In 1869, post-Civil War St. Louis overflowed with immigrants seeking new homes or preparing to head out West. Kate Carty had arrived from Blackwater, Ireland, nearly four years before, and the dressmaking business she established had been flourishing right along with the growth of the city. When the need for additional space became urgent, Kate turned to her landlord and dear friend Walter Dempsey who readily agreed to help her expand her shop.
The pleasant circumstances she enjoyed while living at Dempsey’s and working in her seamstress shop were overshadowed by the turmoil roiling within Kate. She worried over the welfare of her young brother and sister still in Ireland and felt deep anger toward her parents for not sending the children to America. Her sisters, Julia and Anne, became concerned that the anxiety and bitterness she harbored would endanger her health. Their apprehension proved valid. Even the arrival of their young brother Michael could not still Kate’s distress, and she fell seriously ill.
Her recovery was met with additional troubles. An epidemic that swept through the overcrowded city touched her family in St. Louis, while still another crisis threatened her family in Ireland. Kate sought to come to the aid of her loved ones, and once again, Walter offered his help. Could she rise above her own resentment to help her family? Could she look beyond her family’s troubles and allow the grand friendship developing between Walter and her to grow into something more?