Laura Hawkins was three years younger than Sam Clemens, (Mark Twain), and was immortalized in Tom Sawyer as Becky Thatcher. Childhood friends, they stayed in touch through the years. Laura Hawkins married Dr. James Frazer and moved to the Renssalear, Missouri area, west of Hannibal.
After Dr. Frazers death, she moved back into town and became the matron for the Home for the Friendless orphanage in Hannibal. The gift shop on the first floor has a variety of gifts from the kitchen to the library to the Christmas room. The upstairs parlor and bedroom of her childhood home are restored and open to the public.