Caroline Lake Ingalls

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Caroline Lake Ingalls (Quiner)

Birthplace: Brookfield, Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States
Death: April 20, 1924 (84)
De Smet, Kingsbury, South Dakota, United States
Place of Burial: De Smet, Kingsbury County, SD, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Henry Newton Quiner and Charlotte Quiner / Holbrook
Wife of Charles Phillip Ingalls
Mother of Mary Amelia Ingalls; Laura Elizabeth Wilder; Caroline Celestia Swanzey; Charles Frederick Ingalls and Grace Pearl Dow
Sister of Martha Morse Quiner; Joseph Quiner; Henry Odin Quiner; Martha Jane Carpenter; Eliza Ann Ingalls and 4 others
Half sister of Charlotte "Lottie" Elizabeth Moore

Managed by: Karen Elizabeth Engstrom
Last Updated:

About Caroline Lake Ingalls,Caroline.html

Caroline Ingalls, born Caroline Lake Quiner (December 12, 1839 – April 20, 1924) was the mother of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House books. She was born in the town of Brookfield, Wisconsin, the fifth of seven children of Henry Quiner and Charlotte (Tucker) Quiner. Her brothers were Joseph, Henry, and Thomas, and her sisters were Martha Jane and Eliza (the Quiners' first child, Martha Morse Quiner, died in 1836).

When Caroline was five, her father died in an accident, reportedly on Lake Michigan near the Straits of Mackinac. In 1849, her mother married Frederick Holbrook, a farmer who lived nearby. They had one child together, Charlotte "Lottie" Holbrook. Caroline evidently loved and respected her stepfather, and would later honor his memory by naming her son after him.

At the age of sixteen and a half, Caroline started working as a teacher. On February 1, 1860 she married Charles Ingalls. They had five children: Mary, Laura, Caroline ("Carrie"), Charles Frederick ("Freddie"), and Grace.

Freddie died at the age of 9 months. He was born November 1, 1875 in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and died August 27, 1876 in South Troy, Minnesota, of undetermined causes. In her unpublished autobiography Pioneer Girl, Laura remembers that "Little Brother was not well" and that "one terrible day, he straightened out his little body and was dead". Wilder scholar William Anderson noted, "Nearly forty years after Freddie’s death, Ma mourned him, telling relatives how different everything would be 'if Freddie had lived'." Laura Ingalls Wilder never mentioned him in her books, but he appears in Old Town in the Green Groves, a Laura's Lost Years novel by Cynthia Rylant. The history of Freddie is also mentioned in The Lord Is My Shepherd, Part 1 episode of the Little House on the Prairie series. Certain circumstances and consequences of his death (appearing in the part 2 of the episode) were, however, fictionalized, including the fact that he died when he was only a few weeks old.

The Ingalls family lived in Wisconsin, Kansas, Iowa and Minnesota. In 1879 they settled near, then in 1888 moved into, the town of De Smet in Dakota Territory. Caroline died at the age of 84, and was buried at De Smet Cemetery.

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Caroline Lake Ingalls's Timeline

December 12, 1839
Brookfield, Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States
January 10, 1865
Pepin, Pepin County, Wisconsin, United States
February 7, 1867
Big Woods, Wisconsin, United States
August 3, 1870
Montgomery County, Kansas, United States
November 1, 1875
Walnut Grove, Redwood, Minnesota, United States
May 23, 1877
Burr Oak, Winneshiek, Iowa, United States
April 20, 1924
Age 84
De Smet, Kingsbury, South Dakota, United States
April 20, 1924
Age 84
De Smet Cemetery, De Smet, Kingsbury County, SD, United States