Four young homesteaders strive to succeed on a quarter section in Tripp County, South Dakota, at the beginning of the 1900s. Faced with the prospect of the upcoming harsh winter, the youngsters work hard to "prove up" the land and buildings. All the while, Becky, Dick, Phil, and Joan contend with drought, discomfort, and sabotaging squatters. As winter looms, the battle for their land heats up. Short of money and fearful for their lives, the orphans learn that the prairie is not as lonely as it looks and that they are stronger than they thought. With the help of new-found friends and their own derring-do, the youngsters seek to hold the enemy at bay and withstand whatever the elements throw at them.