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Laura Ingalls Wilder

De Smet, South Dakota Street Map
Wilder Claim

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Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder
--Photo courtesy of the South Dakota State Historical Society-State Archives, 900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501-2217 http://www.sdhistory.org

Almanzo Wilder
Almanzo Wilder
Photo from the collection of the Herbert Hoover Library (RWL#225)

In 1879 Almanzo Wilder, his brother Royal and his sister, Eliza Jane, left their parents' farm in Spring Valley, Minnesota, to homestead land in the Dakota Territory near De Smet. In the book, The Long Winter , Laura first met Almanzo when she and Carrie became lost in the Big Slough as they were returning from an errand in town. When Laura was teaching at the Bouchie School during the winter of 1883, Almanzo drove his team of Morgan horses twelve miles over the snow in the bitter cold to bring Laura home to spend the weekend with her family. Almanzo continued to take Laura for buggy rides on the prairie, sometimes covering sixty-five miles in an afternoon. When Laura was seventeen and Almanzo was twenty-seven, they became engaged and were married on August 25, 1885. Laura wrote about their first years together in The First Four Years, published in 1971.







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