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The Ingalls family faces new trials when business slows to a halt at the mill, and a visit with Mary to a specialist reveals devastating news.
Upon being sold a piece of land, Almanzo is eager to begin building a home for him Laura. He hires his friend Harv Miller to assist him with his crop. Meanwhile, Laura is offered a teaching job at a faraway school.
As the new school year begins, Nellie receives a surprising graduation present from her mother. Caroline gets a job when Charles is injured and unable to work. A new teacher arrives in Walnut Grove with a handsome younger brother who catches Laura's eye.
Laura decides that becoming a teacher will convince everyone of her maturity, but first she must pass the graduation exam.
Almanzo's dreams of building a home do not go as planned, forcing him to postpone the wedding. Laura has a way for them to earn some money, but his rejection of her idea starts a feud between them.
On Christmas Eve, Miss Beadle lets the schoolchildren go home early. This proves to be disastrous as a blizzard has already begun.
When a school in a nearby town is in need of a temporary substitute, 15-year-old Laura finally gets her start as an teacher. For the first time, Almanzo seems to notice that she is growing up.
Mary's normally sparkling grades begin to plummet when she can't see the school blackboard.
Laura connects with a sweet, shy classmate named Olga Nordstrom, who was born with a short leg. Both Laura and Charles try to help the girl, but meet opposition with Nellie - and Olga's father.
After an acquaintance dies suddenly, Charles is prompted to give up farming in favor of building a legacy on his hand-crafted furniture.
Laura befriends a timid classmate named Anna, whose excessive stuttering negatively impacts her ability to make friends. Laura stands by the girl's side when she is excluded from Nellie's elite new club, but matters are complicated when Laura is caught stealing Nellie's music box. Nellie agrees not to tell anyone, but she has some ulterior motives of her own that may threaten Laura's friendship with Anna. Terrified of the disappointment her parents will feel if they find out her secret, Laura goes along with Nellie's game--but when it hits a dangerous level, Laura must use her own moral judgment to resolve the problems caused.moreless
Feeling pleased and hopeful about the success of his current crop, Charles is devastated when the elements dash all his dreams.
Almanzo finally proposes, to Laura but Charles insists that they wait two years. Harriet Oleson wants Nellie to be trained to to take over the restaurant, but the hiring of Percival Dalton creates more drama.
Nellie mistreats Laura's horse Bunny, prompting Laura to secret action.
To keep her mind off Almanzo's extended absence, Laura pitches in with Mary and Adam's new blind school in Sleepy Eye. Back in Walnut Grove, Nellie struggles with her feelings for Percival.
Fed up with his overbearing wife and his lack of authority over the children, Nels packs up and heads out for an indefinite period of time. While running a mobile mercantile of his own, he stays at a boarding house owned by Molly Reardon, a beautiful Irish woman who shows him the respect and appreciation that he's never had at home.moreless
Now that her beloved horse Bunny has officially been returned to her, Laura eagerly prepares to enter a local race. Angry and jealous about this, Nellie throws a tantrum until Harriet agrees to buy her an expensive thoroughbred from Sleepy Eye.
Charles and Almanzo expand their business by delivering goods to Sleepy Eye. After arguing about the quickest way to get there, they decide to make it a race.
The Ingalls' growing household is a little crowded for James, who feels hurt by Albert's rejection.
Disaster ensues when Albert and a friend smoke a pipe in the basement of the blind school.
Life in Winoka grows increasingly difficult for the Ingalls family as they try to adjust to city life. Meanwhile, Caroline and Alice open a new school in a barn for their children.
Reverend Edward Danford, a preacher who works as a "faith healer," holds meetings in Walnut Grove.
A school bully causes so much trouble that Miss Wilder decides to resign. Laura and Albert take it on themselves to intervene.
After having a huge argument with his wife in the mercantile, Nels leaves the house and moves into a hotel room down the street. To the surprise of everyone in the town, the problem worsens, and the town wonders if this is the end for the Olesons.
A telephone line is set up in Walnut Grove. With Harriet Oleson in charge of the switchboard, calamity ensues.
Laura resigns from her teaching position when she is forced to integrate French and art appreciation into the curriculum. Mrs. Oleson takes over the position.
Poor economic conditions have forced many of Walnut Grove's residents to move elsewhere. Charles and Caroline settle their family in the bustling town of Winoka, where they manage a hotel that's located near Mary and Adam's blind school.
Miss Beadle is asked to resign when she is unable to handle certain students. The school board hires a man in her place with rigid ideas of discipline.
Almanzo and Eliza Jane get a visit from their kid brother Perley Day, but after a few days with him, they quickly remember why the boy has been so estranged from the family over the years.
Charles brings a sullen Mary to Iowa so that she can study at a school for the blind. In Walnut Grove, financial crisis has come upon the town. The Ingalls and the Olesons and other families are preparing for the possibility that they will have to start a new life elsewhere.moreless
Nellie Oleson falls in love with a pig farmer, to the horror of her mother.
Nels and Harriet's newly adopted daughter Nancy seems to be the reincarnation of Nellie - except for one thing: Nancy is worse than Nellie.
Percival takes over the family business when his father dies, which means that he and Nellie will remain in New York permanently. Distraught by the news, Harriet falls into a depression.
Laura befriends a classmate who is ashamed of her obese father.
When Reverend Alden falls ill while collecting donations for a struggling town, he is taken in by an ex-convict named Caleb Hodgekiss and his loving wife. Caleb consent to help by visiting Walnut Grove.
A college-educated farmer named Joe Coulter moves to Walnut Grove with his wife, who is expecting a child. Joe tells the Walnut Grove-area farmers of a new hybrid of corn that would produce good crops, to which the farmers are very enthused, and he even agrees to collect everyone's money and take the trip out to Minneapolis to purchase the corn for everyone. After a fateful accident on the way home, Joe is unable to return on time, and while several of the men in town turn against both Joe and his emotionally strained wife, each member of the Ingalls family does their part to defend the Coulters' honor in the face of such confusion.moreless
In the wake of his mother's death, a devastated Charles travels home with the intention of bringing his despondent father back to Walnut Grove. Meanwhile, with Thanksgiving approaching, Mary and Laura aren't quite sure how to tell Carrie the truth about the turkey they just purchased.
When Laura announces her pregnancy, Caroline believes that she herself is also expecting--until Doc Baker confirms it is menopause.
Albert struggles with his identity when Miss Wilder assigns the students a family tree project. To complicate matters, his biological father shows up.
Mary, Adam, Hester Sue, and the Wilders all make a special visit to Charles and Caroline's for Christmas Eve. An unrelenting blizzard prevents everyone from heading home after dinner, but they all pass time by recalling Christmases of personal significance in their lives.
The folks of Walnut Grove have no idea what they're in for when the three Galender brothers settle in. While the oldest two run up large bills at the mercantile and the mill, the youngest boy causes big problems at school.
On the evening of their anniversary, Charles is stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken wagon wheel. While Caroline and the girls wait at home--with a special celebration dinner all prepared--Caroline passes the time by reminiscing with her daughters about her youthful beginnings with Charles.
Living in Winoka has become nearly intolerable for the Ingalls family, but Charles is reticent to leave because of poor prospects back in Walnut Grove.
A young boy with a stuttering problem is befriended by James.
Adam's father arrives in town upon hearing from Mary that she and Adam are expecting their first child. The prospect of a new grandchild adds hope that Adam's strained relationship with his father might be restored.
When Mary's pregnancy is announced, Caroline's parents arrange a visit to witness the birth of their great-grandchild. Unfortunately, when her mother dies en route, Caroline is left to deal with her father Frederick, whose world now feels empty and meaningless.
The Cooper children go home with Charles, but as they're adjusting, a set of adoptive parents arrive.
While making an out-of-town delivery, Albert and Charles meet and travel with the Cooper family. An accident occurs en route with the parents, leaving Charles in charge of their two children.
Exasperated by Albert's and Andy's attitudes toward school and personal care, Charles and Jonathan present them with a wager that hinges on their return to Sleepy Eye and back - all by themselves.
Charles and Jonathan leave Walnut Grove on a profitable business trip. Meanwhile, Laura develops a crush on a classmate.
Charles and Caroline decide to leave their younger children with an aunt and visit Walnut Grove. What begins as a nostalgic trip down memory lane turns into disaster as the town learns that a slick businessman has legal ownership of the land, and he is prepared to take it over for his own financial gain. Now, the entire community must come together to put up the fight of their lives and defend their home.moreless
Eager to sharpen her teaching skills and seem more grown-up, Laura volunteers to tutor a deaf teenager named Daniel,.
James and Cassandra's uncle, who wanted nothing to do with the children following their parents' deaths, arrives unexpectedly in Walnut Grove and takes an interest in them. But it turns out he's interested in custody of them as well.
When Adam wins a prestigious teaching award, he and Mary travel by stage to accept the honor.
Charles agrees to do some work for a wealthy, attractive widow, which triggers suspicion in Caroline.
Charles and Almanzo jump at an opportunity to make money taking a delivery to Arizona, although it means being away from home for an extended time. Meanwhile, a pregnant Laura struggles to keep her newly planted orchard alive during a severe drought.
Reverend Alden offers Mary her first temporary teaching position in a small, rural community. Mary is unprepared for the mysterious gloom that hangs over the children, and the leading citizen who opposes education.
An accident restores Adam's eyesight.
With his vision restored, Adam is eager to fulfill his dream of becoming an attorney. Meanwhile, Mary is divided in her enthusiasm about his prospects.
Charles and Albert make an unexpected visit to Walnut Grove, and they are both thrilled to be back. Unfortunately, the town faces tremendous financial difficulties, just as college-bound Albert receives some devastating news of his own. Elsewhere, little Jason Carter longs to kiss a little girl at school.
Two-year-old Rose Wilder is kidnapped while she, Laura, Almanzo, and Mr. Edwards are doing some Christmas shopping in Mankato. As the adults go on a frantic search for her, someone unexpected comes into their midst. Back in Walnut Grove, Nels has a plan to teach his greedy daughter Nancy some important lessons about the true meaning of the season, and the Carters--who cannot afford presents for their two children--have a rough Christmas ahead of them.moreless
Former boxer Joe Kagan moves to Sleepy Eye to help with the maintenance of the blind school while Adam and Houston are out of town. Joe is still in love with Hester Sue, but she is being courted by another man.
Carrie tags along for a school assignment, but Mary and Laura fail to keep a close eye on her. Their little sister wanders off and falls into an underground mine shaft.
When Doc Baker's workload becomes too much for one person, he requests a new graduate to help him. He gets more than he expected when the new arrival turns out to be black.
Albert's girlfriend's pregnancy brings chaos into both their lives.
A former football star settles back into his childhood town of Walnut Grove with his wife and son. His zealous coaching is in conflict with Laura's schooling, and his interest in Albert's talent alienates his own son.
Albert's budding romance with a young girl is complicated when it is discovered that she is expecting.
16-year-old Annie Crane is a rising artist in Walnut Grove, where she lives with her adoptive parents. When her talent lands her an exhibition in the city, the advertisement draws the attention of her biological mother.
Adam is officially a lawyer, but his client prospects are slim.
Caroline receives a letter from an old friend, living in a miner's camp where there's been an outbreak of influenza, who is summoning her for help.
When Charles learns that he's inherited the estate of a wealthy uncle, the Ingalls family find themselves on the brink of a new way of life.
Everyone in Walnut Grove is excited about the upcoming 100th birthday of the United States of America, and to commemorate the occasion, the town is planning a community picnic, complete with games, fireworks, and a brand-new flagpole.
Harriet is pressed to transform the Walnut Grove restaurant into a chain called "Mrs. Sullivan's." Meanwhile, Charles is left to gather the slack at home with Caroline so in-demand as one of the cooks.
A boy abused by his alcoholic father is now an angry teenager. Arriving in Walnut Grove, his grandparents find they can no longer handle him, and invoke Charles' help.
Reverend Alden begins spending time with a single woman his age. Their budding relationship is threatened by gossip from Harriet.
Determined to make it through the winter season, a pair of men earn money by selling tainted meat to the Walnut Grove community. Several townspeople later become infected with anthrax, including Laura, Albert, Adam, Alice, and Nels. The victims are confined to the blind school, and with time running out to help them, Charles and Jonathan go out to retrieve some medicine.moreless
Tired of being low on money all the time, the Ingalls decide to pursue a more promising life in Iowa. Their beloved house on Plum Creek is sold to a blacksmith, his wife, and their two young sons.
Nels Oleson is humiliated when he sees his estranged sister Annabelle as "the fat lady" in a traveling circus that comes to Walnut Grove. Meanwhile, Laura is unhappy when Almanzo begins dating a rude young woman named Christy.
The Wilders' marriage is put to a severe test when Almanzo, who is recovering from diphtheria, does not take proper care of himself and ends up having a severe stroke. The friction between husband and wife is aggravated by an unexpected visit from Eliza Jane.
Laura's anticipation of the birth of her first child is tainted by Almanzo's increasingly bitter attitude towards his debilitating health, as well as the possibility that they might lose their home. Eliza Jane's solution to their problems complicates everything.
Newlyweds Laura and Almanzo have been bickering more than usual lately, and it escalates when Laura suspects Manly of unfaithfulness.
Mr. Edwards has returned to alcohol to soothe the pain of his deceased son, and his wife takes the other children and leaves him. Laura wants Mr. Edwards to be godfather to her baby, but the alcoholism threatens to ruin this as well.
Sam Terhune arrives in Walnut Grove looking for work, and finds favor with all of the townsfolk - except for his ex-wife, Hester Sue.
A female activist arrives in Walnut Grove to encourage the men to share equal property rights with their wives. After getting into a huge fight about it with her husband, Harriet Oleson goes to live at the hotel. Caroline decides to follow Harriet's lead.
Isaiah Edwards narrowly saves his daughter Alicia from a falling tree, but is seriously injured in the process. His immobility sends him spiraling into depression.
Laura is devastated to find her beloved dog dead in the barn. Charles brings home a stray named Bandit to curb his daughter's pain, but Laura refuses to bond with the new dog. Meanwhile, the Walnut Grove townspeople have mixed reactions to the idea of welcoming an eccentric new woman into their community.moreless
Albert tries to impress a penpal he figures he'll never see.
While out of town for the purchase of some new horses, Charles stays at the home of a wealthy but dysfunctional family.
Laura convinces her father into letting her accompany him on a hunting trip, but an accident happens.
Charles and Caroline take a trip to Milwaukee for a school reunion. Although they are excited to mingle with old friends, they are disappointed to learn what has really become of their former classmates.
When Percival's parents Benjamin and Edna arrive for a visit, Harriet and Benjamin clash miserably over their grandchild's religious upbringing.
It's time to play ball in Walnut Grove! After losing badly the previous year, the team knows that they need to find a more reliable pitcher than Nels Oleson, and Jebediah Mumfort's golden arm seems to be heaven-sent as he is immediately placed on the team. Everything is going beautifully until Walnut Grove becomes overly confident of their ability to win it all, and bets are made, prompting Mr. Mumfort's no-nonsense wife to forbid him from playing amidst such silly gambling. She is a woman who fiercely holds her ground with this, but Mr. Mumfort is a talent that the team cannot afford to lose, so they must pull together to make the betting concept seem more appealing to Mrs. Mumfort.moreless
An American Indian arrives in Walnut Grove with his tribe, seeking medical attention for his ailing father. Doc Baker provides his best treatment for the Chief, but when certain community members to refuse to let them stay in town temporarily, Charles proposes a secret plan with Doc Baker to keep the tribe safe.moreless
Albert challenges a local football team to a game, and everyone gets in the spirit of the heated competition.
Almanzo gets suckered into watching his brother Royal's two bratty boys.
Mrs. Whipple is beside herself with excitement when her only son returns home. But Granville is wrestling with demons from his days in the war.
Laura and Albert are excited to dress up as Indians for Nellie Oleson's Halloween party. Caroline insists they take a nap first, which leads to Albert having an extended nightmare.