Tuesday, June 9, 2015

On This Date in Ingalls History: Charles "Pa" Ingalls Dies

On June 8, 1902 Charles Phillip Ingalls died of heart disease. His pioneering spirit led him across many states and territories before he finally settled his family in De Smet, SD. An esteemed member of the De Smet community, he helped organized the Congregational Church and held a variety of elected positions in town.

Many years later, Laura Ingalls Wilder captured her Pa's pioneering spirit in the opening pages of Little House on the Prairie:

A long time ago, when all the grandfathers and grandmothers of today were little boys and little girls or very small babies, or perhaps not even born, Pa and Ma and Mary and Laura and Baby Carrie left their little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin....Pa said there were too many people in the Big Woods now...Wild animals would not stay in a country where there were so many people. Pa did not like to stay, either. He liked a country where the wild animals lived without being afraid. He liked to see the little fawns and their mothers looking at him from the shadowy woods, and the fat, lazy bears eating berries in the wild-berry patches."

Photo from my visit last summer.

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