St. Louis 1903. The well-off Smith family has four beautiful daughters, including Esther and little Tootie. Seventeen-year old Esther has fallen in love with John, the boy next door who has just moved in. He, however, barely notices her at first. The family is shocked when Mr. Smith reveals that he has been transferred to a nice position in New York, which means that the family has to leave St. Louis just before the start of the St. Louis 1904 World's Fair.