Laura Ingalls Wilder Family 👪

Laura Ingalls Wilder is best known for her “Little House” series of novels that detail her life and her family’s lives as they move across the country. 

Laura Ingalls Wilder

(1867-1957), American

From Charles and Caroline Ingalls to their daughters and their respective spouses and children, the Ingalls family was large and interconnected. Laura’s siblings, husband, and daughter all played an integral role in her life and her experience as a pioneer in the American midwest.

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder (1867–1957) was an American author, most famously known for her series of autobiographical books about life on the American frontier. She was born in Pepin, Wisconsin, to Charles and Caroline Ingalls. As a young adult, she married Almanzo James Wilder, and together they had one daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. Laura and her family frequently moved throughout the Midwest, settling in De Smet, South Dakota, in 1879.

Wilder wrote numerous books, starting with ‘Little House in the Big Woods‘ (1932). This book was followed by seven sequels, ending with ‘The First Four Years ‘(1971). Her work provides an invaluable account of pioneering life on the American Frontier.

These stories were based on her own childhood experiences growing up in the Midwest. Later in life, Wilder was honored with a number of awards, including the first Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the American Library Association in 1954.

Charles Ingalls

Charles Ingalls was born in 1836 in Cuba, New York. He grew up on a farm and later moved west with his wife, Caroline Quiner, and their three daughters, Mary, Carrie, and Grace. He worked hard to provide for his family by working as a carpenter, blacksmith, and farmer. 

He also taught himself how to survey land and established small towns throughout the Midwest. Charles was an excellent provider but was often away from his family while working. His relationship with his daughters was often strained, but he still maintained a strong bond with them and taught them important life lessons. He passed away in 1902 at the age of 66 due to complications from diabetes.

Caroline Quiner

Caroline Quiner was born on December 12, 1839, in Brookfield, Wisconsin. She was the daughter of Fredrick Holbrook and Charlotte Holbrook. Caroline grew up in a large family of seven children, with whom she developed a close bond. 

At the age of 21, Caroline married Charles Ingalls, who later became the father of Laura Ingalls Wilder. The couple had five children together; Mary Amelia, Caroline “Carrie” Celestia, Grace Pearl, Charles Frederick, and Laura Elizabeth. Their first child, Charles, died in 1876, only one year after he was born.

Caroline was known to be an excellent cook and seamstress. She was a pious woman and attended church regularly with her family. During their travels to the Dakota Territory, she worked hard alongside her husband to provide for their children. 

After Charles’ death in 1902, Caroline continued to live with her daughter Laura and son-in-law Almanzo. She passed away in 1924 at the age of 84 in De Smet, South Dakota.

Mary, Carrie, and Grace Ingalls

Mary Amelia Ingalls was the eldest of the four Ingalls daughters. She was born in 1865 and unfortunately went blind at the age of 14 due to scarlet fever. She died in 1929 from pneumonia. 

Caroline Celestia Ingalls, or Carrie, was the second daughter and third child. Born in 1870, she had an adventurous spirit and often accompanied her father on trips away from home. Eventually, she settled in South Dakota.

The youngest Ingalls daughter was Grace Pearl Ingalls, born in 1877. A compassionate and gentle soul, Grace cared for her sisters and parents during their later years, even making sure that Mary was never alone. Later in life, Grace worked as a stringer for a local newspaper. 

Mary, Carrie, and Grace are all integral members of the Ingalls family tree, each contributing greatly to Laura’s life and stories. They exemplify the courage and resilience that typified early pioneer families and serve as important reminders of the legacy they left behind.

Rose Wilder Lane

Rose Wilder Lane was the only child of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Almanzo James Wilder, born on December 5th, 1886. She was a skilled writer who spent time writing novels, political theory, and much more.

At a young age, she began writing articles for newspapers and magazines, eventually becoming an editor at the Missouri Ruralist. Her works include “The Discovery of Freedom: Man’s Struggle Against Authority,” “Let the Hurricane Roar,” and “Free Land.” 

Lane was an advocate for free market capitalism and a proponent of the American libertarian movement. Despite her advocacy of libertarian ideals, she was a lifelong friend of her mother’s, supporting her during her later years and promoting her works posthumously.

Almanzo James Wilder

Almanzo James Wilder was born on a farm near Malone, New York, in 1857. He was the fifth of six children and was raised on the family’s farm in New York. Almanzo moved to the Dakotas in 1879, where he met Laura Ingalls in 1881. In 1885, he and Laura married and settled in De Smet, South Dakota, where they owned and operated a farm. 

Almanzo had a passion for animals and kept horses and cows. He also raised chickens, sheep, and pigs. Almanzo grew wheat, oats, corn, and hay on his farm, which he sold in town. He was a hard worker who enjoyed helping his neighbors with their own farms.

Almanzo and Laura had a daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. Later in life, Almanzo suffered from health problems which made it difficult for him to keep up with his farming duties. He eventually sold the farm and moved to Mansfield, Missouri, where he died in 1949. Almanzo James Wilder was an essential part of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life, providing her with the stability and support she needed to achieve her dreams.


When was Laura Ingalls Wilder born?

Laura Ingalls Wilder was born on February 7th, 1867, in Pepin County, Wisconsin.

What happened to Laura Ingalls Wilder?

Laura Ingalls Wilder died of natural causes at the age of 90 in 1957. She had achieved fame for her beloved Little House book series, which chronicled her childhood in the American West.

What happened to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s parents? 

Charles Ingalls died in 1902, and Caroline Ingalls passed away in 1924. Both are buried in De Smet, South Dakota.

Emma Baldwin
About Emma Baldwin
Emma graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in English, minor in Creative Writing, BFA in Fine Art, and BA in Art Histories. Literature is one of her greatest passions which she pursues on Book Analysis.
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