Graves of Hoover’s Parents

Graves of Hoover's Parents
Graves of Hoover’s Parents

I have been involved with the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site for some time. I even spent a couple of summers volunteering at the historic site. They are both located in West Branch, Iowa which was where Hoover was born and raised.

Herbert Hoover’s own grave and of that of Lou Henry his wife was central to the story we shared. Hoover had asked that he be buried on a hill overlooking the birthplace cottage. They set it up and actively seek to maintain a line of sight between the back porch of the birthplace cottage and the grave site and vice versa. Be sure you take the time to notice that if you visit West Branch.

As important as the Hoover graves are to the story we tell, I’m surprised to say it never occurred to me to think about his parents. Even though I knew his parents both died there in West Branch when he was young, it wasn’t until I recently read a souvenir book from the 1970s that it occurred to me to wonder where his parents were buried. It turns out they are the West Branch Municipal Cemetery. They were buried next to each other and their stones are still there. The stone his mother selected for his father was taller than they allowed, so it was originally buried deeper than it was intended to be.

Consider adding a stop to their graves if you do come visit West Branch.

Update August 28, 2015: Looking back the original post assumed that you knew quite a bit about the Hoover complex and West Branch so I’ve added some explanatory information and made the photo bigger.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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trundlebedtales

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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