Susan Blow was born a mid-westerner in St. Louis, Missouri, a critical state in determining preliminary conditions leading to the outbreak of America's Civil War in 1861. Susan grew up in a devotedly religious household where family beliefs held a strict accordance with the dogmas and practice of 19th century Presbyterianism. Although Susan Blow's family was highly regarded and considered quite wealthy in St. Louis, Susan was educated briefly in private schools. Upon her return to St. Louis, she was determined to move kindergarten education and training of kindergarten teachers into the public school domain. In 1873, the public kindergartens Susan Blow established in St. Louis were the first in the nation to be funded by local taxation and to fiscally support the training of kindergarten teachers in the city's public schools. The future goal for the national movement was to have each state mandate kindergartens for all American children.