Friday, January 24, 2014

James Wilder, Lure

This post is for my Laura Ingalls Wilder friends. 

You know how back in the day, speculators would entice people in with glowing reports of how wonderful the new place was, and all their troubles would disappear if only came to this place (whatever place they happened to be promoting)? 
I never knew that James Wilder was used in one of these lures!
I found this clipping while researching some other information for Little Lodges
It’s not something I’ll use, but thought there might be some of you that hadn’t seen it. 

From The Malone Palladium, TH, Nov 30 1871 
La Crosse, Wis, Nov. 22, 1871. 
Messrs. Seaver:-- 
We are just preparing lists and new deeds to the company of 61,000 acres of land in the extreme western part of the State, directly west of La Crosse. One from the Eastern States, who has never seen any of the western prairies, can have no idea of the beauty of the lands in south-western Minnesota. Let me refer you to Mr. James Wilder, a well-known, industrious, thrifty and intelligent farmer, lately from Franklin county, some six miles east of Malone. Business last year called him to Spring Valley, a growing town on the line of the Southern Minnesota Railroad, and some seventy-five miles from here. He returned to Burke, brought his family to La Crosse, and is expecting to locate on our lands in the spring. He is examining my land plats also with a view of selecting a location for others of his family and neighbors. Such things tell, and farmers know it. I have had many a pleasant call, too, from young men of good old Malone, who have by my request gone over our Railroad, and they can, if it be very necessary, all endorse the good things James Wilder will say of the country and the prospect for farmers who will go in now and possess the land. But now is the time. In a very few years the land we are now selling at $8 and $10 will be worth $50 to $75 per acre. This is not a wild nor unreasonable prophesying."

It goes on to tell how they are planning the towns along the rail line and how good the land is, the wonderful churches that are bringing civilization, and so on. It goes so far as to say they have “no north-east storms…and changes from cold to rain and sleet are all but unknown…The seasons come and go as if by the magician’s wand, and slush and mud, snow-drifts and hubs, disappear before you have had time to appreciate them.” HA!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Working Title: Little Lodges: Freemasonry in the Ingalls Family

Someone asked me what I’ve been up to, since she hadn’t seen any blog posts in a while. It prompted me to answer the question here.

I have been documenting the Ingalls family’s connections to Freemasonry. 

It’s been a fun journey of discovery, but has taken more time than I originally planned. (Don’t they all?)

I’m nearing completion, and I’m actually taking off this weekend to go have a visit with the girls.

Watch for the release this summer.