Rose Wilder Lane Biography

Rose Wilder Lane (December 5, 1886 – October 30, 1968) was an American journalist, travel writer, novelist, and political theorist. She is noted—with Ayn Rand and Isabel Paterson—as one of the founding mothers of the American libertarian movement.

Rose Wilder Lane was the first child of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Almanzo Wilder (and their only child to survive into adulthood). Lane's early years were difficult ones for her parents, the result of successive crop failures, illnesses and chronic economic hardships. During her childhood, Rose moved with her family several times, living with relatives in Minnesota and then Florida, briefly returning to De Smet, South Dakota, before the family finally settled in Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894, where her parents eventually established a dairy and fruit farm. Lane attended high schools in Mansfield and Crowley, Louisiana, (where her father's sister, Eliza Jane Wilder Thayer, had settled), graduating in 1904. Her intellect and ambition were demonstrated by her ability to compress three years of Latin into one, and by graduating at the top of her high school class in Crowley. Despite this academic success, her parents' financial situation placed college out of reach and her formal schooling was over.