Womens History

CELEBRATING WOMEN: Laura Ingalls Wilder

DE SMET, S.D. - One of the most famous women from South Dakota is Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Her "Little House" series has touched millions of lives since they were first published in the 1930's and 40's.  

Laura Ingalls and her family moved to the Dakota Territory in 1879, becoming homesteaders before eventually settling in De Smet, South Dakota.

Today, you can step back in time and tour the homes where the family grew up in De Smet, including the Surveyors' House that Wilder describes in her fifth book, By the Shores of Silver Lake.

There is also a replica of the Brewster School where Wilder taught.

Wilder's parents, sisters, and son are buried in the De Smet Cemetery.

Recently, her books have come under scrutiny for racist comments against Native Americans and African Americans. In fact, the Association for Library Service to Children changed the name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal to the Children's Literature Legacy Award.

However, the group says this shouldn't stop people from reading and enjoying Wilder's books. Instead it "may prompt further critical thinking about Wilder’s books and the discussions that can take place around them". To read the association's full statement, click here.


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