Today marks the 178th anniversary of Charles Ingalls’s birth!
A simple farmer born in Cuba, New York, Ingalls would have likely languished in obscurity had not his second-born daughter Laura taken her childhood recollections and parried them into a timeless and award-winning series of children books.
In this page from a register of homestead receipts from the Dakota Territory we see the line entry for the Ingalls homestead in DeSmet, South Dakota, the family’s final stop in a long series of homes that stretched across present-day Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, and Minnesota.
Several years after proving up on his claim, Ingalls moved into town where he worked a variety of jobs before passing away in 1902. The DeSmet News ended his obituary with this description: “As a citizen he held high esteem, being honest and upright in his dealings and associations with his fellows. As a friend and neighbor he was always kind and courteous, and a faithful and loving husband and father.”
For those fans of the “Little House on the Prairie,” Pa’s DeSmet homestead today is a tourist attraction, still featuring the original cabin Charles Ingalls built for his family over 120 years ago.
The National Archives also holds the papers of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, at the Hoover Presidential Library.
(Post originally published on the National Archives at Denver Facebook page. Image source; RG 049 Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Entry 97, “Register of Final Homestead Receipts, December 9, 1871-May 21, 1891,” NARA identifier 7385822)
Residence of G. L. Rule Feb. 18, 1898. Have lived here since Sept. 1893. Family stands in foreground; sod building and cabin in background, Arizona Territory
From the Series: Photographs Accompanying Reports to the Secretary of the Interior
President Thomas Jefferson’s message to Congress communicating the discoveries of the explorers Lewis and Clark, 02/19/1806
Three years earlier President Jefferson had approached Congress via secret message to request funding for the expedition.
Read in the Senate on January 2, 1810, this petition from frontiersman Daniel Boone requests Congress’s help in reclaiming the title to his land in what is now St. Charles County, Missouri. Boone acquired land in Louisiana when it was under Spanish rule, but his title was deemed invalid after the territory came into possession of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase. Boone’s request would not be granted until February 10, 1814, when Congress passed an “Act for the Relief of Daniel Boone,” which confirmed his title to the land.
Read more at the Center for Legislative Archives…
Petition of Daniel Boone praying for a grant of land within the territory of Louisiana, read January 2, 1810 (page 1); Records of the United States Senate.; Record Group 46; National Archives.
Homestead Proof Testimony of Almanzo Wilder, 09/12/1884
Dated September 12, 1884, this is the homestead proof of Almanzo James Wilder, husband of "Little House" author Laura Ingalls Wilder. His claim for land in De Smet, Dakota territory, notes a 12’ x 12’ frame house with two doors, one window, and a cellar, a two stables.
Zebulon Pike’s Notebook of Maps, Traverse Tables, and Meteorological Observations; Records of the Adjutant General’s Office.
On July 15, 1806, Zebulon Pike began his expedition to expore the southwest region of the Louisiana Purchase. Shown here is a map from one of his notebooks.