Laura Ingalls Wilder
One of better authors of the frontier era was Laura Ingalls Wilder, who was born in our area near Pepin, WI on Febuary 7th, 1867. She and her family lived in the area for two years after her birth. Then they moved to Indian Territory in the vicinity of Independence, Kansas. While in Kansas, Laura's sister, Caroline, was born.
When Gustaf Gustafson, the person that the farm at Pepin was sold to could no longer continue to work it, they moved back and Laura started school at the age of 4 1/2. After living in Wisconsin for two years they sold the farm for $1000 and moved across the Mississippi River into an abandoned cabin where they lived for the winter. When the winter ended they moved to the western side of Minnesota, where they traded their wagon for a dug-out on The Banks of Plum Creek.
The next spring their house flooded and as Laura was running for help, she nearly drowned in the creek. In the summer when Pa's fields were destroyed by grasshoppers he had to travel to eastern Minnesota to get a job. When he came home he had a purse full of money and his son, Freddie, was born. They sold their house on the Banks of Plum Creek and moved back to eastern Minnesota because the land was poor for growing crops. They lived with Uncle Peter, and Pa worked in the fields there. It was a sad time for the family since Freddie died, and the grave marker can't be found today. That was the last time the Ingalls lived in the Wisconsin, Minnesota area. After the harvest they moved to Burr Oak, Iowa, were the last baby, May Grace Pearl Ingles, was born.
The house of her birth has long since been torn down, but a replica has been rebuilt on the same spot seven miles north of Pepin on Highway 183, by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society Inc.
This picture was taken from a postcard published by G. R. Brown Co.
The land was in the ownership of Eddie Anderson, Elsie Wallin, and Edmund Larson. They had held a life lease on the property, but gave it up and sold two acres to the Pepin Commercial Club and Merlin Anderson donated another acre to the fund. Most of the work done on the log cabin was through volunteer labor. The cabin construction was done by Laverne Scanlon and Jerry Freimark of Fountian City. Other volunteers built the foundation, paved the drive way and parking lot, and put the roof on. The log cabin contains one large room, a small bedroom, a pantry, and a loft. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society Inc. at Pepin wants this not to be a tourist attraction, but a picnic area where people can stop and remember what life was like back in 1863 when the cabin was first built.
The information on this page was taken from Ingalls & Quiner Genealogies and an article in the Leader Telegram by Arnie Hoffman.
Other Laura Ingalls Wilder Sites
Laura Ingalls Wilder
My Little House on the Prairie Page
The Real Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder