Now, nearly 70 years after that first complaint, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, has voted unanimously to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from an award given annually to authors and illustrators who have made a "significant and long-lasting contribution to children's literature".
Harper's in 1953 chose to change "people" to "settlers" but other criticisms focused on her depictions of Native Americans and some African Americans. Coats of arms and building names have been changed or are the object of protests to get them changed.
And the Wilder historical association argued her legacy "also includes overwhelmingly positive contributions to children's literature that have touched generations past and will reach into the future".
The ALSC said the decision was made in consideration of "expressions of stereotypical attitudes" in Wilder's work that are "inconsistent with ALSC's core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness".
"Perceptions matter, along with the very real pain associated with her works for some, and year after year ALSC gives the impression of upholding Wilder's works through an award that bears her name", the board wrote.
In a March Washington Post piece, Caroline Fraser, a biographer of "Little House on the Prairie" author Laura Ingalls Wilder, wrote that "her work and its reception are more complicated than we may once have believed, shedding light on the myths that white Americans have woven about the past".
The books inspired the hugely popular 1974-1983 television series Little House on the Prairie starring Melissa Gilbert.
In the late 1990s, scholar Waziyatawin Angela Cavender Wilson approached the Yellow Medicine East School District after her daughter came home crying because of a line in the book, first attributed to Gen. Philip Sheridan but a common saying by that time: "The only good Indian is a dead Indian". Previously, the organization had noted the "anti-Native and anti-Black sentiments" in Wilder's writing.
In addition, in another scene, Wilder depicts white men wearing blackface for the entertainment of others - including her father.
"Laura Ingalls Wilder's books have been and will continue to be deeply meaningful to many readers".
"I absolutely would (read the books again)", Miller said. "For decades, her legacy has been awash in sentimentality, but every American ... should learn the harsh history behind her work".