Luke Dawson was the richest man in Gopher Prairie, richer even than Nat Hicks, the tailor. Dawson had made his fortune by lending money on mortgages and by owning Northern cut-over land. His wife had "bleached cheeks, bleached hair, bleached voice, and a bleached manner." Her ill-fitting green frock was elaborate and expensive. The Dawsons were older than the smart young set of Gopher Prairie, and though wealthy were on the social and intellectual level of the Bogarts and the Smails.