Laura Ingall's Wilder
English and Literature
Submitted By paulak
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Amy Sickels, Foreword by Kyle Zimmer
Part II: Subject’s Early Life Laura Ingalls Wilder, who lived from February 7, 1867 until February 10, 1957, was born in Pepin, Wisconsin to the parents of Charles Phillip Ingalls and Caroline Quiner Ingalls. Laura was the second of five children in her family. As a little girl, Laura and her family moved around a lot. So Laura kept a journal with her and wrote what she saw, and what she and her family did. Little did she know that someday her journal would become popular as little kid books. In the schools that Laura attended the teachers said that Laura was a bright and smart student. Laura wasn’t like the other girls though instead she liked to hang out with the boys. At recess she would play kickball with them and even played on the boy’s baseball team. In the town Burroak, a lady named Mrs. Starr wanted Laura, who was only nine-years old, as her own daughter because all of her kids were moved out. But Charles and Caroline said no to Mrs. Starr because they loved Laura too much. In 1879 Mary, Laura’s older sister, got ill. The doctors called it “Brain Fever”. Mary recovered but soon after the illness was gone, Mary began to suddenly grow blind. Soon Mary was completely blind and Charles told Laura that she needs to help Mary and “become her sister’s eyes”. After her father had said this, Laura took Mary’s blindness and the job of helping her sister very serious. Laura described everything to Mary as best as she could. When she was describing things to her sister, Laura felt like she was seeing everything in more than one way. Many people think that because Laura helped her sister so well, it helped her to become such a good writer later on. The same year as when Mary became blind, the Ingalls settled in the state now known as South Dakota. Here Charles worked as a bookkeeper and a timekeeper for the Dakota Central Crews. After about a year of living near the railroads, the Ingalls moved to a town nearby known as De Smet. The Ingalls lived here when one of the worst blizzards hit. The first blizzard came in mid-October. For almost six months many blizzards hit the tiny town. One day when a blizzard hit the town Laura and her little sister, Carrie, could barely find their way home from school. Because of the trains being delayed, coal and food supplies were running low. The last sack of flour in town sold for $50 and the last sack of sugar sold for $1 a pound. After the winter was done it became known as “The Hard Winter”. In 1882 Laura got and took the opportunity to be a school teacher. But there was a tiny problem, she wasn’t 16 which was the age required to be a teacher. Mr. Bouche, the man who wanted Laura to come and teach at his school, told her not to worry about it and not to tell anyone including the superintended. The school she went to go teach was about twelve miles away from home so a fellow classmate named Almanzo Wilder came and got Laura every weekend.
Part III: Influence of Family, Education, Friends, Society, Social Position, or Religion Laura’s influence on her family was pretty huge. When the Ingalls moved, Laura usually always tried to get a job and help pay for things. Laura also helped a lot around the house with chores and taking care of her sisters. Laura’s favorite chores were churning the butter and helping with the cows. Laura loved her sister so much that after the hard winter, she got a job sewing at a dry goods store. Laura earned twenty-five cents an hour and that summer she took all the money she had earned and contributed it to Mary’s education. Mary ended up going to a College in Iowa for the blind. Laura loved her family more than anything.
Part IV: Dominant Trait of Subject and Anecdote Laura’s dominate trait is writing. Throughout her life she wrote nine books and many Articles for local newspapers. Many people loved and still do love her books. Writing was one of her biggest achievements in her life.
Part V: Contributions of Subject and Effect on Society, Politics, Art, Sports, or Area of Expertise Laura’s contribution to society was pretty big. Almanzo and Laura lived in the town Mansfield, Missouri but owned some land outside of town. This land had flourishing fruit trees, chickens roaming around, and cows grazing in herds. The Wilders would take the fruits from the trees, the eggs from the chickens, milk from the cows, and sometimes the meat from a chicken or cow and bring it into town and sell it. The people of Mansfield were very great full to have the Wilders bring the food into town and sell it.
Part VI: Subject’s Greatest Achievement and Effect on Subject or Society Later in her life, Laura became a writer. Laura wrote about what her childhood was like as a pioneer child and what her life was like being married to a farmer. Most of her writings were from her journal from when she was a little girl. Some of her books are Little House in the Big Woods, Farmer Boy, Little House on the Prairie, On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, The Happy Golden Years, and The First Four Years. The children who read these books loved them. Laura tried to make learning about pioneer life fun. In 1954, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award was established; Mrs. Laura Ingalls Wilder was presented with the first award. Writing the books and making the award were Laura’s greatest achievement in her life.