On June 8, 1902 Charles Ingalls passed away in De Smet, South Dakota. What a life he led, and what a legacy he left behind…as he will be forever remembered as “Pa” Ingalls- frontier settler, fiddle player, story teller, farmer, father and friend. The De Smet News and Leader headlined Pa’s obituary, “A Pioneer Gone”, a most befitting title:
A Pioneer Gone
The people of De Smet were pained Sunday afternoon to learn of the death of Mr. C.P. Ingalls, who died at 3 pm of that day after a lingering illness of several weeks. Heart trouble was the cause of his death.
Funeral services were held at the Congregational church Tuesday forenoon, largely attended by the many friends of the deceased and of the family. After the church services were concluded the Masonic fraternity, who were in attendance in a body, took charge of the funeral and the remains were placed in their final resting place with the solemn funeral rites of that organization.
Charles P. Ingalls was born in the state of New York sixty years ago. His life was that of the pioneer from his boyhood. At the age of twelve years he moved with his parents to Illinois, thence, a few years later, to Wisconsin, and thence to Minnesota. It was while living in Wisconsin that he married the estimable lady who is now his widow. In 1879 he brought his family to what is now De Smet. He was the first to build a dwelling in this locality, the house that now stands on the rear end of the Bank of De Smet lot is the building. In his home were held the first religious services. He was prominent in the work of organizing the Congregational church in this city, of which he was a faithful and consistent member at the time of his death. He was also a member in good standing of the Masonic order and of O.E.S.
As a citizen he was held in high esteem, being honest and upright in his dealings and associations with his fellows. As a friend and neighbor he was always kind and courteous and as a husband and father he was faithful and loving. And what better can be said of any man? Some few accomplish great things in life’s short span; they control the destinies of nations, or hold in their hand, as it were, the wealth of the world; but the great many tread the common walks of life and to them falls the work of making the world better. He who does this work well is the truly great man. Such was he who has lately been called to the Great Beyond. Charles P. Ingalls did his life’s work well and the world is better for his having lived in it.
There remains to mourn his death a wife and four daughters, Mrs. Laura Wilder, Mrs. Grace Dow, and Misses Carrie and Mary Ingalls. To the bereaved is extended the heart felt sympathy of all in this community.
-The De Smet News and Leader