My theme for the A to Z
Challenge is Laura Ingalls Wilder. Laura Ingalls Wilder was the
author of the Little House books and there was a television
series very loosely based on the books. I began reading the
books when I was eleven years old (which even I have a hard
time believing is over 40 years ago!). If you would like to
read about my feelings about Laura, visit this site. I have also listed helpful sites and blogs in my sidebar if you would like to learn more.
R is for Rose.
Rose Wilder Lane was born on December 5, 1886. She was the only surviving child of Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder. They had a son who was born in August of 1889 and died before his parents could even give him a name.
Times were not easy during Rose’s first years. Crops failed year after year, Almanzo and Laura contracted diphtheria, a baby boy who died soon after birth, and then their house burned. These hard times prompted the young family to move first to Spring Valley, Minnesota to stay with Almanzo’s parents then to Westville, Florida where Laura’s cousin Peter lived. They eventually moved back to De Smet, rented an house and worked to save enough money to move again.
The next move took them to Mansfield, Missouri, which would be Almanzo and Laura’s home for the rest of their lives. Not so with Rose. Rose was very smart, too smart for the school in Mansfield, which only went to the tenth grade. She went to live with her Aunt Eliza Jane in Crowley, Louisiana where she finished high school at the top of her class, graduating in 1904.
Rose lived in many places including Kansas City, San Francisco, Albania, New York, always returning to Rocky Ridge for a time. She worked as a telegraph operator, reporter, real estate agent and a writer of several books and magazine stories. In 1908, while living in San Francisco, Rose met Claire Gillette Lane and they were married in 1909. She gave birth to a baby boy in 1910, but he died soon after birth and she was never able to have more children. Rose and Gillette divorced in 1918. In 1915, while Rose was living in San Francisco and during the Panama Pacific Expositon, Laura traveled by train to visit Rose and see San Francisco. Rose was instrumental in helping Laura while she wrote the Little House books.
Rose traveled throughout Europe while working for the Red Cross as a reporter after World War I. Rose even went to Vietnam as a war correspondent in 1965 at the age of 79! She eventually moved to Danbury, Connecticut where she lived until her death on October 30, 1968 on the eve of another trip to Europe. She was 81 years old. Rose is buried next to her parents in the Mansfield cemetery.
I know that I have left out so many details as Rose had many adventures that I could never cover here!
Rose loved San Francisco and it remained one of her favorite places. I’ve never been to San Francisco, but it certainly is one place that I would love to visit!
My friend, Trini Wenninger, wrote a book called Rose Wilder Lane’s San Francisco. If you want to learn about Rose and the city she loved, it’s a wonderful read. And guess what! Trini has very generously offered to give one away! Here! Be a public follower and comment on this post. A winner will be chosen at the end of the A to Z Challenge. Good Luck!
Thanks, Trini! ♥
**Join me and many other Laura fans at LauraPalooza 2012 (the
second-ever Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference), which will be held July
12-14, 2012, in Mankato, Minnesota. For more information visit Beyond Little House and look for the heading “LauraPalooza 2012”. The pull down menu will have all of the information that you are looking for!**