Caroline Quiner Ingalls

Caroline Lake Quiner was born on December 12, 1839, to Henry and Charlotte Quiner, in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Her father died when she was five years old, and her mother married Frederick Holbrook five years later. At the age of 16, Ma began teaching school. On February 1, 1860, she married Charles Ingalls; they had five children.

Laura's "Ma" was a gentle but hard-working woman who struggled to raise her four daughters as ladies in the wild west. Her many skills included hat-making, gardening, cooking, sewing, and being able to make do with what she had.

Ma died in De Smet, South Dakota, on April 20, 1924. Today, some of Ma's belongings mentioned in Laura's books, such as her strawberry pin and sewing machine, are on display at Mansfield, Missouri. A marker has been erected at Ma's birthplace in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

HarperCollins Publishers has released a spinoff series "based on" Ma's childhood. Although children may enjoy reading these books, they should be made aware that unlike the original "Little House" series, which are fictionalized autobiography, the Little House in Brookfield series is almost completely fictional.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frontier Girl

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Rebecca Brammer & Phil Greetham
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