Maud Hart Lovelace was born on April 25, 1892, in Mankato, Minnesota. She ha the middle of three children born to Thomas and Stella ( Palmer) Hart. Her ister, Kathleen, was three years older, and her other sister, Helen, was six years younger. “ That dear family " was the model for the fictional Ray family.
Maud ’ s birthplace was a small house on a hilly residential street several blocks above Mankato ’ s center business district. The street, Center Street, dead-ended at one of the own ’ s many hills. When Maud was a few onths old, the Hart family moved two blocks up the street to 333 Center.
Shortly before Maud ’ s fortieth birthday a “ large merry Irish family " moved into he house directly across the street. Among its many children was a girl Maud ’ s age, Frances, nicknamed Bick, who ha to be Maud ’ s best friend and the model for Tacy Kelly.
Tib ’ s character was based on another playmate, Marjorie ( Midge) Gerlach, who lived nearby in a arge house designed by her architect father. Maud, Bick, and Midge became lifelong friends. Maud once stated that the three couldn ’ t have been closer if they ’ d been sisters.