Who Inherited the Laura Ingalls Wilder Estate?

Who inherited Laura Ingalls Wilder’s estate? That’s a question that’s weighing on the minds of many fans of the novel. Wilder’s will was simple – direct the royalties to the library. The daughter of the author, however, went against her mother’s wishes. The result is that Wilder’s books are in dispute. The question is, who will inherit her estate?

Rose Ingalls Wilder, Laura’s daughter, died without children. She died at age 61, having left money to her sister Rose and the museum. Her mother had already funded the purchase of the family farm in Missouri. The will also outlined that she would leave the proceeds to her sister Rose Ingalls-Wilder, who was not a child. Rose had been a published author of celebrity biographies and had no children.

Wilder’s family heritage stretches back to Colonial New England. Her great-grandmother Margaret Delano Ingalls came to America on the Mayflower. Although Wilder was a Democrat, she was a Democrat, and despised Roosevelt’s New Deal. Hence, the estate didn’t remain in her family for very long. The descendants of Laura Ingalls Wilder have a very interesting history.

While she wasn’t wealthy, her income was steady. During the Great Depression, Wilder began writing the autobiographical memoir, Pioneer Girl, and hoped her writing would earn her additional income. The book’s success helped her to make a decent living. After all, her daughter rose to fame and fortune, and her daughter Rose became a famous biweekly columnist. If Laura Ingalls Wilder had been a Democrat, her legacy will be just as conservative.

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