American author, mostly known for writing the book series “Little House on the Prairie”.
Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder was born in the Big Woods region of Wisconsin, to a settler and pioneer family, who moved across America’s heartland.
Ingalls started attending school only when she was 12 years old after the family settled down in De Smet, SD. Later on, the experiences from her early childhood will be depicted in her books.
Just before her 16th birthday, she began working as a teacher in one-room schools, in addition to attending high school and working for the local dressmaker.
At 18, Ingalls got married, and the young couple had to overcome financial and personal problems, which they managed to do so by farming and cultivating wheat. Over time, Ingalls became an authority in rural living and poultry farming and gave lectures on those topics to groups around Missouri.
At the age of 44 she published an article in the ‘Missouri Ruralist’, which led her to get a position as an editor and to write a regular column about various topics such as home, family, travel, WWI and other world events, and personal thoughts about the increasing options women had during that time.
Due to the 1929 economic crisis, the death of her mother and sister, and with the encouragement of her daughter, Ingalls started to preserve her memories. This combination of truth and fiction eventually became an 8-book series, known as the ‘Little House on the Prairie’.
The first book, ‘Little House in the Big Woods’, was published in 1932 and have been continuously in print since. The books have been translated into more than 40 languages, adapted into a TV series and became a multi-million-dollar franchise.
“It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all”
More Interesting Anecdotes:
- Her first autobiographical work was written in the late 1920s, but published only in 2014.
- A lifetime achievement award for children’s writers and illustrators is named after her.
- A statue of her is on display at the Hall of Famous Missourians.