Unfortunately, the resource reviewed here has been taken offline, along with the rest of Nancy (Nansie) Cleaveland’s Laura Ingalls Wilder resources at pioneergirl.com. She says she had to take down the site due to plagiarism issues with her primary research, but that she may consider returning the Ruralist articles in the future.–D
Laura Ingalls Wilder researcher Nancy Cleaveland (pioneergirl.com) has compiled Mrs. Wilder’s Missouri Ruralist articles (1911-1931), all of which are in the public domain and archived free at her website, in both article image and text transcription formats.
Typically written for an audience of her farmwomen contemporaries, the article titles suggest a wealth of commentary reflecting the theme that I love most about Mrs. Wilder’s famous Little House books: a steadfast attitude of optimism and appreciation wherever one finds oneself–a can-do determination to make the best of things.
Some articles are more practical in intent, such as “Economy in Egg Production, or “So We Moved the Spring: How Running Water Was Provided in the Rocky Ridge Farm Home.” In “Shorter Hours for Women,” (a front-page article, which also names Mrs. Wilder as the editor of the homemaker’s section) she discusses how some modern conveniences and other arrangements can make it easier for farm women to accomplish their many tasks. However, the majority of her titles seem to clearly promote an optimistic attitude in one’s rural days and work:
- “Good Times on the Farm: It’s Easy To Have Fun If You Plan For It”
- “Making the Best of Things“
- “An Autumn Day“
- “Life is an Adventure: Voyages of Discovery Can be Made in Your Rocking Chair
- “Learning to Work Together“
- “Everyone Can Do Something“
- “Overcoming Our Difficulties“
- “A Few Minutes with a Poet“
- “Let’s Revive the Old Amusements“
- “Work Makes Life Interesting“
- “Friendship Must be Wooed“
Thanks to these text transcriptions and the magic of text-to-speech technology, I’m looking forward to listening to Mrs. Wilder’s articles–and encouragement–as I do my kitchen work. It’s one of my own methods of keeping up work in good spirits. I think Mrs. Wilder would approve.
Also of interest on another page, Ms. Cleaveland has provided a copy of an earlier, 15 Sept 1910 article in the American Food Journal, which incorporates Mrs. Wilder’s assessment of “Poultry Raising as an Occupation for Women.”
–Contributed by D.