The Hoover-Minthorn House Museum was built in 1881, by Jesse Edwards, the Quaker founder of Newberg. It is the oldest standing home in the original Newberg township. In 1885, Dr. Henry John Minthorn, uncle and foster-father of Herbert Hoover, and his family moved to the house. Dr. Minthorn became the first superintendent of Friends Pacific Academy (forerunner of today’s George Fox University) and worked as a physician in rural Newberg. Learn more about Herbert Hoover’s boyhood home in Newberg.
Herbert Hoover’s Oregon Boyhood
Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, Iowa on August 10, 1874. His father, Jesse Hoover, died when he was six and his mother, Hulda Minthorn Hoover, died when he was nine. Herbert, his older brother, Theodore, and younger sister, Mary, were sent to live with relatives. Learn more about the birth of the Hoover-Minthorn House Museum.
Perhaps in part because the Minthorns had recently lost their only son, they requested that the relatives in Iowa send Herbert, orphaned two years prior, to Oregon to live with them. He traveled from Iowa to Oregon by train and lived in Newberg with the Minthorns from 1885 to 1888. Learn more about Herbert Hoover’s time in Oregon.
Herbert Hoover in Newberg
Hoover remembered his days in Newberg were busy with school at the Friends Pacific Academy, many chores, and Sundays filled with religious services. The strict discipline and Quaker values were a continuation of his early background in Iowa. He also remembered swimming, fishing, and playing in Newberg’s rural, pristine countryside.
Herbert Hoover in Salem
Hoover moved with the Minthorns to Salem where Hoover worked as an office boy for the Oregon Land Company started by his uncle and several friends. Hoover decided on his future career in mining when he met a mining engineer in Salem, and he became part of the first class at Stanford University, beginning in 1891.
Herbert Hoover’s Boyhood Home
The house was altered in the years after the Minthorns and Hoover moved out. It was purchased and restored through a foundation organized by local friends of Herbert Hoover. The furniture in President Hoover’s bedroom is the actual set he used as a boy, and many of the furnishings throughout the house belonged to the Minthorn family when they lived in Newberg. Other furnishings in the house were gathered from homes in the countryside around Newberg and from the Friends Pacific Academy.
Hoover came to Newberg on August 10th, 1955, his 81st birthday, to dedicate the house as a museum. The Hoover-Minthorn House Museum is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Architecturally, the house is 1880s vernacular with Italianate details.