The Amazing Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Full History (Part 1)


There are few books we love more than The Little House on the Prairie series, and we've always been curious about the real people behind the characters.  We did a little research and here's what we found out about them...


1860: The Real "Ma" and "Pa" Start Their Family

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Charles and Caroline Ingalls, the original "Ma" and "Pa" from Little House on the Prairie, on their wedding day on February 1, 1860.  

Charles was born in 1836 and spent the majority of his youth in the tallgrass prairie of Campton Township, just west of Elgin, Illinois.   He met and quickly married a 21-year old Caroline Lake Quiner, who was working as a schoolteacher at the time, and they made a home in Pepin County, Wisconsin.  They had their first daughter, Mary Amelia, in January, 1865, followed by the birth of Laura in February, 1867.  Despite being a high-spirited, outgoing man, Charles wasn't much for people, and he had an insatiable wanderlust.  In 1869, before Laura was two years old, he packed up the family and moved to Missouri, then to a town near what is now Independence, Kansas, where their third daughter, Carrie, would be born in 1870.