Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States, was born on August 10, 1874 in a small cottage in the community of West Branch, Iowa. Born to Jesse Hoover, a blacksmith, and Hulda Minthorn Hoover, a seamstress and minister in the Society of Friends (Quaker).*
Hoover spent only the first 9 years of his life in West Branch. He was orphaned at the age of 9 and went to live with his uncle, Henry Minthorn, in Oregon. Hoover later left to work as a clerk in a real estate business and soon thereafter to study mining engineering at Stanford. While at Stanford, Hoover met his future wife, Lou Henry.
Herbert Hoover made political inroads during World War I where he worked to aid Americans trapped in Europe and later to assist civilians caught in war. Following the war, he continued humanitarian efforts in providing relief for the famine widespread across Europe.
Hoover served as Secretary of Commerce under both Harding and Coolidge where he worked to establish product standards and encouraged the growth of aviation and radio.
Hoover was elected in 1928 as the 31st President of the United States. Much of Hoover’s presidency was marked by the stock market crash in 1929 which left millions unemployed. While seeking reelection in 1932, he lost to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
When Hoover passed away on October 20, 1964, and was interred on a small hill overlooking his birthplace cottage in West Branch where he rests with his wife Lou Henry Hoover.
The grave site, birthplace cottage, and Jesse’s blacksmith shop remain within West Branch and are available to visit as part of the greater Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. Further information is always available through the Herbert Hoover Library Museum and continued support for both can be provided through the Herbert Hoover Presidential Foundation.
*All Information provided by:
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Museum. https://hoover.archives.gov/info/HooverBio.html. Accessed July 2017.