Building a little house on the prairie


This 1884 document records the sworn statements of Almanzo Wilder that he had built a “12 ft. square frame” house in the Dakota Territory and was cultivating the land. Wilder had established the 160-acre homestead five years earlier, through the Homestead Act. It was his first home with his wife, Laura Ingalls Wilder—author of Little House on the Prairie. Text adapted from “Evaluating Perspectives on Westward Expansion: Weighing the Evidence” in the special "Teaching Difficult Topics with Primary Sources" November/December 2011 issue of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) publication Social Education.

National Archives, Records of the Bureau of Land Management


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