A census of 1880 does not mention Mr. Clancy. It shows a Mr. Clayson and his occupation was a storekeeper. Listed below on the census was his wife, children and mother-in-law, Mrs. White! Laura must have changed his name for the books.
Laura wrote about “Clancy’s Store” in Little Town on the Prairie:
Laura’s first job in town was as a seamstress in Mr. Clancy’s store. Mr. Clancy was one of the new merchants in town and to help him with the store, he had brought his mother-in-law, Mrs. White, along. They hired Laura to do the hand-sewing that a machine couldn’t do, such as button holes. Laura worked for twenty-five cents a day, six days a week, all summer long.
As Laura sat sewing, she looked out across Main Street at the Mead Hotel, Wilder Feed Store and Harthorn’s Grocery. Clancy’s store was across the street in the middle of the northeast side of Main Street.
Today the location is where De Smet Farm Mutual Insurance stands. Perviously, it was Munger’s Cafe, Lorane’s Cafe, Lou’s Hatchery, barber and beauty shop and a bakery.
Laura wasn’t so sure she wanted to work in town among strangers. She preferred being at home with Ma and her sisters, but if she worked she would be able to earn enough money to allow Mary to go to college. That thought made it worth the work and loneliness for Laura.