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Albert Quiner

Son of Henry and Polly Quiner, and cousin of Laura Ingalls.

J.A. Quiner will build a large store building in Manderson on the lots he recently purchased from the Lincoln Land Office. – Wyoming State Tribune (Cheyenne), December 1919

In These Happy Golden Years, Uncle Tom visits the Ingallses and tells them the circa 1884 news about other family members, including Uncle Henry and Aunt Polly and three of their children. Two of Laura’s cousins – Louisa and Charley – are familiar to readers because Laura had written about them before, but in Chapter 13 (“Springtime”) she includes cousin “Albert.” The Quiner surname is never mentioned in the Little House books.

James Albert Quiner was born November 13, 1864, in Pepin County, Wisconsin. Although his headstone and some sources say that he was born in 1862, censuses and other records suggest a later birth, his brother Charley being born in 1862. On the U.S. Federal censuses, he’s enumerated as being 5 in 1870, 15 in 1880, birth given as November 1864 in 1900, 45 in 1910, 55 in 1920, and 63 in 1930. His death record has the November 14, 1864 birth date. If this date is correct, Caroline Ingalls and Polly Quiner were not only neighbors and sisters-in-law, but were pregnant at the same time, and Mary Ingalls was born only two months after Albert.

According to Uncle Tom’s story, after leaving the railroad camp, Uncle Henry’s family moved to the Black Hills and were still there, with the exception of Cousin Louisa, who married and moved to Montana. After the Little House story takes place, however, Albert lost both parents and four siblings to illness. Charley, Lillian, and George died in 1884. Ruby died in 1885; Henry died in 1886; Polly died in 1887. Only Louisa, Albert, and Charlotte were spared.

At age 23, Albert was the only surviving son of Henry Quiner. Albert married Fredysia Palmer (1874-1920), daughter of John H. Palmer and Martha (Hunter) Palmer, in 1890 and they settled near Big Horn Basin, Wyoming. The couple had two daughters: Mary (born 1895) and Shirley (born 1900). The marriage dissolved soon after, and Fredysia moved to Pennington County, South Dakota, with the girls. She married William H. Townsend and they had three sons. The Townsends lived in Keystone, and both William and Fredysia are buried in the local cemetery.

In March 1903, Albert married Gertrude (Price) Pennell, keeper of a boarding house. The Quiners lived on a stock ranch in Big Horn County, Wyoming, for many years. Although Quiner said that he came to the area with $65 and five horses to his name, he not only developed a 220 acre ranch – shown here in a 1908 postcard view – but was part owner and manager of a two-story corner lot store building in Manderson, Wyoming. Upstairs were apartments and a theater, with the grocery, hardware, and ranch outfitters’ store on the main floor. He was also a director of Manderson State Bank.

The Quiners moved to California in the 1930s. James A. Quiner died in Los Angeles on February 22, 1947. He was buried beside Gertrude, who had died in December 1945.


Albert (THGY 13; PG), see also Henry O. Quiner family