Herbert was born in West Branch, Iowa,
August 10, 1874. His parents were
Jesse Clark and Hulda Minthorn Hoover.
Bertie, as he was called, had an older brother
Theodore, or Tad, and a sister, Mary, or May,
who was the youngest.
Herbert with brother & sister.
The Hoovers were decended from a long line
of Quakers. Jesse Clark Hoover, a village blacksmith
by trade, died of typhoid fever in 1880.
Less that three years later his mother
Hulda Minthorn Hoover died of pneumonia.
A replica of Jesse's blacksmith shop.
A leading concern of the Quakers was providing
education for their children,
equally for their boys and girls. This one room
schoolhouse was built in 1853 and served as a school
and a Meetinghouse for worship.
In primary classes, Herbert learned basic subjects
including arithmetic, reading, writing and science.
Herbert came to greatly admire
Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln
whose portraits hang on the schoolhouse walls.
The Meetinghouse was built in 1857.
The values of the Quaker faith expressed by his
parents and the community, played an important role
in shaping Herbert Hoover's life. The desire
for education, a solid work ethic, the recognition
of the duty to help those in need, and a belief in
the equality of all people were
fundamental to his character.
After their parents died, the children were
separated. Mary stayed with Grandmother Minthorn
Tad went to live with their uncle Henry D. Hoover
in Hardin county, Iowa, where he helped on the farm.
Herbert stayed a while with another uncle,
Allan Hoover who was an agent for the Osage Indians.
In 1885 Herbert left West Branch for Newberg, Ore.
to live with an uncle, Dr. Henry John Minthorn.
Here Herbert attended a Quaker Academy, his uncle
helped to direct. In 1888 Dr. Minthorn moved to
Salem, Ore. where Herbert attended night school
and helped his uncle as an office boy.
Herbert's home in Oregon.
Next: Leland Stanford University.