Monday, May 2, 2011

My Revue on Rose Wilder Lane!

Rose Wilder Lane was born on December 5th, 1886 in De Smet, Dakota Territory. She Passed Away on October 30th, 1968 in Danbury Conneticut at the age of 81. She  was an American Journalist, Travel Writer, Novelist and Political Theorist. She was noted as one of the founding mothers of the American Libertarian Movement.

Rose was the first child to Laura and Almanzo Wilder. She is also the only Grandchild to Charles and Caroline Ingalls. The family had their fair share of hardship with crops failure, illnesses and chronic economic hardships. Her family moved a lot while she was younger to Minnesota, Florida, De Smet South Dakota and to Mansfield Missouri. When they got to Mansfield Missouri this was the last time they had moved and this was home since 1894. Rose went to high school in Mansfield and in Crowley Louisiana. In Crowley her Aunt Eliza Jane was a teacher there. So Rose lived with Eliza Jane's family. Rose graduated in Crowley in 1904 and she graduated at the top of her class. Rose took three years of Latin in one school year. Rose was never able to go to college after high school because her parents just didn't have the money for her at the time.

So after high school  Rose went back home to the farm. For the next five years after high school Rose worked as a Telegraph Operator at the Railroad Station. Then before she was 18 years old she moved to Kansas City being a Telegraph Operator there.

In 1909 Rose married Clare Gillette Lane. He was a salesman and occasional newspaperman. Around 1910 Rose had a son he was either still born or died shortly after birth. Rose had complications with her surgery and she was never able to have anymore children. The next few years Rose and Clare travel for various marketing and promotional schemes around the US. She would write to her Ma and Pa telling them that she was really happy. But the truth was she was really depressed and she even tried to commit suicide by drugging herself with chloroform. But luckily that didn't work she just woke up with a really bad headache.

1912-1914 Rose was one of the earliest female Real Estate Agents in California. Rose and Clare sold property separately for more of the commissions. Rose sold more than her husband did. The job cause a lot of separation for them. This cause a lot of trouble for there marriage and they ended up getting a divorce. After the divorce Rose did see other men but she never married again.

In 1915 Rose had not sold any property because of the World War happening. One of her friends had gotten her a journalist job with the San Fransisco Bulletin. The job she was doing was called the stopgap job. But then the editors seen her work and then all of a sudden Rose's photo's and bylines were running in the  Bulletin. She wrote about the lives of Henry Ford, Charlie Chan, Jack London and Herbert Hoover. During this year her Ma came for a visit to see her. At this time Rose and Clare were either separated or divorced and Clare was just living there for the time. But Rose never had the heart at the time to tell her Ma that she was getting a divorce.

In 1918 Rose quit her job at the paper and her divorce was finalized. Rose became a free-lance writer from 1918-1940. Rose's work would show  up in Harper's, Saturday Evening Post, Sunset, Good House Keeping and Ladies Home Journal. Several of her short stories were nominated for the O Henry Prizes and a few novels became top sellers. In 1920 Rose became one of the highest paid female writers in America. She also had Bipolar Disorder. She had real bad depression in her mid life. She could not finish any of her own writing. So she would do ghostwriting for the other writers to edit there work.

In 1930 Rose went home for a visit to Ma and Pa's. Rose read a rough draft of Laura's about the hard childhood in the pioneer land. Rose then realized that her mom could write like her. It is a shame Laura didn't write sooner. Rose helped her Ma get her manuscripts published. No one knows if Rose had part in editing any of the chapters for Laura or not. Rose was at the house and a cousin of her Ma and her's came for a visit. But her Ma was busy writing her second book. The whole family was really proud of Laura for writing these books. They never thought she would become this famous for writing the books.

In 1940 Rose lived in Danbury Connecticut. She bought land a few mile away from Danbury. It was a rural area. Rose had to cut her expenses to the bare minimum to live a modern-day life like her ancestors lived. She did not believe in paying income taxes. A friend of Rose's Isabel Peterson talked Rose to moving to Danbury.

In 1957 Laura had passed away. The town people put together a non-profit corporation to buy the house and the farm for a museum. The money the town was going to pay Rose for the house she had the town keep it for the up keep of the house and the farm. Rose also donated many of the families belongings to the museum.

Rose had become an adoptive grandmother to Roger MacBride. Roger is best know as the Libertarian Party's 1976 Candidate for President. Roger was the son of one of Rose's editors. Rose and Roger became close friends when Roger was little. In edition to being close friends he was her Attorney and Business Manager. He also became the heir of the Little House Series when Rose passed away. After inheriting the rights to the work of Laura and Rose  Roger agreed to the commercialization of the Little house t.v. series. Roger also was the author of "The Rose Years" the Little House series. This was about Rose growing up from age seven to nineteen.

Rose did pass away in her home in her sleep on October 30th 1968. She was 81 years old.

I thought I would end this with a list of Rose Wilder Lane's books that she wrote:
The Story of Art Smith 1915
Henry Fords Own Story 1917
Diverging Roads 1919
White Shadows on the South Seas 1919
The Making of Herbert Hoover 1920
The Peaks of Shala 1923
He Was A Man 1925
Hillbilly 1925
Cindy 1928
Let The Hurrican Roar 1932 (Better known as Young Pioneers)
Old Home Town 1935
Give Me Liberty 1936
Freeland 1938
The Discovery of Freedom 1943
On My Way Home 1962
The Woman's Day Book of Needlework 1963
The rediscovered writings of Rose Wilder Land, Literary Journalist 2007 ( Edited by Amy Mattson Lauters)

1 comment:

  1. While the photo of the young girl at top is Rose, the photo later in the article is of her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder.