Monthly Archives: February 2014

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder was Born

Author Laura Ingalls Wilder used her experienc...

Author Laura Ingalls Wilder used her experiences growing up near De Smet as the basis for four of her novels. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder was born February 7, 1867 to Charles Phillip Ingalls and Caroline Lake (Quiner) Ingalls. She was the second of five children, the eldest Mary Amelia, who became blind as a teenager, Caroline Celestia; Charles Frederick, who died when he was an infant; and Grace Pearl.

Laura documented her life in Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota. Living the life on the prairie they ran into Indians and other settlers. Her father took odd jobs when possible. As a young girl I read the books she was to have published, Little House on the Prairie, On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silvery Lake, The Long Winter, and These Happy Golden Years.

Laura studied and became a teacher. She later met her love, Almanzo Wilder or Manly as she called him. They married on August 25, 1885 in De Smet, South Dakota.

On December 5, 1886, she gave birth to Rose. After a severe drought and debt along with illness that left Manly walking with a cane. Laura took a paid position as a columnist for the Missouri Ruralist in 1911. She wrote a column called, “As a Farm Woman Thinks,” capturing many farmers in the area and gaining regular readership. In the 1920s she started working for the Farm Loan Association on the side. In 1929 they were wiped out with the stock market crash, but thankful Laura was writing. In 1932 her first book was published.

Cover of

Cover of These Happy Golden Years (Little House)

More books were published about her life, an autobiography. Her life was later televised by Michael Landon in the series, Little House on the Prairie. Melissa Gilbert played Laura Ingalls. There was a more detailed movie of her life named, Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder (but parts were still fictional).

Her life touched ours for many years. For me this show was a constant. I grew up reading the books. She lead a hard life, but times were definitely different. It was a time of discovery. Laura became a teacher because she knew she may be needed to help bring money into the home. She had to be able to survive if she were by herself or be able to take care of her family. She took odd jobs just as her father did. But when she was able to take a chance to do what she loved, she took it, and if she hadn’t when the stock market crashed, maybe they not have survived. I can’t really say, it was a different time. She managed.




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Mary Rudge was Born

English: The first Ladies’ International Chess...

English: The first Ladies’ International Chess Congress, organized by the Ladies’ Chess Club of London, was held in London from 23 June to 3 July, 1897. The tournament was part of the 60th anniversary of the reign of queen Victoria, who was a chess player herself. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mary Rudge was born on February 6, 1842. She was born in Leominster, a small town in Herefordshire, England and she grew up to be a master cheese player. She won the first international women’s chess tournament in London, 1897 with 18.5/19 ahead of Louisa Matilda Fagan.*

Growing up she would play chess with her father. She began playing chess in 1872 by correspondence and she joined the Bristol Chess Club. She was the first female member. After the death of her father she began playing seriously and moved to Bristol. She had an older sister Caroline, and older brother Henry. She and her sister went to live with her brother after the passing of their father. Caroline and Mary helped her brother teach school until the school closed. When the school closed her brother moved to North Meols, but Mary stayed behind. By this time she had established herself at the game of chess.

In 1889, she became the first woman in the world to give simultaneous chess exhibitions and she was being hailed as the leading lady chess player in the world. In 1898, she played against world champion Emanuel Lasker in a simultaneous display in London. Lasker was unable to finish the game and conceded defeat because he would be lost with Rudge best play.

To be a master at chess she had to understand the game, and understand strategy. She knew when to strike, but also when to fall back, so to speak. She was one of many women to take up the game of chess, and Rudge definitely showed she had the courage and the wit to play against her male counterpart. If she could best him at chess, at this time, didn’t it show that women were meant for more? Her heart and spirit definitely proved that she was in the game.




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