Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family came to De Smit, South Dakota on a government giveaway. The government gave homesteaders 160 acres in the Dakota Territory to stake a claim. All they had to do was have 10 acres planted. Then build a house and live on the farm for five years and the land was theirs. Pa Ingall built half a house the first year the second half of the house the second year and built a second room addition on the third year. He spent $16.00 in fees to register the land and it was his. I am not convinced that the Ingalls had it any worse than anyone else for that period, its just that Laura wrote a series of books about their family and living on the homestead. Now their homestead is now a tourist attraction. Fact the Burvee family was the first registered residents of Kingsbury County. And their shanty is 50 feet north of the dugout (Ingalls first living quarters).
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Lil and Henry Burvee.
The pictures below are of the one room in Ma's little house that had three beds, a cook stove, a dinning table, and a bathroom medicine cabinet. When the addition of the second room was built three years later it had a sewing machine and ironing board in it.
The pictures below are of the Eckmann/Richland School house from Cavour, SD The one room school house has pioneering and homesteading information, a pot belly stove and a covered wagon.