Carrie Ingalls

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Not to be confused with her mother, Caroline Ingalls.

Carrie Ingalls Swanzey
CarrieIngalls 1.jpg
Born Caroline Celestia Ingalls
(1870-08-03)August 3, 1870
Montgomery County, Kansas, U.S.
Died June 2, 1946(1946-06-02) (aged 75)
Keystone, South Dakota
Resting place De Smet Cemetery
Spouse(s) David N. Swanzey
(1912–1938, his death)

Caroline "Carrie" Celestia Ingalls Swanzey (/ˈɪŋɡəlz ˈswɑːnzi/; August 3, 1870 – June 2, 1946) was the third child of Charles and Caroline Ingalls, and was born in Montgomery County, Kansas. She was a younger sister of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who is known for her Little House books.


As a child, Carrie Ingalls Swanzey (according to her sister Laura) had been small, thin and frail, and seemed to have suffered the most of all the Ingalls family members through the deprivations of the hard winter of 1880–81. Wilder remarks in a later book that Carrie "was not recovering from the hard winter as she should" (Little Town on the Prairie, chapter 12). Swanzey was not constantly ill, but she never enjoyed robust physical health during her life. She traveled to several places in her young adulthood seeking a more comfortable climate, but always returned to the harsh winter climate of South Dakota.

Surveyors' House, first home in Dakota Territory of the Charles Ingalls family
De Smet School, first school in De Smet and attended by Carrie Ingalls and her older sister, Laura

During her late-teen years Swanzey was a typesetter for the De Smet News and, subsequently, other newspapers throughout the state.[1] On August 1, 1912, at age 41, she married widower David N. Swanzey (1854–1938), who is best-remembered for his part in the naming of Mount Rushmore. She became mother to Swanzey's two children: Mary Swanzey (1904-1969, married Monroe Harris, 14 children) and Harold Swanzey (1908–1936). Harold was one of the workers who helped carve Mount Rushmore, and his name can be found on the granite walls below the monument. He was later killed in a car accident. David Swanzey died in Keystone, South Dakota on April 9, 1938.

With her sister Grace's help, Carrie took care of their blind sister Mary after their mother's death in 1924.

Carrie was enthusiastic about her sister's books and helped her by sharing her childhood memories. Like Grace and Laura, she suffered from diabetes, and died of complications from the disease in Keystone on June 2, 1946, at age 75. She was buried in the De Smet Cemetery. She outlived her youngest sibling, Grace, who also died of diabetes complications, by nearly five years.

In the media[edit]

Carrie was portrayed in the television adaptations of Little House on the Prairie by :


  1. ^ Benge, Janet and Geoff (2005). Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Storybook Life. YWAM Publishing. ISBN 1-932096-32-9.

External links[edit]