IOWA: Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

June 5th ~ West Branch, IA ~

Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

As we expected, there is a bit of a learning curve when a third party joins us in the RV. We were up around 8:00 this morning, but by the time we got ourselves organized, waited out a thunderstorm, got showered, hair washed, had tea/coffee, ate breakfast, hooked the car up, and closed up the RV, it was 11:00 before we got out the door.

We are hoping to be able to get our morning routines settled in to under two hours within a couple days.

We were only a few miles away from our first excursion.

Herbert Hoover Library and Museum

Shirley in front of the museum

Entrance to the museum

This is a smaller presidential library than others we have visited, such as the Kennedy, Reagan, and Nixon libraries.

Herbert “Bert” Hoover was born in a small two room house in West Branch, IA. His father, Jesse, was a blacksmith and mother, Hulda, raised him in the Quaker faith. Both of his parents died when he was quite young, and as an orphaned youth, he was sent to live with a relative in Oregon.

Although he did not attend high school, in 1891 he was admitted to the inaugural year at Stanford University where he pursued an education in engineering and became a mining geologist.

Herbert Hoover and his wife, Lou

His early career took him to Australia where he slowly amassed a small fortune. After marrying his college sweetheart, Lou, they set sail for China. The Boxer Rebellion broke out shortly after their arrival which prompted them to soon depart.

Basing himself in London, he and Lou traveled the world where Hoover became well known as a mining consultant.

World War I broke out in June 1914, stranding roughly 100,000 Americans in Europe. Hoover helped organize their return and then chaired a committee to distribute aid to Americans still in Europe. Later he established the Commission for Relief in Belgium.

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When the US declared war on Germany, President Woodrow Wilson appointed Hoover to head the US Food Administration. The Food Administration shipped 23 million metric tons of food to the Allied Powers, preventing their collapse and earning Hoover great acclaim.

Winning by a landslide

Winning his presidential bid in 1928 by a landslide, things quickly went downhill after the stock market crashed in 1929 throwing our country into the Great Depression.

Stock market crashed less than a year after he took office

Throwing the country into the Great Depression

Hoover and his wife Lou are buried side-by-side on a hill overlooking the property.

Buried side by side

There is also a free outdoor walking tour that will take you past the small two room house he was born in, his fathers blacksmith shop, and a small schoolhouse, as well as several homes that were typical of the time frame he lived here.

Map of the campus

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Just because I love the color purple and Iris is my favorite flower…

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that we are slowly working the kinks out with all three of us in the RV. We probably drove a bit further than we should have today, as it was almost 8:00 by the time we stopped. After getting dinner, it made for a long day and Shirley is tired this evening. Thankfully, our first stop for tomorrow is right across the street from where we are staying here in West Bend.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
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8 Responses to IOWA: Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

  1. Tim Harlow says:

    Thanks for the interesting tour of Herbert Hoover’s library and museum. I learned things that I had never k own about him. And the photos are wonderful.


    • Thank you Tim. The presidential libraries are wonderful at bringing their history to life. So far my favorite has been the Reagan museum. But I might be swayed a bit because there was a special exhibit there at the time that featured all kinds of spy equipment which I found fascinating. Kind of a cross between James Bond and Maxwell Smart days. 😃


  2. I’ve only been to a couple of presidential libraries, but that was enough to make me want to go to more.
    My experience has taught me to add an extra five minutes to a pit stop for each extra person in the car. ( There’s probably a point at which that logic doesn’t apply, but I haven’t reached it yet.) Don’t know how that translates for an RV, but betting it will always take longer to get up and out with three people than with two. Good luck.


  3. Entertaining and informative as well.


  4. Lindsay J Mills says:

    My father tiled the floor with the globe. Hes past on. I’m so glad I can have his remembrance in this beautiful piece.


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