Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up in the middle west as part of one of the many roaming pioneer families that built America. She was born in Wisconsin, lived in Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, and South Dakota (then Dakota Territory) with her family often at the front edge of the sweeping westward wave of pioneers. Only the influence of her mother, who wanted her girls to have an education and some stability, kept Laura’s ever-restless father from continuing to move ever onward.
Laura’s life was not greatly different from many of the other young women who were her contemporaries, save that in her later years Laura revisited her childhood in memory, sharing her stories in a series of books that came to be known as “The Little House Books.”
From her home in Mansfield, Missouri, where she and husband Almanzo Wilder eventually settled and remained until the end of their lives, Laura returned to the prairies and forests of her youth in her writings.