Monday, April 14, 2008

A Laura Ingalls Wilder Timeline

This timeline is taken from the book The World of Little House by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson. A friend of mine posted it at a forum I belong to and I am adding it here for my readers. It covers not only Laura's life, but that of her family and major events that took place during her lifetime.



Charles Phillip Ingalls and Caroline Lake Quiner are married in Concord, Wisconsin, on February 1.

Abraham Lincoln is elected president of the United States.


Eliza Quiner marries Peter Ingalls

The Civil War begins at Fort Sumter, South Carolina

The Dakota Territory is formed


Joseph Quiner is killed at the Battle of Shiloh.

Congress passes the Homestead Act, which gives 160 acres of land to any U.S. citizen who lives on it.


The Ingallses move to the Big Woods

In September, Charles and Caroline buy eighty acres for $335 with Uncle Henry and Aunt Polly Quiner.

The Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves, goes into effect.

Lincoln delivers his Gettysburg Address.

Lincoln proclaims the last Thursday in November as a national Day of Thanksgiving.


Mary Amelia Ingalls is born on January 10, in Pepin, Wisconsin.

Two of Pa's brothers, Hiram and James, join the Minnesota Volunteers and fight in the Civil War.

General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulyssses S. Grant at Appomattrox.

Abraham Lincoln is assassinated on April 14 by John Wilkes Booth.

Congress passes the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery.


Almanzo, age 9, wins the blue ribbon for his giant pumpkin at the Franklin, New York, county fair.

Alfred Nobel invents dynamite.


Laura Elizabeth Ingalls is born on February 7, in Pepin, Wisconsin.

Almanzo Wilder is ten years old (born February 13, 1857).


The Ingalls family moves to Chariton County, Missouri.

The Osage Indians sign a treaty with the United States government for their land in Kansas Reserve.

Louisa May Alcott's Little Women is published.

Congress passes the 14th Amendment, granting citizenship to African Americans.


The Ingalls family leaves Chariton County, Missouri, and settles in Montgomery Coounty, Kansas.

The first railroad linking the east and west coasts of the entire United States is completed.

The first postcards are issued.


Laura is three years old.

Caroline Celestia (Carrie) Ingalls is born on August 3, in Montgomery County, Kansas.

Congress passes the 15th Amendment, granting the right to vote regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.


The Ingalls family moves back to Pepin, Wisconsin.

Laura attends school for the first time.

The Wonders of the Animal World (Pa's "Big Green Animal Book") by G. Hartwig is published.

Montgomery Ward opens the first catalogue house.

P.T. Barnum opens his circus, "The Greatest Show on Earth," in New York.


Congress passes the Timber Culture Act, granting 160 acres of timberland to any U.S. citizen who cares for 40 acres for five years.


The Ingalls family moves to Walnut Grove, Minnesota.

Tom Quiner, Ma's brother, joins the first party of prospectors in the Black Hills of western South Dakota.

The first American zoo is established in Philadelphia.


Charles Frederic (Freddie) Ingalls is born in Walnut Grove, on November 1.

The Wilder family moves from Malone, New York to Spring Valley, Minnesota; Almanzo is eighteen years old.


Baby Freddie Ingalls dies on August 27.

The Ingalls family moves to Burr Oak, Iowa, to help run the Burr Oak House.

The first U.S. patent for the telephhone is granted to Alexander Graham Bell.

The Sioux Indians, led by chiefs, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, defeat General Custer and the Seventh Cavalry in the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Grasshoppers are declared "Public Enemy #1" in Minnesota, and the government offers children up to fifty cents for every bushel of dead grasshoppers collected.


Grace Pearl Ingalls is born on May 23, in Burr Oak, Iowa.

The Ingalls family returns to Walnut Grove, Minnesota.

Thomas Edison invents the phonograph.


Laura wins a reference Bible for reciting 104 Golden Texts and Central Truths perfectly.

W.A. Burpee begins selling seeds by catalogue.


Mary falls ill and slowly loses her sight.

The Ingalls family moves to Dakota Territory and helps settle the town of De Smet.

Almanzo, his brother Royal and their sister, Eliza Jane file homestead claims for land near De Smet.


Laura is thirteen years old.

The Ingallses move into their new homestead, but return to town after an early blizzard hits, and the long winter begins.

Pa becomes Justice of the Peace in De Smet.

Five Little Peppers and How They Grow by Margaret Sidney is published.

Helen Keller is born.


Mary, Carrie and Laura have their first photograph taken.

Ma and Pa take Mary to the Iowa School for the Blind in Vinton, Iowa.

Eliza Jane Wilder begins teaching at the De Smet school.

President James A. Garfield is assassinated by Charles Guiteau.

Billy the Kid is killed by Pat Garrett at Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

Clara Birton founds the American National Red Cross.


Laura receives her teacher's certificate and begins teaching at the Bouchie School (called Brewster School in These Happy Golden Years).


William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody organizes the first Wild West show.

Standard time is established. The railroads demarcate the four time zones.


Laura and Almanzo become engaged.

Almanzo and Royal leave De Smet for the New Orleans Exposition.

Oil is discovered in Independence, Kansas; eventually there will be twenty-three oil wells on the land that once surrounded the little house on the prairie.

Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn is published.

The first sky-scraper, the ten-story Home Insurance Building in Chicago, opens.


Laura and Almanzo are married on August 25 in De Smet.

David Swazey, Carrie's future husband, suggests the name Mount Rushmore for the now-famous mountain in the Black Hills.

The Washington Monument is dedicated in Washington, D.C.


Rose Wilder is born on December 5 in De Smet, Dakota Territory.

The Statue of Liberty is unveiled in New York harbor.

Coca-Cola appears on the market in Atlanta, Georgia, and is advertised as a remedy for fatigue.


Pa and Ma, Mary, Carrie and Grace move into their new home in town.


Laura and Almanzo are stricken with diphtheria.


Laura and Almanzo's son is born and dies twelve days later.

Laura and Almanzo's house is destroyed by fire.

Mary graduates from the School for the Blind.

South Dakota becomes a state.


Laura is twenty-three years old.

The Wilders leave De Smet, South Dakota, and spend a year with Almanzo's parents in Spring Valley, Minnesota.

The Seventh Cavalry of the U.S. Army defeats Chief Sitting Bull and the Sioux Indians at the Battle of Wounded Knee. Sitting Bull dies.

Peanut Butter is first introduced in St. Louis, Missouri.


The Wilders move to Westville, Florida


The Wilders return to De Smet, South Dakota

Pa sells the claim and adds a two-story wing onto the house in town.

The United States government purchases the Cherokee Strip from the Cherokee Nation. The 6 million acres of land between Kansas and Oklahoma are made available to white settlers.


The Wilders leave De Smet and travel to Mansfield, Missouri, where they purchase Rocky Ridge Farm


The Wilders begin construction on the first phase of their new farmhouse at Rocky Ridge--the kitchen, a front room, and an attic bedroom.

X-rays are used for the first time in the United States for the treament of cancer.

In Plessy vs. Ferguson, the Supreme Court rules that designating "seperate but equal" facilities for African Americans does not violate the 14th Amendment.

Helen Moore Sewell, the first illustrator of the Little House books, is born.


John Philip Sousa writes "Stars and Stripes Forever."


The Wilders rent out the farm and move into town. Almanzo's parents visit on their way to their new home in Louisiana.

The U .S. battleship Maine is blown up in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, killing more than 260 people. The Spanish-American War officially begins.


James Wilder, Almanzo's father, dies in Louisiana.


Laura is thirty-three years old.

The cake walk becomes the most fashionable dance in the United States.

Dr. Walter Reed of the U.S. Army Medical Corps discovers that the yellow fever virus ("fever 'n' ague") is transmitted by mosquitoes.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum is published.


Grace Ingalls marries Nathan William Dow in De Smet on October 16. They live in Manchester, South Dakota, seven miles west of De Smet.

President McKinley is assisinated by Leon Czolgosz.


Laura returns to De Smet to see Pa, who is critically ill from heart failure.

Charles Ingalls dies on June 8.


Rose goes to Louisiana with Almanzo's sister Eliza Jane.

Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully fly a powered airplane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

The teddy bear, named after President Theodore Roosevelt, is first introduced.

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin is published.


Rose graduates from high school in Crowley, Louisiana, and takes a job as a telegraph operator in Kansas City, Missouri.


Angeline Wilder, Almanzo's mother, dies in Crowley, Louisiana.

Albert Einstein formulates the theory of relativity with the equation E=mc2.


Henry Ford manufactures the first Model T automobile.

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery is published.


Rose Wilder, age twenty-three, arries Gillette Lane in San Francisco.

The Lincoln-head penny is issued by the Philadelphia Mint on the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. It replaces the Indian-head penny.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded under the leadership of W.E.B. Du Bois.


Laura is forty-three years old.

Halley's Comet is observed.

The Boy Scouts of America is formed.

The Camp Fire Girls is formed.


Laura Ingalls Wilder publishes her first article in The Missouri Ruralist, titled "Favors the Small Farm Home."


Carrie Ingalls marries David N. Swanzey on August 1.

The Titanic, an "unsinkable" luxary liner making its maiden voyage from Englad to the United States, collides with an iceberg and sinks, killing 1,513 people.

The Girl Guides, forerunner of the Girl Scouts, is formed.


The Wilders add the parlor, library, porches, and separate rooms to the farmhouse at Rocky Ridge.


Laura visits Rose, who is a newspaper reporter, in San Francisco.


Norman Rockwell illustrates his first cover for The Saturday Evening Post.


Laura helps organize the Mansfield Farm Loan Association and serves as its secretary-treasurer.

The United States enters World War I.


Rose Wilder and Gillette Lane divorce.

World War I ends.


Congress passes the 18th Amendment, outlawing transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages and ushering in the era of Prohibition.


Laura is fifty-three years old

Hugh Lofting's The Story of Dr. Doolittle is published

Congress passes the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women suffrage.


Rose receives the second-place O. Henry Award for her short story "Innocence"


Rose gives Laura and Almanzo a new car and teaches Almanzo how to drive

Caroline Quiner Ingalls dies in De Smet on April 20, at age 84.


The Scopes "monkey trial" is held in Dayton, Tennessee. John T. Scopes was arrested on May 5 for teaching the theory of evolution to his students in violation of state law. Scopes was convicted and fined $100.

F. Scott Fitzgerald publishes The Great Gatsby.


Don Juan, the first talking picture presented to an audience, is shown in New York City.


Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., flies nonstop from New York to Paris.


While visiting Carrie in Keystone, South Dakota, Mary suffers a stroke and dies on October 17.

Rose builds a rock house for Laura and Almanzo on the Rocky Ridge property.

Laura and Almanzo move into the rock house and Rose moves into the farmhouse.


On Black Tuesday (October 29), over 16 million shares are dumped for whatever they could bring, causing the stock market to crash and ushering in the Great Depression.

Academy Awards are presented for the first time to honor outstanding achievement in filmmaking.


Laura is sixty-three years old.


Laura and Almanzo drive to De Smet and then to the Black Hills of South Dakota to visit Grace and Carrie.

The Empire State Building is completed.


Little House in the Big Woods, illustrated by Helen Sewell, is published by Harper Brothers.

Rose Wilder Lane's Let the Hurricane Roar is published by Harper Brothers.

Amelia Earhart is the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic nonstop.


Farmer Boy is published.

In an emergency session that lasts one hundred days, Congress passes legislation to aid farmers and the unemployed.


Little House on the Prairie is published.

Rose Wilder Lane's Old Home Town is published.

Laura and Almanzo celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

The Homestead Act is repealed.


Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind is published.


On the Banks of Plum Creek is published.

Laura and Almanzo move back into the farmhouse at Rocky Ridge after living nine years in the rock house.

Laura and Almanzo travel to Detroit, where Laura speaks at a book fair.


Rose Wilder Lane's Free Land is published.

Laura and Almanzo travel with their friends Silas and Neta Seal to the west coast.


By the Shores of Silver Lake is published.

Laura and Almanzo travel to De Smet to the Old Settlers' Day celebration.

John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath is published.


Laura is seventy-three years old.

The Long Winter is published.

Walt Disney's Fantasia opens in movie theaters.


Little Town on the Prairie is published.

Grace dies on November 10.

Japanese troops attack Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Congress declares war against Japan. Germany and Italy declare war against the United States.

The Mount Rushmore National Monument in South Dakota is completed after fourteen years.


These Happy Golden Years is published.


Franklin D. Roosevelt is reelected for a fourth time. He is the only president elected to four terms.


Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies, ending the European phase of World War II.

The United States drops the first atomic bomb ever to be used in war on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, it drops the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.

Japan surrenders and the Pacific phase of World War II ends.

The United Nations is formed in San Francisco.

E.B. White's Stuart Little, illustrated by Garth Williams, is published.


Carrie dies on June 2.


Garth Williams visits the Wilders at Rocky Ridge in preparation for his new illustrations for the Little House series.


Almanzo dies on October 23, at age 82.

The Detroit Public Library names a branch after Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is staged on Broadway and wins the Pulitzer Prize.


Laura is eighty-three years old.

The Laura Inalls Wilder Room at the Pomona Public Library in Pomona, California, is dedicated.

War with Korea declared.


The Laura Ingalls Wilder Library in Mansfield, Missouri, is dedicated.


E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, illustrated by Garth Williams, is published.


The eight Little House books are reissued with Garth William's illustrations.

War with Korea ends.

Puerto Rico becomes the first United States commonwealth.


The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award is created by the American Library Association.

Dr. Jonas Edward Salk announces development of the first polio vaccine.

In Brown v. the Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court declares racial segregation in the schools to be unconstitutional.


Jim Henson creates Kermit the Frog, the first Muppet.


Laura dies on February 10, three days after her birthday, at age 90.

Helen Moore Sewell dies.

Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas are published.

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