The Mystery of Charles Ingalls Jr’s Cause of Death

Charles Ingalls Jr, also known as Freddie, was the only son of Charles and Caroline Ingalls, the famous pioneers who inspired the Little House on the Prairie books and TV series. He was born on November 1, 1875, in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and died on August 27, 1876, at the age of nine months. But what was the cause of his death, and where is he buried? These questions have puzzled fans and historians for decades, as there is little information and conflicting evidence about his short life and tragic demise.

The Official Record

According to the county records of Wabasha, Minnesota, where the Ingalls family was staying with relatives at the time of Freddie’s death, he died of diarrhea at the age of ten months. His name is misspelled as “Fred Ingles” in the record, which also does not mention his exact burial place. It is assumed that he was buried on his uncle Peter Ingalls’ farm, but the exact location of the grave is unknown. Some sources claim that his middle name was spelled Frederic, while others say it was Frederick. The Ingalls family Bible has the latter spelling.

The Family Memories

The death of Freddie was omitted from the Little House books, as Laura Ingalls Wilder wanted to focus on the happy memories of her childhood. However, she did mention him in her original manuscript, Pioneer Girl, which was later edited and published as a memoir. She wrote that Freddie became sick while they were at Uncle Peter’s, and that a doctor was called, but he could not save him. She also wrote that he “straightened out his little body and was dead”. She did not specify the cause of his illness, but some speculate that it could have been dysentery, cholera, or typhoid fever, which were common and deadly diseases at the time.

The Fictional Version

The only time that Freddie appeared in the Little House TV series was in the episode “Journey in the Spring”, which aired in 1976. In this episode, Charles Ingalls Sr, the father of Charles Ingalls Jr, visits his son’s family in Walnut Grove, and learns that his grandson has died. He blames his son for not taking better care of him, and accuses him of being a failure as a farmer and a father. He also reveals that Freddie’s death was caused by scarlet fever, which he contracted from Mary, who had survived the disease but lost her eyesight. This version of the story is completely fictional, as there is no evidence that Freddie died of scarlet fever, or that Mary had anything to do with it.

The Conclusion

The truth about Charles Ingalls Jr’s cause of death may never be known for sure, as the records are incomplete and the memories are faded. However, his short life and tragic death are part of the history and legacy of the Ingalls family, who endured many hardships and losses, but also shared many joys and adventures, on their journey across the American frontier.

Disclaimer: This article is based on the information available from various sources, such as county records, family Bible, memoirs, books, and TV shows. It is not intended to be a definitive or authoritative account of the topic, but rather a creative and informative piece of writing. The author is not affiliated with or endorsed by any of the sources mentioned in the article.