Jenny Wilder
Biographical information



White American

Hair color



July 3, 1873


Royal Wilder (father,deceased)
Almanzo Wilder (uncle/adoptive father)
Laura Ingalls Wilder (aunt/adoptive mother)
Rose Wilder (cousin/adoptive sister)
Myron Wilder (brother)
Royal Wilder Jr. (brother)
Baby Boy Wilder (cousin/adoptive brother)

Behind the scenes
First appearance:

Little House on the Prairie: Season 8

Last appearance

Little House on the Prairie: Season 9

Played by:

Shannen Doherty


Jennifer Marie Jenny Wilder was the niece, also the adopted daughter of Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder.


Laura and Almanzo adopt Jenny after her father, Royal Wilder dies. While grieving over his death, she attempts to kill herself by trying to drown hoping that she could reunite with her father in heaven. Her friend Jeb Carter gets there just in time to save her even though he doesn't know how to swim. Laura later teaches her that her parents would want Jenny to live even if they couldn't be with her. In school, Jenny  was teased frequently by Nancy. (Episode 901: Times Are Changing (Part 1), Episode 902: Times Are Changing (Part 2)

Jenny was temporally held hostage with Laura by the madman Thomas Stark who believed them to be his wife and daughter Constance and Elizabeth who he had recently shot in a fit of rage and madness. Jenny demonstrates wit and great courage as she helps her aunt play along with Stark's madness. Jenny and Laura manage to survive being hurt by the crazed Stark until help arrives. Stark, however was shot dead outside their door when he refused to drop his rifle. (Episode 904: Rage)

One day while swimming in a lake of Walnut Grove with Jeb, Jason, and Nancy, Jenny realizes that she has lost her locket at the bottom of the lake and wants desperately to find it. She finds it but gets stuck on something attached to the bottom and falls unconscious before she is rescued. She is taken to Dr. Baker and he tells her and her adoptive parents that due to her being down to long she has suffered brain damage due to a lack of oxygen, which will make it hard for her to speak and move. Laura and Almanzo accept this and care for her accordingly.Later, she meets and becomes friends with an old and retired doctor named Marvin Haynes who helps her heal by convincing her and Laura and Almanzo that she can be normal again. After a few months, Jenny recovers and can speak and move properly again. (Episode 912: Marvin's Garden)