Royal Wilder – Biography
Royal Wilder was the second child born to James and Angeline Day Wilder, near Malone, New York. Laura wrote the story of his childhood here in her second book, Farmer Boy, where Royal’s younger brother, Almanzo, was the lead character. His family later moved to Spring Valley, Minnesota
In 1879, Royal and his brother Almanzo, settled near De Smet. In The Long Winter, the two helped haul hay for De Smet residents to burn when the trains could not make it through with fuel for heat, when the trains did not come. Royal opened a store in De Smet, where Almanzo would occasionally work as a clerk. When Laura and Almanzo fell ill with diphtheria, it was Royal who helped nurse them back to health, while the Ingalls cared for Rose.
Royal left De Smet in 1890 and returned to Spring Valley, Minnesota and his family home. He opened up a Variety store on Broadway. It was there he met and married Electa Hutchinson, who already had four children. Royal and Electa had three children. One baby died at birth, and baby Susie died when she was only five months old. The third, Bernice Angeline, attended school in Spring Valley, married, and then moved away.
Royal died in 1925, and is buried in the Spring Valley cemetery.