Laura taught her first term of school at a very young age. The Brewster school was located twelve miles southwest of De Smet and proved to be a trying experience for Laura. She lived with the Brewster family and one night awoke to find Mrs. Brewster threatening her husband with a knife.
Some of her students were older and taller than she was, and she had to sleep away from home for the first time. Laura was miserable, but every Friday, no matter what the weather, Almanzo Wilder arrived to take Laura home to her family for the weekend.
Laura was determined to finish the term of teaching as the money she earned would help send Mary to the college for the blind in Iowa.
Excerpt from The Long Winter
“The first time Laura saw the schoolhouse with her sister, Carrie, was on their way to school. She described it as a building standing all by itself. It had windows on each side, a stovepipe that wasn’t being used at the time and a boarded-in entry. All the desks were patent desks, made of wood varnished as smooth as glass and had black iron feet. A large heating stove stood in the middle of the room.”