Today the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in De Smet posted an article about George Wilmarth, an early citizen and merchant of the town. He, his family, and his store are mentioned in the Little House books. I thought I’d share a few photos on the subject, as I’ve been corresponding with some of George’s descendents in research for Little Lodges, and they have been very helpful and generous in sharing information, documents, and photographs. Thanks to Peggy Ward and Donna Davidson.
Here’s George as a young man. He served in the Union Army in the Civil War, re-enlisting twice.
Here’s a photo of him some time later.
And here’s his family. This is his second wife Margaret and 9 of his children, taken after his death. One of his children, a son, died at the age of two. He also had another child with his first wife.
George joined the Masonic Lodge in De Smet, serving in several offices. He donated a sword to the Lodge, which is believed to be his Civil War sword. Notice his name engraved on the blade. The Lodge still has this sword.
George is buried in De Smet (in St. Thomas Aquinas, the Catholic cemetery adjacent to De Smet Cemetery). His headstone was provided by a veterans’ association.