Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Life in Dates

a little (or a lot) about Laura | Laura Ingalls Wilder | The 1000th Voice blog

There seems like no more perfect way to kick off my Laura series than by posting a really long dateline of her life (and those who were a big part of her life). Let’s just say, I really know how to let loose.

Here goes:

Birth & Early Life

1885 (February 13) Almanzo is born in Malone, NY

1867 (February 7) Laura is born in the Little House in the Big Woods in Pepin County, Wisc.

1868 The Ingalls family moves from Wisconsin to Rothville, Mo. and onto Independence, Kan.

1870 (August) Caroline Celestia “Carrie” is born in the Little House on the Prairie near Independence, Kan.
(August/September) The Ingalls family moves back to Wisconsin.

1874 The Ingalls family moves from Pepin to Minnesota, living in Lake City, South Troy and Walnut Grove

1875 (February 1) Freddy Ingalls is born. He dies nine months later in South Troy, Minn. The Wilders move from Malone to Spring Valley, Minn.

1876 The Ingalls family moves to Burr Oak, Iowa to help run a hotel.

1877 (May 23) Grace Ingalls is born.
The family moves from Burr Oak back to Walnut grove where Charles becomes the town butcher and Justice of the Peace.

1879 Charles Ingalls accepts a position on the railroad and moved to eastern Dakota Territory. The family joined him in the fall.
The family spent that mild winter in the Surveyor’s house, which Laura wrote about toward the end of By the Shores of Silver Lake.

1880-1881 The family survives the Hard Winter, which was portrayed in The Long Winter. It was the most severe on record in the Dakotas.

1882 (December 10) Two months after her 16th birthday, Laura is offered her first teaching position. She goes on to teach three terms in one-room schools and still attends school in DeSmet.

Marriage & Adulthood

1885 (August 25) Laura marries Almanzo, whom she calls Manly.

1886 (December 5) Laura gives birth to Rose. A rose in the winter is far more rare than a rose in June.

1889 Laura gives birth to a son who dies later. Laura never wrote about this, but Grace wrote a brief entry in her diary (partially reprinted in A Little House Reader). Grace said the baby looked like Almanzo.

1890 The Wilders left DeSmet to spend a year recuperating at the Wilder family farm near Spring Valley, Minn. From there they move briefly to Westville, Fla.

1892 The Wilders return to DeSmet.

1894 Following years of struggle, the Wilders move to Mansfield, Miss.

Career Begins

1911 Laura’s writing career begins with publication in the Missouri Ruralist.

1924 Caroline Ingalls dies.

1928 Mary Ingalls dies.

1932 Little House in the Big Woods is published by Harper & Brothers.

1932 Rose’s Let the Hurricane Roar is published.

1933 Farmer Boy is published. It later becomes the third book in the series.

1935 Little House on the Prairie is published.

1937 On the Banks of Plum Creek is published

1938 Rose’s Free Land is published. The Saturday Evening Post pays her $30,000 ($450,000 in 2010 dollars) to serialize her novel. It remains in print as Young Pioneers.

1939 By the Shores of Silver Lake is published.

1940 The Long Winter is published.

1941 Little Town on the Prairie is published.

1943 These Happy Golden Years is published.

1949 (October 23) Almanzo dies in Mansfield, Miss.

1954 The Laura Ingalls Wilder medal recognizing lifetime achievement of a living children’s author or illustrator is inaugurated by the American Library Association.

1957 (February 10) Laura dies in Mansfield, Miss.

1962 On the Way Home is published.

1971 The First Four Years is published. It was found among Rose’s possessions by her heir.

1974 West From Home is published.

I told you I know how to have fun! Join me tomorrow for some more Laura posts that are legitimately more fun than this one!

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