History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Receipts written and signed by Laura Ingalls Wilder for payments on the sale of the Wilders’ Rocky Ridge Farm

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder, 1867–1957.  Renowned American children’s author.  Partially printed Autograph Documents Signed, with rare forms of her signatures, Laura E. Wilder and L. E. Wilder, various dates 1949–1956.

These handwritten receipts evidence the neighbors’ monthly payments on the purchase of the Wilders’ farm and home outside of Mansfield, Missouri.  In three separate transactions in 1943 and 1948, Laura and Almanzo Wilder sold their Rocky Ridge Farm, where Laura wrote all of the Little House books, to their neighbors, H. L. and Gireda Shorter.  The Wilders reserved the right to live in the house on the property and use the outbuildings until their deaths.  They gave the Shorters these dime store receipts acknowledging their $50 payments on the purchase contracts.  Almanzo wrote and signed the receipts until a few months before he died, when Laura began writing and signing them. 

It was in the Rock House on the property, a new home that the Wilders’ daughter Rose built for them in 1928, that Laura wrote the first four of the Little House books:  Little House in the Big Woods (1932); Farmer Boy (1933); Little House on the Prairie (1935); and On the Banks of Plum Creek (1937).  After Rose moved away from Mansfield for good in 1935, the Wilders moved back into their beloved old farmhouse.  Laura wrote the rest of the Little House books there:  By the Shores of Silver Lake (1939); The Long Winter (1940); Little Town on the Prairie (1941); These Happy Golden Years (1943); and, published posthumously, The First Four Years (1971).

These receipts span the period from March 8, 1949, to May 1, 1956.  Laura has datelined most of them at “Mansfield, Mo.”  All are for $50, and she has noted “Payment on Contract” on each.

These receipts are in fine to very fine condition.  Laura has written and signed them in either pencil or ink.  Of those written in ink, one is in blue ballpoint pen, and the others are in black fountain pen.  The receipts written in pencil, which have an image of a sailing ship at left, are approximately 2⅜” x 6”.  Those written in ink, which have an image of as vintage passenger train at the upper left, are approximately 2⅜” x 4”.  The conditions vary somewhat, with flattened creases, handling marks, and some imperfections in the printing (on some, the printing is not centered on the piece and the paper is not exactly square).  One, the receipt dated May 1, 1956, has light pencil notes in another hand on the back.  Each piece has perforations at the left edge from where it was removed from the receipt book.  The scans below accurately illustrate the conditions of the pieces except that the perforations do not show in all of the scans.

We will sell these receipts either individually or as a set, as noted.  There is a price break for the entire set.  It would be most efficient to call us to purchase one or more of these.  To use the red link below to order online, please specify which of the pieces you want.  While we make every effort to keep our website current, the particular receipts are, naturally, subject to prior sale.


Click here to see more items from American History.

Items 1328010–1328017 – $600.00 each

Items 1328018–1328022 – $650.00 each


$6,500.00 for the archive of 11



1328010 – March 8, 1949


1328011 – June 4, 1949


1328013 – February 7, 1950


1328014 – March 9, 1950


1328016 – July 1, 1953


1328017 – August 1, 1953




1328018 – January 12, 1955


1328019 – February 9, 1955


1328020 – October 6, 1955


1328021 – December 1, 1955


1328022 – May 1, 1956





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