Laura Comes of Age in De Smet, Marries Almanzo
Laura in 1884 at age 17
Laura quickly got involved with life in the newly-formed (and growing) town of De Smet. She attended school, made friends, and obtained her teaching certificate, which enabled her to begin teaching in 1882, a full two months before her 16th birthday!
At the same time, she began courting Almanzo Wilder, a young homesteader whom she called "Manly". Though 10 years her senior, Almanzo fell deeply in love with Laura and would drive her back and forth between De Smet and the town where se was teaching 12 miles away. They married in 1885 and settled on the Wilder's claim and began their life as farmers.