Mary Ingalls became ill in 1879 and began losing her eyesight. The local newspaper where her family lived at the time, The Redwood Gazette, published four accounts about Mary’s illness and subsequent blindness.
Miss Mary Ingalls has been confined to her bed about ten days with severe head ache. It was feared that hemorrhage of the brain had set in in one side of her face became partially paralyzed. She is now slowly convalescing.
[The Redwood Gazette April 10, 1879]
There was a second notice appeared the following month about her recovery.
Miss Mary Ingalls is still confined to her bed, and at times her sufferings are great.
[The Redwood Gazette May 15, 1879]
A month later, another update, where it seemed optimistically that Mary’s sight was actually improving.
Mrs. William Fields is recovering from a severe illness, and Miss. Mary Ingalls is recovering, but very slowly. Her eyesight which she had almost lost is improving as she gains strength.
[The Redwood Gazette June 12, 1879]
The following month, the newspaper revealed Mary was going blind.
Miss Mary Ingalls health improves, but her sight is so much impaired that she cannot distinguish one object from another. She can discern day from night but even this slight vision is also failing.
[The Redwood Gazette June 26, 1879]
Then a notice appeared revealing the plans of Charles and Caroline to take their daughter to St. Paul, Minnesota for a doctor’s appointment for her blindness.
Mr. and Mrs. C. P. Ingalls are expected to take their daughter Mary to St. Paul in a short time, in hopes that they can have something done for her eyesight. Although entirely blind she is very patient and submissive.
[The Redwood Gazette July 31, 1879]