A Wilder in the West
This is a short biography of Eliza Jane Wilder, Laura Ingalls Wilder's sister-in-law. Together with the biographical information, the author also reprints EJ's own short autobiographical affidavit in which she details her triumphs and losses as a homesteader in the Dakota Territory. It makes for heartbreaking reading. Her health broke down many times, but she always preservered. Although she was not ultimately strong enough in health to keep her homestead claim, she was able to last the 5-year period necessary to acheive ownership of her property. Her life thereafter did not lose color or interest. She was a true pioneer in many areas: her choice of work, her lifestyle, her marriages, giving birth late in life. She lived to the age of 80 and her memory has been treasured by her grandchildren and extended family.