Sep. 11, 1974
60 min.
NBC TV Network

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Little House on the Prairie (1974) tv show photo

Little House on the Prairie (1974)

The series, set in the towns of Walnut Grove in Plumb Creek, Minnesota, during during the 1870s, follows events in the lives of the pioneering Ingalls family. Their experiences as homesteaders in the vastly unsettled frontier are viewed through the eyes of Laura Ingalls, the second-born daughter.

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Mary Ingalls Little House on the Prairie (1974)
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Mary Ingalls

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  Played by:
Melissa Sue AndersonMelissa Sue Anderson
Melissa Sue Anderson (born September 26, 1962) is an American-Canadian actress. She was born in Berkeley, ...

Character Bio

Mary Ingalls photo
Mary Ingalls Kendall is the first daughter of Caroline and Charles Ingalls. She had seven siblings altogether. Laura, Carrie, Charles Jr. (who died shortly after birth), and Grace. Albert, and later, James, and Cassandra, were adopted after Mary left home. The family met Albert, a runaway who had been a ward of the state, after they moved temporarily to Winoka to be close to Mary. Siblings James and Cassandra were adopted later, back in Walnut Grove, after their parents died in a tragic wagon crash. Mary was an adult at the time, and married to Adam Kendall, whom she met at a blind school in Iowa.

In her childhood growing up in Walnut Grove, Mary was an excellent student and spent most of her free time studying. When she was fifteen years old, Mary went blind. Her failing eyesight was first noticed after a yearly checkup at the eye doctor in Mankato. After returning with new lenses in her glasses, she found her vision was still not improved. When Charles took Mary back to the doctor to find out what the problem was, the news was not good; the doctor told Charles that scarlet fever had weakened the nerves in Mary's eyes and she didn't have much time left before she would go blind.

Charles hesitated to tell her this, though he finally did, and a few days later her sight was gone. Doctor Baker suggested that they send Mary to a blind school so she could have some kind of life; Charles and Caroline agreed and made plans for her to be taught at a blind school in Iowa.

After arriving at the school, Mary met her teacher, Adam Kendall. Originally she resented Adam, but began to change her opinion of him soon after. Later, Adam and Mary fell in love and got married. They had one son named Adam Kendall Jr., after Mary miscarried her first child. Sadly, while Adam Kendall Jr. was still a baby, he died, along with Alice Garvey, in a fire at the blind school because Alice told Mary she would get the baby but ended up saving another student first, causing a delay in getting the baby and herself out. The fire was unintentionally started by Mary's adopted brother, Albert Ingalls, and a friend, who were smoking in the basement of the building during a party. Mary went into a state of shock after this, and took some time to come out of it.

Later, her husband and teacher Adam regained his sight, and they moved to New York, where Adam was a lawyer. Mary and Adam's final appearance on the show was in a Christmas episode, where they traveled into Walnut Grove just prior to a blizzard, and spent Christmas at Charles and Caroline's house.

Shortly after this, Charles, Caroline, Albert, Carrie, and their other children moved out of Walnut Grove. Laura, Almanzo, and their baby, Rose, were the only family members to remain in the town. Although Charles and Albert visited several times, Adam and Mary remained in New York after that.

Episode Screenshots

04x09 - The High Cost of Being Right
Season 4, Episode 09
07x20 - I Do, Again
Season 7, Episode 20
09x13 - Sins of the Fathers
Season 9, Episode 13
05x17 - Dance With Me
Season 5, Episode 17
[More Episodes]

Mary Ingalls Photos

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Previous: Caroline 'Ma' Ingalls Next: Laura 'Half-pint' Ingalls
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