About the Museum

The Hoover-Minthorn House Museum

The Hoover-Minthorn House Museum

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

Dr. Henry John and Laura Minthorn.

Dr. Henry John and Laura Minthorn. Photo courtesy of George Fox University Archives.

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

Theodore, Herbert and Mary Hoover in Salem, OR in 1889

Theodore, Herbert and Mary Hoover in Salem, OR in 1889

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.

Wood stove for cooking

Wood stove for cooking

Butter churn

Butter churn

Kitchen queen

Kitchen queen

Bucket for water well and broom

Bucket for water well and broom

Toy cradle for a doll and child's chair

Toy cradle for
a doll
and child’s chair

Commode with pitcher and bowl and chamber pot among items in cupboard

Commode with pitcher and bowl and chamber pot among items in cupboard

Bonnet on wicker frame

Bonnet on
wicker frame

Baby's cradle with pillow and antique jacquard quilt

Baby’s cradle with pillow and antique jacquard quilt

Royal Ironstone plate in Tea Leaf pattern; the Minthorns used this pattern

Royal Ironstone plate in Tea Leaf pattern; the Minthorns used this pattern

Wood Coaster Express wagon with a covered water pail and a wood bowl

Wood Coaster Express wagon with a covered water pail and
a wood bowl

Friendship quilt with names embroidered in squares

Friendship quilt with names embroidered in squares

Pair of small black leather boots for a child

Pair of small black leather boots for a child

Porcelain commode set

Porcelain commode set

Howe sewing machine with treadle

Howe sewing machine with treadle