Author of the "Little House" Series of Books
— Westville, Holmes County, Florida (Poplar Head Community) —
On October 1, 1890, three of Laura Ingalls Wilder's relatives, Peter Franklin (L.) Ingalls (cousin), Joseph Quiner Carpenter (cousin), and Perley Day Wilder (brother-In-law) began a trip from Stockholm, Wisconsin down the Mississippi River, on a sail boat, named "Edith". This journey was taken in high hopes of finding new places to settle. They recorded this trip in a daily diary, The Log book of the Sailing Craft "Edith". They came to their stopping point, which was here, known then, as Webb Mill.
This was where Almanzo James & Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder and their daughter, Rose Wilder lived from October 1891 - August 1892, for little less than a full year. They lived here with Peter Franklin (L.) Ingalls and his wife, Mary (Molly) Edith (V.) McGowan Ingalls. Eventually, they had 6 children, Edith Elsie, Alexander (Alex), Florence E., Perlie Belle, Freddie Franklin, and Mary Emily (Miss Emma).
Continued on other side
Continued from other side
Peter Franklin Ingalls and his family had encouraged her and her family to move here. In October 1891, Almanzo, Laura, & Rose left Almanzo's parents' home in Spring Valley, Minnesota, traveling here by train. There were high hopes that the Florida weather would help Almanzo's health. While living here, they attended the Mount Ida Congregational Methodist Church. which still stands nearby, in New Hope Community. Laura was unable to tolerate the humid environment of the Florida weather, so they decided to move back to De Smet, South Dakota, in August 1892. Later, in July 1894, Almanzo, Laura, & Rose moved to Mansfield, Missouri.
Laura's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, later wrote a short fictionalized story about the time the family spent here in Florida, entitled "Innocence". It was originally published in the April 1922 issue of Harper's Monthly Magazine. In 1922, this story won the second O. Henry Prize for that year. Since, it has also been reprinted in several other publications.