Laura Ingalls Wilder
Pepin, WI, US
"I have seen the whole frontier," wrote Laura Ingalls Wilder, "the woods, the Indian country, the frontier towns, the building of railroads in wild unsettled country, homesteading, and farmers coming to take possession." She wrote about these experiences in her Little House books, which have become beloved American classics.
Laura Elizabeth Ingalls was born in a "little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin." When she was five, her family began moving throughout the Midwest, searching for a good place to establish a farm. The Ingalls' life in Kansas, Minnesota, and the Dakota Territory was not an easy one. They lost their crops to locusts. They faced fires, floods, and tornadoes. They dealt with hostile Indians. But despite the hardships, the family had a good life because, as Laura wrote, "It is not the things you have that make you happy. It is love and kindness and helping each other and just plain being good."
In 1885, at the age of 18, Laura married Almanzo Wilder. When she was 65, her daughter persuaded her to write about her childhood. Her Little House books have been read by millions. And millions more shared Laura's experiences through Michael Landon's television series Little House on the Prairie.