Peter and Eliza Ingalls

Peter Riley Ingalls, the older brother of Charles Ingalls, was born to Landsford and Laura Ingalls in 1833 in Cuba, New York.

Eliza Ann Quiner, the younger sister of Caroline Quiner Ingalls, was born to Henry and Charlotte Quiner on April 21, 1842, in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

The Ingalls and Quiner families moved several times over the next few years, and eventually both ended up in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. Peter and Eliza were married in Concord, Wisconsin, on June 5, 1861. They had six children, who were Laura's double cousins: Alice (1862), Ella (1865), Peter (1866), Lansford (1870), Edith (1872), and Edmond Llewellyn (1880).

Uncle Peter and Aunt Eliza came to the Ingalls cabin for Christmas in Little House in the Big Woods. Laura wrote of playing with Alice, Ella, and Peter, and also mentioned the baby, Dolly Varden. Dolly Varden was the family's nickname for Edith because she had a dress made of a material by this name.

Cousin Peter Franklin Ingalls.
Courtesy of Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.
Used with permission.
Uncle Peter and his family left Pepin with Laura's family in 1874. The two families traveled together until reaching Zumbro Falls, Minnesota, where Peter's family settled. Laura's family continued on to Walnut Grove, Minnesota.

Laura never wrote of seeing Uncle Peter and Aunt Eliza again, but Cousin Alice and her husband came for a visit in These Happy Golden Years and Cousin Peter lived in De Smet, South Dakota with Laura and Almanzo during The First Four Years.

Laura did not record this in her books, but her family spent the summer of 1876 at Uncle Peter's farm in eastern Minnesota, before traveling on to Burr Oak, Iowa. Baby Freddy died here, and is likely buried on Uncle Peter's farm or in a nearby cemetery. Also not mentioned in the books, Ella and her husband and baby Earl also visited De Smet briefly, as recorded in the diary of Laura's sister Grace.

Peter died in Mille Lacs, Minnesota, in 1900; Eliza died in 1931.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frontier Girl

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Rebecca Brammer & Phil Greetham
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