Laura Ingalls Wilder
February 7, 1867 - February 10, 1957
"Home is the nicest word there is."
Laura Ingalls Wilder is the author of the 8 volume Little House on the Prairie series. Mrs. Wilder's books are filled with heart-warming stories of family life but also tell of the hardships of pioneering...from blizzards to plagues of insects while homesteading or traveling in a covered wagon. Her books are considered to be valuable tools in teaching children about American history.
The family traveled, mostly due to Charles Ingall's wanderlust, from Wisconsin to the Kansas Territory, back to Wisconsin, then to Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and on to Burr Oak, Iowa, returning to Walnut Grove and the final move was to DeSmet, Dakota Territory. I wonder what Mr. Ingall's wife, Carolyn, thought of all these moves!
Laura Ingalls married Almanzo Wilder in DeSmet and eventually moved to Mansfield, Missouri, where they bought a 40 acres farm with a down payment of $100 that Laura had saved from sewing for others. They named their home Rocky Ridge Farm. Their daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, was known as an author in her own right. She is credited with helping Laura edit her Little House books.
One little tidbit I discovered when reading about Laura and Almanzo was that they were both short people. Laura was 4' 11" and Almanzo was 5' 4". Their home was built by Almanzo, who was a talented carpenter, and he built the kitchen cabinetry to suit Laura's height. The house was left as is when Laura died at the age of 90, three days after her birthday.
In the 1970's, the Little House on the Prairie book series was adapted into a highly successful TV series starring Michael Landon as Charles and Melissa Gilbert as Laura.
I have to confess that I've read most, if not all, of the Little House books and lived here in Missouri all my life but have not visited Mansfield, MO where the house is open to the public. I really hope to get there this year, it is on my list of places I want to visit some day. And I want to reread some of the books. The books may have been written with children in mind but adults enjoy them, too.
I'll end this post remembering Laura Ingalls Wilder on this day which would have been her birthday with another of her quotes:
"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."
Until next time...