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Wild West Legendary Women

Laura Ingalls Wilder




(1867-1957

Born in Wisconsin, Laura Ingalls Wilder moved often with her family. While she was growing up, her family moved to many different rural communities and small towns in the Midwest and Plains states.

Her father claimed a homestead near De Smet, South Dakota, where she went to school. She worked as a seamstress and a teacher and married Almanzo Wilder in 1885.

They filed a claim for a homestead, but the new family experienced hard times including crop failure, fire, and illness. They moved several times, ending up in Mansfield, Missouri, where their daughter Rose grew up.

From 1919 to 1927 Laura Wilder worked for the Mansfield Farm Loan Association, meeting many farmers from surrounding areas. Interested in their stories, she began to write columns for farming magazines.

Her interest in writing about rural lifestyles led her to work with her daughter Rose Wilder Lane to write a series of books about her own life. Her first book, Little House in the Big Woods, was published in 1932. Each book in the series, now titled Little House on the Prairie, was written from the point of view of Laura as a young girl.

Many of the books won awards, and they became classic stories about life on the frontier. Later they became the source for a popular television show of the same name.

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