Archives

Cathy A Smith

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An artist dedicated to preserving the history of the 19th century cowboy/girl and the Plains Indians. Her expansive knowledge is expressed through painting, bead and quillwork, motion picture costume design, and historical consultation. Her work in the epic Western film starring Kevin Costner, “Dances with Wolves,” set the standard for authenticity in Western film making. She...

Mattie Goff Newcombe

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Mattie was a pioneer in the sport of rodeo, raising the status of performers through her own rodeo contracts. She was a daring trick rider known for her speed and for never losing her hat. As a bronc rider Mattie was never thrown and as a relay rider she was never outrun. She was one...

Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Best known for her “Little House” books, Laura was born in a log cabin in Wisconsin and saw the frontier as her family traveled west as pioneer settlers. It is on these experiences that Laura based her books. She captured the successive phases of the American frontier by preserving her own memories of her travels....

Carrie Ingalls Swanzey

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Born during her parents’ stay in Kansas, Carrie, third daughter of the Ingalls, grew up in DeSmet, South Dakota. Upon graduating from high school, she went to work for the local newspaper, and came to manage several papers. Moving to Keystone, South Dakota to run a paper, she met and married a miner, David Swanzey....

Mary Ingalls

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Eldest of the Ingalls children, Mary dreamed of becoming a schoolteacher until she was stricken with scarlet fever and lost her sight. She instead attended the Iowa State College for the Blind, graduating with high marks. Returning home, she lived with her mother and wove colorful “fly nets” for horses. She was a church organist...

Caroline Quiner Ingalls

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Matriarch of the Ingalls family, Caroline was an educated and cultured woman despite being born and raised on the frontier. Quiet and gentle, she had five children and was known for her kindness and concern for others. She moved to Kansas with her husband, and then to Minnesota, where she lost her only son. After...

Grace Ingalls Dow

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The youngest of the Ingalls children, Grace went to school in De Smet. She eventually married a local farmer, Nathan Dow. With her husband’s health failing, he and Grace rented out the farm and toured the Pacific Coast. Returning to De Smet, Grace wrote neighborhood items for the newspaper and cared for her sister Mary...