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Laura Ingalls Wilder biographical timeline

Laura Ingalls Wilder, c. 1930s. Photo: Herbert Hoover Presidential Library

February 7, 1867

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls is born in “the little house in the Big Woods” outside of Pepin, Wisconsin.

February 7, 1867
PHOTO: A replica of the house that was described in the book "Little House in the Big Woods" near Pepin, Wisconsin.
1870

The Ingalls family moves to Kansas (described in Wilder’s book, "Little House on the Prairie").

1870
1871

The Ingalls family returns to Pepin, Wisconsin.

1871
1874

The Ingalls family moves to Walnut Grove, MN (described in Wilder’s book, "On the Banks of Plum Creek").

1874
PHOTO: The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove, Minnesota.
1876

The Ingalls family moves to Burr Oak, Iowa.

1876
PHOTO: The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Burr Oak, Iowa.
1878

The Ingalls family returns to Walnut Grove, Minnesota.

1878
1879

The Ingalls family moves west to unsettled country in Dakota Territory (described in Wilder’s book, "By the Shores of Silver Lake").

1879
PHOTO: The surveyors' house the Ingalls family live in while in De Smet, South Dakota.
1880

Settlers build the town of De Smet on the prairie in Kingsbury County, Dakota Territory.

1880
1880-1881

The “hard winter” almost wipes out the town of De Smet (described in Wilder’s book, "The Long Winter").

1880-1881
1883

Wilder begins teaching at the Bouchie school (called “the Brewster school” in her book, "These Happy Golden Years"), and is courted by Almanzo Wilder.

1883
1885

Laura marries Almanzo Wilder in De Smet.

1885
PHOTO: Almanzo Wilder
1886

Laura and Almanzo’s daughter Rose is born (described in Wilder’s posthumously published book, "The First Four Years").

1886
PHOTO: Rose Wilder Lane
1889

Laura and Almanzo’s son is born and dies in De Smet.

1889
1891-1892

The Wilders briefly move to Florida, before returning to De Smet.

1891-1892
1894

The Wilders move to Mansfield, Missouri and purchase the land that becomes Rocky Ridge farm.

1894
PHOTO: Rocky Ridge Farm in Mansfield, Missouri.
1911

Wilder begins writing for "Missouri Ruralist."

1911
1925

Wilder’s story, “My Ozark Kitchen,” is published in "Country Gentleman" magazine.

1925
1928

Rose builds her parents the modern “Rock House” on a corner of the farm in Mansfield.

1928
PHOTO: Rock House in Mansfield, Missouri.
1931

Wilder completes a draft of her memoir, "Pioneer Girl."

1931
1932

"Little House in the Big Woods" is published.

1932
1933

"Farmer Boy" is published.

1933
1935

"Little House on the Prairie" is published.

1935
1936

Laura and Almanzo leave the Rock House and move back into their original farmhouse.

1936
1937

"On the Banks of Plum Creek" is published.

1937
1939

"By the Shores of Silver Lake" is published.

1939
PHOTO: Photo: Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum, Mansfield, MO.
1940

"The Long Winter" is published.

1940
1941

"Little Town on the Prairie" is published.

1941
1943

"These Happy Golden Years" is published.

1943
1949

Almanzo Wilder dies in Mansfield, Missouri.

1949
1953

The “uniform edition” of the “Little House” books, with new illustrations by Garth Williams, is published.

1953
1954

The American Library Association created the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for “lasting and significant contributions to children’s literature.” Wilder is the first recipient.

1954
1957

Laura Ingalls Wilder dies in Mansfield, Missouri.

1957
1962

"On the Way Home," Wilder’s diary of the trip from De Smet to Mansfield, is published.

1962
1971

"The First Four Years" is published.

1971
1974

"West from Home," a book of letters from Wilder to Almanzo sent during her 1915 trip to San Francisco, is published.

1974
1974-1984

"Little House on the Prairie," the television series, airs on NBC.

1974-1984
2005

"Little House on the Prairie," the miniseries, is broadcast on ABC.

2005
2008

"Little House on the Prairie: The Musical" premieres at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis and later tours the country.

2008
2014

"Pioneer Girl," Wilder’s original memoir, is published for the first time.

2014
2018

The American Library Association renames the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award as “The Children’s Literature Legacy Award,” citing concerns about Wilder’s depictions of Native Americans and Black people.

2018
2018

Caroline Fraser’s biography of Wilder, "Prairie Fires," wins the Pulitzer Prize.

2018
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Disaster was looming when the Ingalls moved to Minnesota
Clip | Disaster was looming when the Ingalls moved to Minnesota
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A replica of the house that was described in the book "Little House in the Big Woods" near Pepin, Wisconsin.
How well do you know the life and work of Laura Ingalls Wilder? Test your knowledge with this expert quiz.
How well do you know the life and work of Laura Ingalls Wilder? Test your knowledge with this beginner quiz.
How well do you know the life and work of Laura Ingalls Wilder? Test your knowledge with this beginner quiz.
How well do you know the life and work of Laura Ingalls Wilder? Test your knowledge with this advanced quiz.
How well do you know the life and work of Laura Ingalls Wilder? Test your knowledge with this advanced quiz.
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s famous gingerbread recipe
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s famous gingerbread recipe
Favorite quotes from the “Little House” books
Favorite quotes from the “Little House” books
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 1916 column for Thanksgiving reminds us to “just be glad that we are alive”
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 1916 column for Thanksgiving reminds us to “just be glad that we are alive”
Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1951.
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127 songs are mentioned in the “Little House” books. This playlist presents many of them.
127 songs are mentioned in the “Little House” books. This playlist presents many of them.
A Laura Ingalls Wilder suggested reading list
A Laura Ingalls Wilder suggested reading list