Thursday, November 19, 6 p.m.
Presented by the Davenport Public Library
Delivered as part of the Davenport Public Library's virtual 3rd Thursday at Hoover's Presidential Library & Museum programming, noted area historian Sarah Uthoff will present the November 19 Zoom webinar Laura Ingalls Wilder, sharing insights and imaginings on the beloved pioneer and author best-known for her popular series of Little House on the Prairie children's books.
In Uthoff's hour-long Laura Ingalls Wilder program, the year is 1894, and the title character sits at her writing desk prior to arriving in Mansfield, Missouri. With the presentation finding Ingalls reflecting on her life and composing the very first article she ever wrote, the Laura Ingalls Wilder program is a historical musing set in Lamar, Missouri, where the nascent author mailed off her report of their trip on the way down from De Smet, South Dakota, to Mansfield, and then back to the De Smet News. She very proudly saved the resulting clipping with a note reading “first thing I ever had published,” and Uthoff's presentation imagines its heroine thinking back not only just about this current trip, but over her life as she sits down to write that famous summary of her trip: the diary from which would eventually be published in an edited version as On the Way Home.
Uthoff received both her history education B.A. and her Masters of Library Science from the University of Iowa. She is the former director of the Oxford Public LIbrary in Oxford, Iowa, and currently serves as a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College in Cear Rapids, Iowa. An active Laura Ingalls Wilder researcher, Uthoff is a regularly-featured speaker at the annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Remembered Day at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch. In addition, she has spoken at five of the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites located in Pepin, Wisconsin; Independence, Kansas; Walnut Grove, Minnesota; Burr Oak, Iowa; and De Smet, South Dakota. Uthoff's consulting work, meanwhile, has included designing the Laura Ingalls Wilder Girl Scout Patch Day at Usher's Ferry Historic Village in Cedar Rapids and a training session for the staff at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Burr Oak, Iowa. Her unique programs can be customized for the types of group (adults, children, mixed) and presentations desired, and Uthoff frequently presents as a modern-day researcher or costumed character as either a young or older version of Laura.
Laura Ingalls Wilder will be delivered via Zoom webinar at 6 p.m. on November 19, the event is free to the public, and registration is available through the Davenport Public Library Web site. For more information on Sarah Uthoff's presentation and the monthly 3rd Thursday at Hoover's series, call (563)326-7832 or visit DavenportLibrary.com.