and Grace Pearl. Wilder's birth site is commemorated by a replica log cabin, the Little House WaysideLife there formed the basis for her first book, Little House in the Big Woods (1932). Wilder was a descendant of the Delano family, the ancestral family of U.S. PresidentFranklin Delano Roosevelt A progenitor of the Delano family emigrated to the American colonies on the Mayflower in 1620; another family ancestor, Edmund Rice, emigrated in 1638 to the Massachusetts Bay ColonyOne paternal ancestor, Edmund Ingalls, was born on June 27, 1586, in Skirbeck, Lincolnshire, England, and emigrated to America, where he died in Lynn, Massachusetts, on September 16, 1648. 

Family on the move

Wilder moved with her family from the Big Woods of Wisconsin in the year 1869, before she was two years old. They stopped in Rothville, Missouri and settled in Kansas, in Indian country near what is now Independence. Her younger sister Carrie (1870–1946) was born there in August 1870, soon before they moved again. According to Wilder in later years, her father had been told that the location would soon be open to white settlers but that was incorrect; their homestead was actually on the Osage Indian reservation and they had no legal right to occupy it. They had only just begun to farm when they were informed of their error, and they departed in 1871. Several neighbors stayed and fought eviction. 

From Kansas, Wilder's family returned to Wisconsin, where they lived for the next four years. Those experiences formed the basis for the novels Little House in the Big Woods (1932) and Little House on the Prairie (1935). The fictional chronology of Wilder's books in this regard does not match fact: Wilder was about one to three years old in Kansas and four to seven in Wisconsin; in the novels she is four to five in Wisconsin (Big Woods) and six to seven in Kansas (Prairie). According to a letter from her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, to biographer William Anderson, the publisher had Wilder change her age in Prairie because it seemed unrealistic for a three-year-old to have memories so specific about her story of life in Kansas. To be consistent with her already established chronology, Wilder portrayed herself six to seven years old in Prairie and seven to nine years old in On the Banks of Plum Creek (1937), the third volume of her fictionalized history, which takes place around 1874.
On the Banks of Plum Creek shows the family moving from Kansas to an area near Walnut Grove, Minnesota and settling in a dugout "on the banks of Plum Creek". They really lived there beginning in 1874, when Wilder was about seven years old. That year the family again moved, this time to Lake City, Minnesota, and then on to a preemption claim in Walnut Grove, where they lived for a time with relatives near South Troy, Minnesota. Wilder's younger and only brother, Charles Frederick Ingalls ("Freddie"), was born there on November 1, 1875, and died nine months later on August 27, 1876. The Ingalls next moved to Burr Oak, Iowa, where they helped run a hotel. Wilder's youngest sibling, Grace, was born there on May 23, 1877.
The family moved from Burr Oak back to Walnut Grove, where Wilder's father served as the town butcher and justice of the peace. He accepted a railroad job in the spring of 1879, which took him to eastern Dakota Territory, where they joined him that fall. Wilder did not write about 1876–1877, when they lived near Burr Oak, but skipped directly to Dakota Territory, portrayed in By the Shores of Silver Lake (1939). Thus the fictional timeline caught up with her real life.

Home is the nicest word there is.
I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.
Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all. If you can only remember me with tears, then don't remember me at all.

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