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Laura Ingalls Wilder

De Smet, South Dakota Street Map
Clancy's Dry Goods Store


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Women in the 1800s made clothing for their families. They made quilts and sewed sheets and curtains. Caroline Ingalls taught Laura and her sisters how to sew, knit and quilt. In Little Town on the Prairie , Laura worked at Clancy's Dry Goods Store basting men's shirts for twenty five cents a day. At the end of six weeks she had earned $9.00 to help send Mary to the Iowa College for the Blind. When Mary came home from college to live with Ma and Pa, she knitted, crocheted, pieced quilts and sewed rag rugs. She helped with the housework, read books in Braille and wrote in Braille to her friends from college.

Interior of a dry goods store
Interior of the Wapello Fair Store in Wapello, Iowa

Clancy's store contained only dry goods: bolts of cloth, buttons, needles, pins and thread, everything pioneers needed to make their own clothing. Look at the map of De Smet to see if there were other businesses that sold dry goods or made clothing. Where do people buy clothing today?

What items could you buy in this store? Where could you buy these items today?



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