Herbert Clark Hoover
Burial Location Visited President Grave #
West Branch, Iowa August 21, 2004 17th Visited

The fifth and final dead president my father
and I visited on our 2004 trip to the Midwest
was Herbert Hoover, who is buried in his
hometown of West Branch, Iowa.

Herbert and Lou Hoover, who were married
for just under forty-five years, met as
students at Stanford University. They both
graduated with degrees in geology.

Jesse and Hulda Hoover, the president's
parents, both passed away during their
son's childhood. Only one other president,
Andrew Jackson, was an orphan.

The Hoovers' burial site faces out toward
toward this two-room cottage where the
president was born in 1874.

Fast Facts *

- First Lady: Lou Henry Hoover
- Spouse: Lou Henry Hoover (m. 1899-1944)

- Political Party: Republican Party

- Term: 1929-1933
- Vice President: Charles Curtis

- Born: August 10, 1874

- Died: October 20, 1964

- Age:

- Cause of Death: Gastrointestinal Bleeding; Strained Vascular System

 Cemetery: Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, West Branch, Iowa
- GPS Coordinates: 41°40'05.3"N 91°21'07.4"W

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

In 1891, Herbert Hoover enrolled at the newly established Stanford University, where he graduated from with his B.A. four years later. Having excelled in mining, engineering, and geology during his time at Stanford, Hoover was able to secure a job with Bewick, Moreing and Co., a British mining company. He was given the task of locating mineral deposits in Australia. In 1899, Hoover wed Lou Henry, a fellow graduate of Stanford whom he had met at the university. Soon afterward, Hoover was sent by Bewick, Moreing and Co. to China, where it was thought he could help improve the company's profits. During their stay in China, the Hoovers were caught in the middle of the Boxer Rebeliion, a conflict in which a group of Chinese citizens called the Righteous Harmony Society (also known as the Boxers) attempted to rid the country of anything foreign. This included people from other nations that were staying in China, such as Herbert and Lou Hoover. While the city where the couple were staying, Tienjin, was under siege, Herbert Hoover oversaw the construction of barricades and regulated the distribution of food and other provisions. Lou Hoover was just as helpful, taking supplies to the front on her bicycle. Because of their efforts, hundreds of foreign families and non-boxer Chinese citizens within Tienjin were saved.

* Hoover eventually became one of Bewick, Moreing and Co.'s partners, but left several years later and established his own engineering company. Hoover went all over the world, and was living in London when World War I commenced in 1914. As a result of the conflict, travel became very restricted, and thousands of Americans (such as tourists) became trapped in Europe. Additionally, the value of certain currencies took a nosedive, making the situation much more difficult. Herbert Hoover set up the Committee of American Residents in London for Assistance to American Travelers, which provided stranded U.S. citizens with food, loans, and lodging. The organization also worked to find ways to get each trapped American home to the U.S., which it was able to do within several weeks. No longer an engineer but a humanitarian, Hoover next served as the head of the Committee for Relief of Belgium. Belgium had been overrun by German soldiers, and its population was on the verge of starvation. The future president set up a distribution system that provided the Belgians with enough food to sustain themselves and avoid certain death.

* Seeing how successful Hoover had been in London and Belgium early in the war, President Woodrow Wilson put him in charge of the U.S. Food Administration. Hoover worked to conserve food supplies in America so that troops overseas would be able to have enough to eat. The term was called "Hooverizing", and it cut food intake in the U.S. by 15%. When Warren Harding took the reigns from Wilson in 1921, he appointed Hoover as the secretary of commerce. The third person to have that title, Hoover continued to serve in the presidential cabinet after Harding's death in 1923. He left the cabinet in 1928, and in that year he won the presidential election. A few months later, he was sworn in as Calvin Coolidge's successor and the 31st president of the United States.

* Despite all that he did for humanity, Hoover is remembered by how he handled the worst economic collapse in history. On October 29, 1929, the U.S. stock market crashed, making the beginning of what is known as the Great Depression. Soon, banks were forced to close. Those that stayed open foreclosed mortgages, leaving many Americans homeless. People who had been ousted from their homes frequently ended up living in small towns called "Hoovervilles", which were made up of poorly constructed shelters. Unemployment rose immensely. Also, the infamous Dust Bowl that took place during the 1930's wiped out crops across the Midwest, causing many farmers to go bankrupt. Hoover attempted to help the country get back on its feet, but instead he made things worse. It was his belief that the government should not intervene with the catastrophe and that people should help themselves out of the mess. After all, his volunteer organizations had helped immensely during the First World War. But, in this case, America was in too deep to dig itself out. Hoover was defeated by Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 election, and left office the following March. He would continue to do relief work, but his popularity was marred by his poor presidency.

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