Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder was born on February 7, 1867 in Pepin, Wisconsin. She was second of five children born to Caroline and Charles Philip Ingalls. Laura had three sisters and one brother. Her father called himself a pioneer man and dreamed of going West to explore and settled on unknown territory.

Laura was four when she first started school. The name of the school was the Barry Corner School in Pepin, Wisconsin. Laura only went to school once in a while because her family kept moving from one place to another in their covered wagon. When Laura was 13 her family settled in De Smet and she went to school on a regular basis. She continued school in De Smet until she was 16 but she never graduated. Laura married Almanzo Wilder on August 25, 1885. They moved several times but then settled on a small farm in Mansfield Missouri. This is where they stayed for the rest of their life. They had one daughter. Her name was Rose and she was born December 5, 1886. Rose kept asking her mother for stories of her pioneer days. This is how Laura got started writing.

Laura was 65 when she published her first book entitled Little House In The Big Woods. Then she stared writing more about when she was a little girl and that led to the Little House series. But not all were about her childhood. A weekly television series, Little House on the Prairie, began in 1974 and ran for many seasons.

Laura Ingalls Wilder died February 10, 1957 in Mansfield of stroke. Laura was important because with her books she brought life on the frontier into the homes of millions of children and adults around the world. People who did not read the books but who saw the television series were able to see what frontier life was like. These books and shows tell us how much harder it was to live then. For instance, people had to wash cloths in the lakes, they had to gather wood for the fireplace, and they had to warm the water over the fireplace before they put it in the tub to get washed.

If Laura didn't live we wouldn't know how people lived on the frontier. Learning about Laura Ingalls Wilder made me understand how much easier living and learning is today.


1998, by Stephanie, third grade