Neta Seal

Neta Tripp Seal was the closest friend of Laura Ingalls Wilder. She and her husband Silas operated a service station during the 1920s and 30s, and Silas' service greatly impressed Almanzo. When Laura was asked to speak at a Book Fair in Detroit, Michigan, Almanzo asked Silas to do the driving. Neta was ill the day of the trip, and was unable to attend, but the following year, the Wilders again asked the younger couple to drive for them, this time on a 3 week trip to California and other parts of the country.

Neta and Laura
Neta and Laura
Neta and her husband Silas took several cross-country trips with Laura and Almanzo over the years, as the couples became very close. In the later years of Laura's life, Neta was an almost constant companion, as she spent many hours caring for her older friend.

In the years after Laura's death, Neta found that her friendship with the author resulted in many visitors seeking her out, wanting to know more about the woman who wrote the Little House books. She spent the last years of her life meeting and talking with people from all over the world about Laura, whom she always respectfully called "Mrs. Wilder". On December 12, 1996, Wilder fans lost their last personal link to Laura Ingalls Wilder when Neta Seal passed away. Below is her obituary from the Mansfield Mirror.

Neta V. Seal, daughter of George Washington and Laura Newton Tripp, was born December 29, 1904, in Wright County, Missouri. She departed this life Thursday, December 12, 1996, in St. John's Regional Health Center, in Springfield, Missouri, at the age of ninety-one years, eleven months, and thirteen days.

She was united in marriage to Silas Seal, who preceded her in death on October 21, 1960. She was also preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Claude Tripp; and three sisters, Eulalia Tarbutton, Lela Dennis, and Vivian Greer.

Neta is survived by a sister, Reba Brazeal, and her husband Ray, of Mansfield, Missouri; several nieces and nephews; a special friend, Esther Jones; as well as a host of other relatives and friends.

She lived most of her life in the Mansfield area, and for many years owned and operated a boarding house. Throughout the years, she was also a devoted homemaker to her husband. Neta had made her profession of faith in Christ and was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Mansfield.

She was the last living, personal friend of Laura Ingalls Wilder residing in the Mansfield area. In her spare time she enjoyed quilting and taking care of her home.

Neta will be fondly remembered as a loving sister and aunt, and as a caring neighbor and friend. She will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved her.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frontier Girl

Copyright © 1996 - 2008
Rebecca Brammer & Phil Greetham
Do not use without permission.