In the classic children’s novel, By the Shores of Silver Lake, author Laura Ingalls Wilder recounts the story of her family planting five trees next to their crude tarpaper shanty after settling on a claim in De Smet, Dakota Territory. Upon arriving at the new ‘claim shanty’ in the spring of 1880, the first task Charles “Pa” Ingalls tackled after digging a well was to collect tree seedlings. While on an errand to collect firewood, Ingalls dug seedlings of an old lone cottonwood on nearby Lake Henry and brought them to their homestead. “We’ll make a square windbreak, all around the house. Ma’s tree and mine by the door, and a tree for each of you girls on each side of ours.” By planting these trees Charles Ingalls was not only assuaging his wife’s longing for comforting sylvan groves but was also making his first steps toward ‘proving up’ the land and earning 160 acres for his family.