Navigation Menu+

James Glover family

Irish family who came to Kingsbury County in 1882; Laura taught three of the Glover children in the Wilkin School in 1885.

James Glover will hold a public sale on the 22d inst. Everybody will be there, whether they wish to buy or not, for it is dead certain that they will have a picnic with Uncle Jimmy. – 1891 Kingsbury County Indpendent

Although none of Laura Ingalls’ students in the Wilkin School are mentioned by name in These Happy Golden Years, in Pioneer Girl, Wilder wrote that her students were Jimmie, Mamie, and Danny Glover (Irish children); Mary, Tommy, and Charley Webb (Dutch children); and Georgie Dwight. The Glovers were said to live southeast of the school and the Webbs lived to the northeast. In the 1883 map portion at right, the location of the Glover and Wilkin homes are included, and the Charles Ingalls homestead house location has been added for reference.

James Glover (born 1835), his wife Margaret (Allen) Glover (born 1844), and son Andrew (born 1867) came to the United States from Belfast, Ireland in the late 1860s. Children Mary, William, Martha, Samuel, and Jessie were all born in the United States. The Glovers had first settled in Pennsylvania, moving to St. Ansgar, Iowa in the mid-1870s. They moved to Kingsbury County in early 1882, filing on a homestead two miles northwest of De Smet, the SE 17-111-56. James Glover’s sister, Margaret, had married George Moody in Ireland and they came to Kingsbury County also. George Moody worked a number of years as a field representative for the land agent, Alfred Waters.

At the time of the Wilkin School in 1885, James and Margaret’s son Andrew and daughter Mary were no longer attending school; Mary would marry Frederick Dow in October (they were married by Reverend Edward Brown). The Surveyors’ House originally stood on Frederick Dow’s tree claim and was moved to its current location on Olivet Avenue in De Smet prior to the wedding. It is now part of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society complex.

The three Glover children taught by Laura Ingalls were not “Jimmie, Mamie, and Danny,” but Willie, Martha, and Sammy. William Glover was eleven in 1885; Martha was fifteen; and Samuel was six years old.

In 1891, the Glovers left South Dakota, intending to return to Pennsylvania to live. They settled instead in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where James worked as a night watchman. Both William and Samuel returned to De Smet for visits over the years. Samuel became a fireman at a stationary steam plant, his parents both living with him into the 1920s.


James Glover family (PG)
     Jimmie (PG)
     Mamie (PG)
     Danny (PG)