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Laura Ingalls Wilder 1867-1957
American Writer and Pioneer

When she was growing up, Laura Ingalls Wilder put images into words for her sister Mary, who could not see. Wilder became good at describing the prairies of the midwest where she lived.

Wilder was born near Pepin, Wisconsin. Her family lived in Wisconsin, Kansas, Iowa, and Minnesota before settling in De Smet, South Dakota. After marrying, Wilder and her husband bought Rocky Ridge Farm in Mansfield, Missouri. Wilder lived there for the rest of her life.

Wilder realized that her life was part of an important time in American history. She grew up on the frontier between the 1870s and 1890s and saw the farms and towns being built. Wilder wrote about her childhood memories in the “Little House” books, which include Little House on the Prairie. She described her move into the American frontier and the fear of settling in a new area.

People can visit Wilder's farm in Missouri, now called the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum. There she wrote the books that contain vivid images of prairie life, such as the ones that Wilder passed on to her sister Mary.

Comprehension Check

Who was Mary?

Critical Thinking

Why do you think Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about her life?