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Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pioneering Journeys of the Ingalls Family
Burr Oak, Iowa

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Grace Ingalls | Burr Oak School

After grasshoppers completely destroyed the Ingallses' wheat crop in Minnesota, the family moved to Burr Oak, Iowa, in 1876. For a short time the family helped operate the Masters Hotel, which has been restored and is now a museum. On the way to Burr Oak tragedy stuck again when Laura's nine-month-old brother, Freddie, became seriously ill and died. Laura did not include her year's stay in Burr Oak in the Little House books.

Masters Hotel
The Masters Hotel, Burr Oak, Iowa
--Photos courtesy of Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum, Burr Oak, Iowa http://www.lauraingallswilder.us


The Steadmans, who were acquaintances of the Ingalls family, purchased the Masters Hotel in Burr Oak and asked Ma and Pa to help run it. The door at the left led to a bar room and the door at the right to the parlor. The Ingalls family stayed in a small room in the basement across from the kitchen. Rooms rented for twenty-five cents a night. Guests either shared a bed with two other people or slept on the floor. Mary and Laura waited tables and did dishes. The girls attended school in Burr Oak and their sister, Grace, was born in Burr Oak. The family soon moved out of the hotel to rooms over a store and later to a small house in town. Pa did not want his girls living next to a bar.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum, 3603 236th Avenue, Burr Oak, Iowa 52101 ( Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope when corresponding.)
Telephone: 563-735-5916 http://www.lauraingallswilder.us

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum
P.O. Box 488
210 Parkside Drive
West Branch, IA 52358 | 319-643-5301