|Name:||Rose Wilder Lane|
|Birth Day:||December 5, 1886|
|Death Date:||Oct 30, 1968 (age 81)|
|Birth Place:||De Smet, United States|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
Most famous as the first and only surviving child of Little House on the Prairie writer Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lane became an author in her own right, penning novels, travelogues, and works of political journalism.
As per our current Database, Rose Wilder Lane died on Oct 30, 1968 (age 81).
After working for several years as a Western Union telegrapher, she began a career as a freelance writer. By the end of the 1920s, she was one of the best paid female journalists in the country.
Lane was the first child of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Almanzo Wilder and the only child of her parents to survive into adulthood. Her early years were a difficult time for her parents because of successive crop failures, illnesses and chronic economic hardships. During her childhood, the family moved several times, living with relatives in Minnesota and then Florida and briefly returning to De Smet, South Dakota before settling in Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894. There, her parents would eventually establish a dairy farm and fruit orchards. She attended secondary school in Mansfield and Crowley, Louisiana while living with her aunt Eliza Jane Wilder, graduating in 1904 in a class of seven. Her intellect and ambition were demonstrated by her ability to compress three years of Latin into one and by graduating at the top of her high school class in Crowley. Despite her academic success, she was unable to attend college as a result of her parents' financial situation.
In 1908, Lane moved to San Francisco, California, where she worked as a telegrapher at the Fairmont Hotel. In March 1909, Lane married salesman, promoter and occasional newspaperman Claire Gillette Lane. Evidence exists that suggests the Lanes had met back in Kansas City and Lane's diary hints that she moved to San Francisco to join her future husband. Shortly after they wed, Lane quit her job with Western Union and the couple embarked on travels across the United States to promote various schemes. Lane soon became pregnant and while staying in Salt Lake City the following November public records indicate Lane gave birth to a premature, stillborn son. Subsequent surgery in Kansas City likely left her unable to bear children. The topic is mentioned only briefly in a handful of existing letters written by Lane years after the infant's death in order to express sympathy and understanding to close friends who were also dealing with the loss of a child.
During these years, Lane, keenly aware of her lack of a formal education, read voraciously and taught herself several languages. Her writing career began around 1908, with occasional freelance newspaper jobs that earned much-needed extra cash. In 1913 and 1914, the Lanes sold farm land in what is now the San Jose/Silicon Valley area of Northern California. Conditions often required them to work separately to earn greater commissions and of the two Lane turned out to be the better salesperson. The marriage foundered as there were several periods of separation and eventually an amicable divorce. Lane's diaries reveal subsequent romantic involvements with several men in the years following her divorce, but she never remarried and eventually chose to remain single and free of romantic attachments.
The threat of America's entry into World War I had seriously weakened the real estate market, so in early 1915 Lane accepted a friend's offer of a stopgap job as an editorial assistant on the staff of the San Francisco Bulletin. The stopgap turned into a watershed. She immediately caught the attention of her editors not only through her talents as a writer in her own right, but also as a highly skilled editor for other writers. Before long, her photo and byline were running in the Bulletin daily, churning out formulaic romantic fiction serials that would run for weeks at a time. Lane's first-hand accounts of the lives of Henry Ford, Charlie Chaplin, Jack London and Herbert Hoover were published in book form.
Later in 1915, Lane's mother visited San Francisco for several months. Together they attended the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Details of this visit and Wilder's daily life in 1915 are preserved in Wilder's letters to her husband in West from Home, published in 1974. Although Lane's diaries indicate she was separated from her husband in 1915, her mother's letters do not indicate this. Lane and her husband are recorded as living together with him unemployed and looking for work during her mother's two-month visit. It seems the separation was either covered up, or had not yet involved separate households.
By 1918, Lane's marriage officially ended and she had quit her job with the San Francisco Bulletin following the resignation of managing editor, Fremont Older. It was at this point that Lane launched her career as a freelance writer. From this period through the early 1940s, her work regularly appeared in leading publications such as Harper's, Saturday Evening Post, Sunset, Good Housekeeping and Ladies' Home Journal. Several of her short stories were nominated for O. Henry Prizes and a few novels became top sellers.
Lane became the first biographer of Herbert Hoover, writing The Making of Herbert Hoover in 1920 in collaboration with Charles K. Field, editor of Sunset magazine. The book was published well before Hoover became president in 1929. A friend and defender of Hoover's for the remainder of her life, many of her personal papers would later be included in the Rose Wilder-Lane Collection at the Herbert Hoover Library in West Branch, Iowa. While Lane's papers contain little actual correspondence between them, the Hoover Post-Presidential Individual series contains a file of Rose's correspondence that spans from 1936–1963.
Lane's occasional work as a traveling war correspondent began with a stint with the American Red Cross Publicity Bureau in post-World War I Europe. She would continue with the Red Cross through 1965, reporting from Vietnam at the age of 78 for Woman's Day magazine to provide "a woman's point of view". She traveled extensively in Europe and Asia as part of the Red Cross. In 1926, Lane, Helen Dore Boylston and their French maid traveled from France to Albania in a car they had named Zenobia. An account of the journey called Travels With Zenobia: Paris to Albania by Model T Ford was published in 1983. Lane became enamored with Albania and lived there for several long periods during the 1920s, spaced between sojourns to Paris and her parents' Rocky Ridge Farm in Missouri. She informally adopted a young Albanian boy named Rexh Meta (pronounced [rɛd͡ʒ mɛta]), who she claimed saved her life on a dangerous mountain trek. She later sponsored his education at Oxford University. He served in the Albanian government and was imprisoned for over thirty years by both the Italian fascists and the Albanian communists, dying in Tirana in 1985.
In the late 1920s, Lane was reputed to be one of the highest-paid female writers in America and along with Hoover counted among her friends well known figures such as Sinclair Lewis, Isabel Paterson, Dorothy Thompson, John Patric and Lowell Thomas. Despite this success, her compulsive generosity with her family and friends often found her strapped for cash and forced to work on material that paid well, but thus did not engage her growing interests in political theory and world history. She suffered from periodic bouts of self-doubt and depression in mid-life, diagnosing herself as having bipolar disorder. During these times of depression, Lane was unable to move ahead with her own writing, but she would easily find work as a ghostwriter or silent editor for other well-known writers. In 1928, Lane returned to the United States to live on her parents' farm. Confident in her sales of her books and short stories as well as her growing stock market investments, she spent freely, building a new home for her parents on the property and modernizing the farmhouse for herself and a steady stream of visiting literary friends.
In late 1930, Lane's mother approached her with a rough, first-person narrative manuscript outlining her hardscrabble pioneer childhood, Pioneer Girl. Lane took notice and started using her connections in the publishing world. Despite Lane's efforts to market Pioneer Girl through her publishing connections, the manuscript was rejected time and again. One editor recommended crafting a novel for children out of the beginning. Wilder and Lane worked on the idea and the result was Little House in the Big Woods. Accepted for publishing by Harper and Brothers in late 1931, then hitting the shelves in 1932, the book's success resulted in the decision to continue the series, following young Laura into young adulthood. The First Four Years was discovered as a manuscript after Lane's death in 1968. Wilder had written the manuscript about the first four years of her marriage and the struggles of the frontier, but she never had intended for it to be published. However, it was in 1971 and became the ninth volume in the Little House series.
The collaboration between the two is believed by literary historians to have benefited Lane's career as much as her mother's. Lane's most popular short stories and her two most commercially successful novels were written at this time and were fueled by material which was taken directly from Wilder's recollections of Ingalls-Wilder family folklore. Let the Hurricane Roar (later titled Young Pioneers) and Free Land both addressed the difficulties of homesteading in the Dakotas in the late 19th century and how the so-called "free land" in fact cost homesteaders their life savings. The Saturday Evening Post paid Lane top fees to serialize both novels, which were later adapted for popular radio performances. Both books represented Lane's creative and literary peak. The Saturday Evening Post paid her $30,000 in 1938 to serialize her best-selling novel Free Land ($544,894 by today's standards). Let the Hurricane Roar saw an increasing and steady sale, augmented by its adaptation into popular radio dramatization that starred Helen Hayes.
In 1938, with the proceeds of Free Land in hand, Lane was able to pay all of her accumulated debts. She relocated to Danbury, Connecticut and purchased a rural home there with three wooded acres, on which she lived for the rest of her life. At this same time, the growing royalties from the Little House books were providing Lane's parents with an assured and sufficient income, relieving her need to be the family's sole source of support. Lane bought her parents an automobile and financed construction of the Rock House near the Wilder homestead. Her parents resided in the Rock House during much of the 1930s.
For a few months in 1940, Lane's growing zeal for libertarianism united her with the well-known vagabond free-lance writer John Patric, a like-minded political thinker whose advocacy of libertarian themes culminated in his 1943 work Yankee Hobo in the Orient. They spent several months traveling across the country in Patric's automobile to observe the effects of the Great Depression on the nation and to exchange ideas. The trip culminated in a two-month stay in Bellingham, Washington.
In 1943, Lane came into the national spotlight through her response to a radio poll on Social Security. She mailed in a post-card with a response likening the Social Security system to a Ponzi scheme that would, she felt, ultimately destroy the United States. Wartime monitoring of mail eventually resulted in a Connecticut State Trooper being dispatched to her home to question her motives. Her strong response to this infringement on her right of free speech resulted in a flurry of newspaper articles and the publishing of a pamphlet, "What is this, the Gestapo?", that was meant to remind Americans to be watchful of their rights despite the wartime exigencies. During this time period, an FBI file was compiled on Lane.
As Lane aged, her political opinions solidified as a stalwart libertarian. Her defense of what she considered to be basic American principles of liberty and freedom were seen by some as harsh and abrasive in the face of disagreement. It is documented that during this time period that she broke with her old friend and political ally Isabel Paterson in 1946. During this time period and into the 1950s, Lane also had an acrimonious correspondence with socialist writer Max Eastman.
With her mother's death in 1957, ownership of the Rocky Ridge Farm house reverted to the farmer who had earlier bought the property on a life lease, allowing her to remain in residence. The local population put together a non-profit corporation to purchase the house and its grounds for use as a museum. After some wariness at the notion of seeing the house rather than the books themselves be a shrine to Lane's mother, she came to believe that making it into a museum would draw long-lasting attention to the books and sustain the theme of individualism she and her mother wove into the series. She donated the money needed to purchase the house and make it a museum, agreed to make significant contributions each year for its upkeep and also gave many of the family's belongings to the group. Lane's lifetime inheritance of Wilder's growing Little House royalties put an end to her self-enforced modest lifestyle. As a result, she began to again travel extensively and thoroughly renovated and remodeled her Connecticut home. Also during the 1960s, she revived her own commercial writing career by publishing several popular magazine series, including one about her tour of the Vietnam War zone in late 1965.
In the novel Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen, a young Vietnamese-American Lee Lien researches Lane's life based on an old family story. Lee's grandfather claims that Lane became friendly with the family while visiting Vietnam in 1965 and gifted them with a gold brooch, suspected to be the one Almanzo gave to Lane's mother as described in These Happy Golden Years.
Lane died in her sleep at age 81 on October 30, 1968 just as she was about to depart on a three-year world tour. She was buried next to her parents at Mansfield Cemetery in Mansfield, Missouri.
Rose was born in De Smet, Dakota Territory to Laura Ingalls Wilder and Almanzo Wilder, and she spent her childhood years in South Dakota, Minnesota, Florida, Missouri, and Louisiana. Rose's marriage to salesman Clare Gillette Lane lasted from 1909 until 1918.
|#1||Eliza Jane Wilder||Aunt||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#2||Grace Ingalls||Aunt||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||64||Celebrity Family Member|
|#3||Carrie Ingalls||Aunt||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||75||Celebrity Family Member|
|#4||Mary Ingalls||Aunt||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||63||Celebrity Family Member|
|#5||Almanzo Wilder||Father||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||162||Celebrity Family Member|
|#6||Gillette Lane||Former spouse||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#7||Charles Ingalls||Grandfather||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||66||Celebrity Family Member|
|#8||Caroline Ingalls||Grandmother||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||84||Celebrity Family Member|
|#10||Laura Ingalls Wilder||Mother||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||90||Autobiographer|
|#11||Charles Frederick Ingalls||Uncle||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#12||Royal Gould Wilder||Uncle||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#13||Perley Day Wilder||Uncle||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Currently, Rose Wilder Lane is 135 years, 9 months and 27 days old. Rose Wilder Lane will celebrate 136th birthday on a Monday 5th of December 2022. Below we countdown to Rose Wilder Lane upcoming birthday.
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Famous Daughter, Rose Wilder Lane
Throughout the 1920s, Rose was one of the best-known and highest-paid female writers in the United States. Her work regularly ran in the country’s top magazines, including Saturday Evening Post, Ladies’ Home Journal Good Housekeeping, and Harper’s.
Happy birthday, Rose!
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