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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near De Smet in Kingsbury County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Wilder Homestead and Birthplace of Rose Wilder Lane

 
 
Wilder Homestead and Birthplace of Rose Wilder Lane Marker image. Click for full size.
September 27, 2021
1. Wilder Homestead and Birthplace of Rose Wilder Lane Marker
Inscription.  On the low hill immediately west of this spot stood the homestead claim shanty of Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Mrs. Wilder (1867-1957) is known all over the world as the author of the "Little House" books, a series of autobiographical accounts of pioneering by the Ingalls and Wilder families. Six of her books have their settings in the De Smet area. The First Four Years tells of farm life at this location from 1885-1889.

A shanty on the hilltop was the birthplace of the Wilders' only surviving child Rose Wilder Lane (1886-1968). Mrs. Lane became a well-known novelist, journalist and political essayist. Two of her 1930's novels, Free Land and Let The Hurricane Roar describe South Dakota pioneering. She also wrote biographies, translated books and served as a foreign correspondent. Her last reporting assignment took her to Viet Nam in 1965, when at 78 Rose Wilder Lane was America's oldest war correspondent. Although her career included travels around the world, Mrs. Lane stated that the entire pattern of her life was formed by the immense prairie skies, the acres of waving grain and the struggling saplings
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of her Dakota childhood.

One and one half miles north of this spot is another quarter section of land which was the tree claim of Laura and Almanzo Wilder. Some of the original tree plantings still survive. Here the Wilders also lived during their early married life, experiencing a fire which destroyed their home, the death of an infant son and other natural disasters which were a part of the daily lives of the courageous South Dakota pioneers. "No one," Mrs. Wilder wrote, "who has not pioneered can understand the fascination and the terror of it."
 
Erected 1974 by the State of South Dakota. (Marker Number 460.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the South Dakota State Historical Society Markers series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1886.
 
Location. 44° 24.547′ N, 97° 33.108′ W. Marker is near De Smet, South Dakota, in Kingsbury County. Marker is on 433rd Avenue (U.S. 25) 0.2 miles south of 205th Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: De Smet SD 57231, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Clancy's Store (approx. 1.6 miles away); Couse Hardware (approx. 1.6 miles away); Waters Land & Loan Company
Wilder Homestead and Birthplace of Rose Wilder Lane Marker, from the south image. Click for full size.
September 27, 2021
2. Wilder Homestead and Birthplace of Rose Wilder Lane Marker, from the south
(approx. 1.6 miles away); Kingsbury County Courthouse (approx. 1.6 miles away); 1880-1890s Prairie Schooner (approx. 1.6 miles away); Kingsbury County, S.D. (approx. 1.6 miles away); Brewster School (approx. 1.6 miles away); First School of De Smet (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in De Smet.
 
Wilder Homestead and Birthplace of Rose Wilder Lane Marker, from the north image. Click for full size.
September 27, 2021
3. Wilder Homestead and Birthplace of Rose Wilder Lane Marker, from the north
Hill directly west of marker image. Click for full size.
September 27, 2021
4. Hill directly west of marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 28, 2021. This page has been viewed 936 times since then and 73 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 28, 2021. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 28, 2024