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Laura Ingalls Wilder, Almanzo Wilder (back to front) at their home with neighbors. ca.1929.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Almanzo Wilder (back to front) at their home with neighbors. ca.1929.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives

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Show Me The State: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s journey to becoming a worldwide author is interlaced with pure hardship.

On the morning of July 17, 1894, Laura has gathered together her life savings, her belongings, and her husband and daughter. The pioneer woman packs them into a covered wagon - like the one she herself traveled West in as a child. 

She’s hidden about $260 cash - tucked away in a lap desk for safe keeping. She’s setting out for Missouri with the dream of a home. She wants a better life, fertile farmland and roots. She’s only 27 years old but she’s endured a lot: Poverty. Dakota droughts. Blizzards. A near-fatal bout with diphtheria. The loss of a baby. 

But while this young woman has endured a lot, she still hopes things are about to get better. She’s determined to survive, and in fact, to thrive. And of all the people in her life - the one who’s going to help her rise to unexpected heights is not her father, her husband, or her elders, but her daughter Rose Wilder Lane.

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