Literary Figure. Born the eldest child of Charles and Caroline Ingalls in Pepin County, Wisconsin on her father's birthday. At the age of 14 she fell ill with what was then described as brain fever. Although she recovered, the illness robbed her of her sight. In 1881, Mary enrolled in the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton, Iowa. Mary's academic achievements were considered exceptionally high, in addition to academic subjects she excelled in music, sewing, beadwork, knitting, hammock and fly net tying. Mary graduated in June 1889, one of eight in her graduating class. After graduation she returned to De Smet where she lived with her parents. After her father's death, she made fly nets in order to supplement the family income. She was active in the church, and taught Sunday school classes. With the death of her mother in 1924, Mary moved in with her sister, Grace, before settling in with her sister Carrie, at Keystone, South Dakota. She never married. At the age of 63, she succumbed to pneumonia, and was interred in the family plot at De Smet. Her sister, Laura, would later immortalize the family in the popular ‘Little House' series of books.
Bio by: Iola