Rose Wilder was born in De Smet, South Dakota (when it was still Dakota Territory) on December 5, 1886 to Almanzo and Laura Wilder. Difficulties and tragedy led the Wilders to leave De Smet and spend some time in Spring Valley, Minnesota and Westville, Florida before they returned for a time to De Smet.
In 1894, the Wilders journeyed with friends to Mansfield, Missouri, where they finally settled. Rose attended school in Mansfield, but finished high school in Crowley, Louisiana where her aunt, Eliza Jane Thayer lived.
After graduation, Rose learned telegraphy and worked to support herself. While living in San Francisco, she met Claire Gillette Lane, whom she married in 1909. Having moved to Kansas City, Rose wrote for the Kansas City Post before she and her husband began selling real estate. As the years went by, Rose and Gillette drifted apart, and eventually divorced.
Rose returned to her writing and for decades wrote for major magazine, in addition to ghostwriting and authoring books. It was Rose who encouraged her mother to earn extra money by writing.
Rose Wilder Lane died on October 30, 1968, right before she was due to take a trip to Europe. She is buried in Mansfield, Missouri.
Happy 129th birthday to our favorite bachelor girl.
Rose Wilder Lane's home in Danbury, Connecticut was recently up for sale. It sold last month for $400,000. You can see pictures here.