Homes of the Hoovers

Aug 20, 2021

Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in Johnson and Cedar Counties, Iowa, the National Archives and Records Administration has closed the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch beginning Monday, August 23, 2021. We are making every effort to continue providing essential services and respond to inquiries at Our E-Store services are suspended until our staff are able to work on-site. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. Read more.


Herbert Hoover was born in a tiny, two-room cottage in West Branch, Iowa.  Orphaned at age 9, Herbert moved to Oregon to live with his uncle, John Minthorn, until he entered Stanford University in 1891 where he earned a degree in geology.  Over the next two decades, Hoover traveled the world and made a fortune as a mining engineer and consultant;  he and his young wife, Lou Henry Hoover, established homes in Australia, China, London, and their beloved California.  After World War I, Lou Hoover designed and built their dream home next to the campus of Stanford University, but the Hoovers spent more than a decade living in Washington DC while Herbert Hoover served as Secretary of Commerce and President of the United States.  After leaving the White House in 1933, the Hoovers returned to California and later established a second home in an apartment in the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.  When Mrs. Hoover passed away in 1944, Mr. Hoover donated their California home to Stanford University and lived for the last 20 years of his life at the Waldorf. 


Birthplace cottage of Herbert Hoover. Hoover National Historic Site, West Branch, Iowa