25 August 2021 Cheryl

25 August 1885: Laura Ingalls marries Almanzo Wilder

Laura and Almanzo

Laura Ingalls stated that she would not say the word “obey” in her wedding vows. “I cannot make a promise that I will not keep,” she told her husband to be, and “even if I tried, I do not think I could obey anybody against my better judgement.” [1]

15-year-old Laura Ingalls was working as a teacher when she met Almanzo Wilder, aged 25 and they began courting. Three years later, on 25 August 1885, they were married in De Smet, South Dakota. The couple started their life together on Wilder’s claim and began their own small farming operations.

Their first few years of marriage were difficult. Daughter, Rose, was born in December 1886 and in 1889, their infant son died at 12 days of age before being named. A life-threatening bout of diphtheria left Almanzo partially paralyzed, although he eventually regained nearly full use of his legs. The destruction of their barn and the total loss of their home from fire and several years of severe drought left them in debt, physically ill, and unable to earn a living from their land.

After spending time recuperating at the home of Almanzo’s parents in Minnesota, they made Mansfield, Missouri, their permanent home in 1894.

In the late 1920s, Laura began writing about her childhood. She turned stories about her experiences into works of fiction. In 1932, when she was 65 years old, she published Little House in the Big Woods, which introduced the world to a fictionalized version of her 4-year-old self. The nine-book series would go on to sell upward of 60 million copies.

Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder were married for 64 years, until his death in October 1949. Laura Ingalls died in 1957, three days after her 90th birthday.

Featured image- Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder, circa 1885, by unknown photographer Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46851607, and in 1948, https://www.reddit.com/r/OldSchoolCool/comments/4tnqg7/laura_ingalls_wilder_and_her_husband_almanzo_on/
[1] Fact- https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/8-interesting-facts-about-laura-ingalls-wilder/16581/