Laura Elizabeth (Ingalls) Wilder
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Laura Elizabeth (Ingalls) Wilder (1867 - 1957)

Laura Elizabeth (Laura Elizabeth) Wilder formerly Ingalls
Born in Pepin, Pepin, Wisconsin, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married 25 Aug 1885 in DeSmet, Dakota Territorymap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 90 in Mansfield, Wright, Missouri, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 6 Nov 2008 | Last significant change: 23 Jan 2023
19:31: Abby (Brown) Glann edited the Biography for Laura Elizabeth (Ingalls) Wilder (1867-1957). (Categorization. ) [Thank Abby for this]
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Laura Elizabeth (Ingalls) Wilder is notable.
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Laura Ingalls Wilder is famous for her book, Little House on the Prairie.

Laura Ingalls was born on 7 February 1867 in Pepin County, Wisconsin to Charles Ingalls and Caroline Quiner. The family traveled by covered wagon spending time in Indian Territory that was not yet open to homesteading, Kansas, Minnesota, and Iowa. The family settled in Dakota territory in 1880.

At the age of fifteen Laura became a rural school teacher. In 1885 she married Almanzo Wilder. They had a daughter, Rose, who was born on 5 December 1886. They also had a son who died shortly after birth.

The first years of their marriage held many struggles. Diphtheria left Almanzo partially paralyzed. He regained the use of his legs, but used a cane the rest of his life.

The Wilder family also faced a fire that destroyed their home and barn and years of drought that left them in debt and unable to make a living on the farm. In 1890 the family moved to Almanzo's parents Minnesota farm and then they spent a short time in Westville, Florida. In 1892 they returned to DeSmet and purchased a small home. Laura worked as a seamstress saving money to start another farm.

In 1894 the family moved to Mansfield, Missouri where they put a down payment on a 40 acre piece of land. Laura named it Rocky Ridge Farm. The family struggled to make Rocky Ridge Farm a success by 1910 the farm was established. In 1912 the ten room farmhouse was completed. Laura was active in many regional farm associations and was recognized as an authority in poultry farming and rural living. She spoke to many groups around the region.

Laura’s daughter Rose Lane was working as a freelance writer and this inspired Laura to begin writing. She received an invitation to the Missouri Ruralist in 1911 which led to a position as a columnist and editor. Her column in the Ruralist introduced her to a loyal audience. They enjoyed her columns which had a wide range of topics. She also worked with the Farm Loan Association. She gave out small loans to local farmers from her office in the farmhouse.

In the late 1920s Laura and Almanzo scaled back the farming operation and Laura resigned from her position with the Missouri Ruralist and Farm Loan Association. They hired a caretaker for the remaining farming.

The stock market crash of 1929 wiped out the family's investments.

In 1930 Laura asked her daughter's opinion about a biographical manuscript she had written about her pioneering childhood.

The Great Depression and the deaths of her mother in 1924 and her sister in 1928 prompted her to preserve her memories. She also was hoping to generate some income for herself and Almanzo. This was the origin of the Little House on the Prairie Books.

By the mid 1930s the Little House Books brought a steady and increasing income to the Wilders. Laura received various honors and huge amounts of fan mail.

Laura and Almanzo sold off most of the surrounding area of their farm, but kept some farm animals and tended to vegetable and flower gardens. Carloads of fans stopped by on a daily basis hoping to meet Laura. Laura and Almanzo lived independently without any financial worries.

Almanzo died in 1949. Laura grieved for him but stayed on the farm despite her daughter's requests that Laura come live with her. Laura lived on the farm alone for the next eight years looked after by neighbors and friends. She was well known in Mansfield. She had a driver who would bring her to town to do errands, attend church or visit friends. She actively corresponded with her editors and many friends and fans.

Laura passed away on 10 February 1957 in her home. She was 90 years old. Her daughter Rose left the Mansfield farmhouse exactly how it was and donated it and most of the contents to the Laura Ingalls Wilder-Rose Wilder Lane Home Association. The farmhouse is now a museum that receives thousands of visitors a year. The house is now a National Historic Landmark.

Laura was buried in the Mansfield Cemetery in Mansfield, Missouri next to her husband Almanzo.[1]



  1. Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 15 February 2019), memorial page for Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder (7 Feb 1867–10 Feb 1957), Find A Grave: Memorial #1625, citing Mansfield Cemetery, Mansfield, Wright County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave.
  2. Mayflower History

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Memories: 10
Enter a personal reminiscence or story.
Great strong character was Laura who is on my family tree, 19 degrees aways.

I admire her tenacity in face of early adversities. I am related to Laura and family through Heber Kimball, my 19th century Mormon ancestral relative who married two sisters, my English Lancashire relatives.

He is related to scores of world famous people including presidents, prime ministers, sports people, authors, poets, scientists, actors and royalty...

And so am I !!!!

posted 31 Aug 2022 by Barry Dickinson   [thank Barry]
I descend from immigrant Edmund Ingalls just as Laura and her father Charles do. In some of the "Little House" museums and articles is mentioned famous Ingalls cousins such as President James Garfield. He is a cousin on my Ingalls line which is my grandfather on my dad's side. Because of stories my grandfather told I discovered my Ingalls line. My mom and her sisters were all born in Cuba, New York. That is where Charles Ingalls and many of his siblings were born. Charles Ingalls' parents were married in Holland, Erie County, New York. My wife and I grew up in Erie County as did our children. I have driven through Holland many times during my life going to visit family . I even took my girlfriend who is now my wife to see Stock Car races in Holland, New York. My earliest ancestors to move into western New York in 1819 were my Ingalls ancestors. They were the aunt and uncle of Eliza Ballou Garfield mother of President James Garfield. They settled in Concord in what is now Erie County and a little west of Holland, New York where Laura Ingalls' grandparents were married. I am collaborating with another Ingalls descendant. She has letters from family members who visited the Garfield residence in Mentor Ohio as they were cousins on our Ingalls line. She also told me her grandmother Mary was raised by a step-mother after her birth mother died. That step-mother was Carrie Ingalls sister of Laura Ingalls Wilder. It is truly a small world. Lastly I purchased a book at an Estate sale this past year titled "CAROLINE" "Little House Revisited". It was by an approved author named Sarah Miller. She wrote a fiction book about families journey from The Big Woods of Wisconsin to the Indian territory near Independence Kansas. It was written through the eyes and thoughts of Caroline Quiner Ingalls. Now PBS has aired a program called " Laura Ingalls Wilder from Prairie to Paper". It is part of American Masters series. Author Sarah Miller was one of several guest speakers. Small world!
posted 4 Jan 2021 by Ken Morgan   [thank Ken]
I always thought that "Little House on the Prairie" was just a television show. I didn't know that it was based on real life.
posted 14 Feb 2019 by Anonymous Rankin   [thank Anonymous]
Laura is my 8th cousins three times removed. Her Aunt Ruby married my Uncle Joseph.
posted 31 Aug 2017 by Jennifer Robins   [thank Jennifer]
Laura is my second cousin four times removed. I loved reading her books as a child and I always knew that her father was from Cuba, New York which is the same place that many of my ancestors have come from. I always had a brick wall and in the last couple years had slowly chipped away at it. When I finally discovered that we were related to Laura, I was pleasantly surprised that I was indeed related to her.
posted 17 Jun 2017 by Tina (Schoonover) Chase   [thank Tina]
Laura is my 9th cousin, twice removed. Interestingly she mentions the family of one of my Beardsley cousins in her book "Little Town on the Prairie" when she talked about the Beardsley Hotel in DeSmet. The hotel was owned by Jerome Beardsley-749. Laura also mentions that she and her sister Grace attending school with a daughter of Jerome.
posted 16 Jan 2015 by John Beardsley   [thank John]
My daughters played "Rose" on two of the LHOTP made-for-television movies, "Bless All the Dear Children" and "The Last Farewell", both filmed in 1983. It was an experience of a lifetime.
posted 18 Apr 2014 by David Steffin   [thank David]
they were married at her friend and her friend adopted father Reverond Brown she was married around De Smet
posted 11 May 2009 by Rylee Landers
I know where they were married i duble checked 2wice plxz lett me be a trusted member i read all of her's and Rose's books and im starting on her mothers "Ma Ingalls" plz oh plz and im only 13
posted 11 May 2009 by Rylee Landers
Laura delivered a speech in 1937 in which she remarked “what a wonderful childhood I had had, How I had seen the whole frontier, the woods, the Indian country of the great plains, the frontier towns, the building of railroads in wild, unsettled country, homesteading and farmers coming in to take possession. I realized that I had seen and lived it all…. I wanted children now to understand more about the beginnings of things, to know what is behind the things they see-what it is that made America as they know it.”

posted 18 Nov 2008 by Anonymous P
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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Laura Elizabeth by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Laura Elizabeth:

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She is my 25th cousin, twice removed.
posted by Heidi Tucker