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Laura Ingalls Wilder

De Smet, South Dakota Street Map
Ingalls Claim
Growing Crops


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Iowa and Nebraska Land Poster
Poster Advertising Land in Iowa and Nebraska
--Photograph courtesy of the State Historical Society of Iowa City, 402 Iowa Avenue , Iowa City , IA 52240

Settlers traveled west looking for free public land to farm. Railroads also began to advertise the sale of some of their land. This poster advertises land for sale in Iowa and Nebraska .


a plo
Two breaking plows
--Photo courtesy of Living History Farms, 2600 111 th Street, Urbandale, IA 50322 http://www.livinghistoryfarms.org

Life on the prairie was hard and farming was difficult. First the tough prairie sod had to be plowed. In Little Town on the Prairie , Pa purchased a new breaking plow that he hitched to the horses, Sam and David. The steel plow cut through the thick prairie grass roots with a ripping noise that sounded like a giant zipper. The plow turned strips of prairie upside down. Carrie and Grace played in the freshly turned furrows but Laura, who was almost fifteen, felt she was too old to play in the dirt.

Then Pa harrowed the ground to break up the clods and make the dirt smooth. He sewed oats and planted corn. When the corn was taller than Laura, she walked in between the rows. A cloud of blackbirds flew up. Then Laura saw that the birds were eating the ripe corn. She gathered a few ears but it was no use. The birds ate all of the corn and all of the oats, too.

Prairie Flowers
Prairie Flowers


A Cornfield
A Cornfield

The family planted lettuce, radishes, onions, peas, beans, tomatoes and potatoes in their garden. Supplies such as molasses, salt pork and dried fruits and vegetables had to be purchased in town.







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