Friday, June 11, 2010

Herbert Hoover Museum and Presidential Library

This is the Quaker church he would have attended as a boy. This side is the women's side and the other side is the men's side. If a baby was crying, the mother would take the child to the cry room which was outside of this area. The place is very simple. He said that it took him a long time to realize that everything he did wouldn't displease God and that you could be happy. He felt like the meetings were really long, and had a cute saying, but I can't remember it.
He and his wife were part of the effort to get people to make sacrifices to make their resources last, beginning a gardening project and no meat Mondays and other efforts to save money for the war effort. They were truly amazing people.

During World War I, he was called upon to help feed the hungry people of Belgium. Their country was blocked off from receiving food, so he called upon the people of "Main Street America" to help with the volunteer effort. Sacks of flour were sent so the children would not go hungry. The people of Belgium were forever grateful for his efforts. He was given a statue of Isis, who according to the Egyptians was the godess of life. He was called upon more than once to make sure people received food. When the Mississippi River flooded, he fed the hungry along those boundries. He went again after World War II, feeding not only people in Euorpe, but in Russia, and even folks in "the Eastern block". It seems that only America was not grateful as he was blamed for the Great Depression. It was he, who tried to warn President Coolidge about the impending doom that would come from the "devil-make hair" spending that was going on in America at the time. Sound familiar?

The first thing I thought when I saw this was my dad who threatened us not to have granite put over his grave because he wanted to be able to get out on the morning of the resurrection. The second thing I thought was how simple these graves are in comparison to Abraham Lincoln's or even Dwight Eisenhower's that has a church built over it. His Quaker beginnings held over, even though he was a man of means. When you look at the lifespan of this man, it's amazing how many presidents to whom he was an advisor or a member of a cabinet. There are pictures in the museum of him with Coolidge, Truman, Eisenhower, Wilson (whose biography he wrote), Nixon, although Nixon was president, but vice president at the time, Kennedy, Johnson, and there is even a letter nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize by Gerald Ford, who was a representative at the time.

The local school house. Bert would have attended school here at his earliest beginnings. We couldn't figure out what the white thing in the corner was, but the rest of it looked very much like the Old Wilson School that I attended when I was little, only this was a one room school house instead of several different rooms. Notice the slates on the desks. The globe at the front was configured as they knew the geography of the world in in the late 1800's.

The resident Blacksmith at the Herbert Hoover National Park. It is a working blacksmith shop. They sell horse shoes, dinner bells, and other items. He was most interesting in his presentation.

This is a rebuild of the blacksmith shop owned by his father. Herbert or Bertie, as he was called by his family, was only six years old when his father died. His mother, a Quaker minister of sorts, would travel and speak, although their meetings were silent until someone was moved upon by the Holy Spirit to speak, and took in sewing and did other projects so she could save the money she received at the sale of their property for her children's education. It wasn't long afterwards that she died, so he was shipped off to Oregon at 10 to live with an uncle and aunt.

This is inside the home. Although the furniture is not original, it gives a feeling of what it would have looked like when he was born. He was from very humble beginnings, but later became so well to do that he declined his salary as president. The only other president to do so, was John F. Kennedy.

This is the home in which Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States was born. It has two rooms and a summer kitchen in the back. His family moved shortly thereafter into a home that has since been torn down. This home is in West Branch, Iowa.


Mr C said...

Very interesting. Where exactly is all this? And when did you and "Bert" get on first name basis???

byumeaganlee said...

Dear Marcia,

I was so excited to find your blog today! I've been reading it and remembering Nauvoo fondly. I can't believe it's been 3 years since I was there serving with you during the pageant. I think my husband and I must have just barely missed seeing you there in November... we were there on 4th and 5th on our way back to Utah after our honeymoon.

I wanted to let you know that I did finally make it to the Jerusalem Center. My church history study kind of came full circle on that first Sabbath in the Holy Land when I walked through the Orson Hyde Memorial Garden.

Thanks so much for your blog! I love it.

Meagan (Knudson) Aldridge

Marcia said...

Megan, I tried to get on your blog and I couldn't so I'll leave a message here and hope you find it. Congratulations!!! Leave me a message how to leave a message on your blog.

byumeaganlee said...

My blog address is

It's not private or anything, so you should be able to leave a comment :)

byumeaganlee said...

ps- if that doesn't work, my email is