Laura Ingalls Wilder Author Study By Mark Honerman Information obtained from: "Laura Ingalls Wilder." 2014. The Biography.com website. Apr 29 2014 http://www.biography.com/people/laura-ingalls-wilder-9531246.
Laura Ingalls Laura Ingles was born February 7, 1867 near Pepin Wisconsin. Her parents were Charles and Caroline, and they lived in a log cabin in the woods. Laura was the second of five children. Mary was the oldest, then Laura, followed by Carrie and Grace, with a younger brother named Charles who died at age nine months. The family would move frequently from 1869 to 1879 where they finally settled in the Dakota Territory. They had lived in Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Minnesota. All of which were for short periods of time.
Laura was much like other country kids her age. She helped around the farm and attended school when she could. Laura was quoted as saying: “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.” She enjoyed school so much that she wanted to be a teacher herself. She studied as much as she could and took the certification test and passed when she was only 15. She began her teaching career in a one room school house about 12 miles from her parents.
Laura held this position for three years, while she roomed with a local family. Laura would make frequent trips to see her family. She would get rides from a family friend named Almanzo Wilder. Laura and Almanzo made such frequent trips together that they soon fell in love and were married when Laura was 18 years of age.
After their marriage in 1885, Laura quit teaching to raise a family and help with the farm. 1886 brought their first child in the winter months. A daughter which they named Rose. A son would follow in 1889 only to die tragically within the first month after his birth. This year brought more struggles for the young family. Almanzo came down with diphtheria and was partially paralyzed. To compound matters, the house burned to the ground. For four years the family drifted from place to place. In 1894 they bought a 200 acre farm in the Ozarks of Mansfield Missouri. The Wilder family built a house, raised livestock, and did all of their own farm work.
In the year 1910, Laura’s daughter Rose, encouraged her mother to write about her childhood. Laura’s first attempt came in the 1920’s and was titled “Pioneer Girl”. It didn’t make it past the publishers. She was determined to succeed and kept trying. She changed her approach from third person to first person content.
1932 brought the success that Laura was looking for. Her first book was titled: “Little House in the Big Woods.” This would be the start of the “Little House” series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Each book was set on the many different places in which she had lived as a child. Laura completed her last book in the “Little House” series in 1943 at the age of 76.
Almanzo would die in 1949 and Laura would continue living on the farm. She would read and respond to the many items of fan mail that she was receiving. Laura passed in 1957 on the farm in Mansfield, Missouri. Her daughter Rose would continue to write and publish posthumous work from Laura’s diaries and incomplete manuscripts.
Laura left the reading world with many quotes and phrases. Here is an example of some of them.
Laura Ingalls Wilder • Occupation: Author, Educator, Journalist • Birth Date: February 7, 1867 • Death Date: February 10, 1957 • Place of Birth: Pepin, Wisconsin • Place of Death: Mansfield, Missouri • AKA: Laura Ingalls Wilder • Nickname: Half-Pint • Originally: Laura Ingalls