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Memories from the Birthplace House #1

by on July 18, 2011

The following passage comes from MEMORANDA: Being a Statement by an Engineer, Theodore J. Hoover, 1939

Another place we were all fond of visiting in the summertime was the Cedar River. It was the nicest plan to take one of my mother’s excellent lunches in baskets, and get some well-beloved family of neighbors or relatives to go the same day. My father was very fond of this diversion, and I have in mind fragmental memories of at least three such excursions. I remember my sister May was present once and on two occasions my brother was there. His memory of one occasion should persist very clearly. We had stopped for lunch in the edge of the natural forest which borders the river on each side for perhaps a mile, and we were all seated around the cloth, which was spread on green grass. My small brother wandered off to conduct researches which were of interest to him; whether he found what he was looking for I know not, but a nest of blue and yellow hornets found him, and they planted a stinger or two in the top of his fuzzy head. He was soon suffering from a complaint which he gets occasionally even now, like everyone else, but on this occasion he was vastly interested in the remedy my father applied, which was a large handful of soft yellow clay; and I remember as if it were yesterday a tear-stained, fuzzy-headed, little boy sleeping peacefully after a period of great emotion, with a large pyramid of mud drying in his hair. This happened within a hundred feet of an old abandoned mine prospect hole, said in those days to have been a silver mine, so that this was the initial grief connected with a mining proposition. Father showed me the silver mine, and held me so that I could look to the bottom, and I satisfied myself by inspection of the fundamental principle that a mine is a hole in the ground; it was some years later that I learned that all holes in the ground are not necessarily mines. So we went onto the river, where Uncle Benijah and Cousin George had preceded us the day before and had caught several of the beautiful, speckled, river catfish of those streams, and of which they had an ample supply for our dinner.


shelby October 11, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Dear Herbert Hoover museum patron,
My name is Shelby caffery. We went to your museum yesterday. I go to school in Bettendorf, IA. The name of my school is Neil Armstrong. We really enjoyed our visit.
Here is a list of some things I learned when we went to your museum. I learned that his mom dad died when he was only 3 or 4. Then his mom died when he was 6. I also learned that he had 2 dogs and 3 children. He married a girl named Lou Henry. I thought it was really interesting when he was a little chubby so they went outside every morning to play a game of tetherball. Tetherball is a game just like volley ball but they play with a ball made out of leather and sand. The best part about the tour was the part where we went to see the house that he grew up in and the school he went to. Then we got to see the place that his dad worked at. His dad was a black smith.


Jessica Wells October 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm


Dear Herbert Hoover museum patron,
My name is Jessica Wells. I go to Neil Armstrong in Bettendorf, IA. I visited Herbert Hoover museum yesterday and I really liked it!
I learned that he was blamed for a lot of things but he was a good man. He lived in a two room house and five people had to live there. I got to see his gravesite which was really cool. I also learned that where he was born that he wanted to see his gravesite when he died. I really enjoyed that he was a caring person and always went to other countries to give them food. When I went to see the church that he went to and I found out that it was divided into boys and girls. Was that because back then the man would make the decisions and the people wanted the girl’s to be able to make the decisions. He got married to Lou Henry and had to kids of their one. I really enjoyed that field trip we had and thank you for having us go.

ariana rinehart October 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm


Dear mom & dad,

I am writing this letter to tell how much I love you, and to tell you about the first quarter.
Here is a list of things this year that I liked about 5th grade. I liked the trip to the Herbert Hoover Museum, The MAP test on the computer, Tech lab power points, Math, DOL`s, Friends, Rango, New Students, and Mr. Berg.
I think I could improve next quarter is social studies, listening, not talking, art, reading, & spelling.
Next quarter I am looking forward to improve all of the above, and to work with Miss Ziemniak.
My goals next quarters is turning in all my assignments, and do all extra credit projects.
Mr. Berg is nice, cool, and, awesome. I`ve been writing really good stories so far. I hope you hear good things about me.
Can we make a deal? If I do good on my report card, I get to go to Whitey`s for ice cream.
In music I`ve been learning a lot. I`ve been having lots and lots of fun in 5th grade or 5.b. I hope you liked my letter from first word to last word.
Ariana Rinehart

Garrett October 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm


Dear Herbert hoover museum employee,
My favorite introduction was when we got to see his house and the outside of his house, and about the movie and how he got a lot of stuff blamed on him. But my favorite part about the movie was when he got married to Lou henry. My other favorite part was when we got to see there grave sites up on top of the hill. We got to see the house from his grave sites trough the tree lines. It was pretty cool to see it the trees were all orange and red it was one of the best things I ever saw in my life. Something that I learned was that he was the 31st president and the 32nd president was Franklin Roosevelt. I though he was like the 10th president and franklin was like the 12th president but I was wrong.

Garrett 5b

Drake Cary October 11, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Dear Herbert Hoover museum patron,
My name is Drake Cary. I am a fifth grader at Neil Armstrong. We came to your museum yesterday. It was really fun learning about Herbert Hoover’s life. I really liked watching the movie at the end. It was very interesting. I also liked the museum and seeing videos about his life.
The things that I learned were he lived in a very small house with 4 other people. His father was a blacksmith. It was cool when we saw his shop. When we went to the school house I was very surprised at how small it was. In the meeting house we talked about the religion. The men and women were separated. We also went inside his house. The carpet was made of old clothes. There wasn’t a bathroom inside so they had an outhouse. When we went to the gravesite it was sad to see them buried.

Drake Cary of Neil Armstrong

Keegan Schmidt October 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I liked about the article.The best part about the Herbert Hoover Musuem was the movie because I learned a lot of facts in the movie and from the tour giudes.The worst part was the church you had to go different entrances and sitting areas.


Nathan Baughman October 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm


Dear Herbert Hoover Museum patrons,
Hi, my name is Nathan Baughman. I am a 5th grader from Bettendorf, IA. My school is called Neil Armstrong elementary school. My class visited you yesterday and I Had a lot of fun and I learned a lot.
I learned that Hoover was born in West Branch Iowa and the gravel road he lived on was one of the main roads in West Branch. Another fact that I learned was that when they grew out of their clothes they made rugs out of them to save money. I also learned that he attended Stanford University at age 17. He studied to be a geologist and met a girl named Lou Henry. I learned that he was buried in West Branch next to Lou and overlooking his house from when he was growing up. I thought that their church was interesting because the boys and girls are separated because they thought that they were equal Also it was interesting that he lived with his uncle after his parents died!

Nathan Baughman

Mary Evans October 13, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Good afternoon Jessica,
Thanks for writing. You are correct that “the people wanted the girl’s to be able to make the decisions.” The church was designed so that men sat on one side and women sat on the other side. This way people could sit and contemplate good works without being distracted.

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