The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder: Part 4

A Happy Marriage with Troubled Years Before Settling in Missouri

The newlyweds had a rough few years following their wedding.  Despite the happy occurrence of the birth of their daughter Rose in 1886, they were otherwise plagued by bad weather, drought, and illness that pushed them to the brink of poverty.  Almanzo, who was a vigorous worker, became partially paralyzed following complications from diphtheria -- this rendered him unable to perform the labor associated with wheat farming.  

Everything got worse in August, 1889 when they had a son who died two weeks after birth.  In the same month, the family lost their house to a fire and all of their crops to drought.  They were penniless, fed up, and unsure about their future prospects, so they moved to the Wilder family farm in Spring Valley, Minnesota in 1890.

Laura and Almanzo in their first year of marriage, likely 1885 or 1886. 


The Ingalls family in 1891.  From left to right:  Caroline ("Ma"), Carrie, Laura, Charles ("Pa"), Grace, and Mary.  

The family took 1890 and 1891 to rest and recover, and the photos above and below from a studio session in 1891 shows that Laura was of good health and vitality at the end of her rest.