Cap Garland – Biography
Edward Garland, better known as Cap Garland to Laura and her friends, was famous among the people in De Smet for travelling twenty miles between severe blizzards in an attempt to buy seed wheat for the town to prevent them from starving to death. Acting only on a rumor, Cap and Almanzo Wilder made the trip successfully, risking their own lives for the residents of De Smet. Amazingly, Cap was only in his mid-teens when he made this trip.
Cap’s widowed mother, Margaret Garland ran a boarding house on the street behind Laura’s parent’s house. There were also two daughters in the family, Lovenia and Florence. Florence was Laura and Carrie’s schoolteacher in De Smet.
It is obvious that Cap made quite an impression on Laura. In fact, when Almanzo began courting Laura, she had hoped it would be Cap that noticed her instead. But when Cap did in fact ask Laura to go for a sleigh ride, she found she would rather go with Almanzo. Cap Garland was one of two people to have a chapter in the Little House books named after him (Nellie Oleson was the other.)
Tragically, Cap’s life ended short when he was killed in a threshing machine accident.