Theodore Jesse Hoover (1871 - 1955)

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Nicknames: "/Tad/"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: West Branch, Cedar, IA, USA
Death: Died in Rio Del Oso, Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Occupation: dean of the School of Engineering at Stanford
Managed by: Lori Wilke
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Theodore Jesse Hoover

Their first son Theodore (Tad,1871) was followed on August 10, 1874 by another boy, Herbert Clark Hoover (Bert). On the occasion of his son's birth Jesse went through town declaring, "We have another General Grant in our house." Herbert's birth was followed in1876 by the birth of a sister, Mary (May).

The Hoover children spent their early years growing up in West Branch, Iowa. West Branch provided both joys and hazards of life. The children could hike, explore, and swim as well as huntfor fossils and agate in the glacial gravel along the railroad tracks. Their Quaker upbringing forbade the Hoover boys from carrying a gun, so they learned to hunt for rabbit and prairie chickens with bow and arrow. They learned these skills from young Indian boys who were attending a local government training school. Willow poles, butcher string lines and hooks that cost a penny apiece provided Herbert Hoover with sunfish and catfish. There was also Cook's Hill for sledding on home-made sleds. Their fun was tempered by the possibility of natural disaster and disease. The Iowa summer sun could scorch crops; prairie storms might wash out spring plantings or level a dwelling; the relentless winter favored typhus, diphtheria and pneumonia. Herbert Hoover's own memories give a glimpse into his childhood. He remembered trips into the country with his father Jesse. He also recalls as a small boy getting stuck in mud while crossing an unpaved road during a particularly rainy summer. "Papa's little stick-in-the-mud," his father called him as he lifted Bert to freedom.

A lifelong scar on the bottom of his foot reminded Bert of the time he walked into his father's blacksmith shop barefooted, and stepped on a glowing ember. He also recalled his father's farm-implement shop which his father established after blacksmithing. At this shop there was a machine for putting barbs on wire. After this was done, the wires were dipped into hot tar to retard rust. Bert remembers trying an experiment whereby he put a lighted stick into the bubbling tar and caused huge clouds of smoke which brought the whole town running. West Branch, where Herbert Hoover spent his first eleven years, practiced a strict Quaker morality. The Hoovers grew up within a sect that made its own affirmation of a rational, usable world. [The Quakers valued a blunt plainness. They believed that people will work well together, and that through rational discussion, compromise was possible.] They were dedicated to peace, and the belief that good common reason and strategic planning provide one with an uncluttered conscience. The Hoover family figured prominently in thetown's religious life. Hulda Hoover was a recorded minister who frequently spoke out at the Friends' meetings. Her faith was expressed in temperance and charitable activities. Herbert Hoover recalled that "the Friends had always held to education, thrift, and individual enterprise. In consequence of plain living and hard work poverty has never been their lot." He also recalled that the long hours of Quaker meetings waiting for the spirit to move someone provided him with strong training in the virtue of patience. On December 13, 1880, Jesse Hoover died at the age of 34. Hulda and the children remained in West Branch, where she earned money working as a seamstress. She occasionally boarded Herbert with Uncle Will Miles. This gave her time to extend her godly pursuits as clerk of meeting, teacher of Sunday School, and as a member of a committee of correspondence charged with sending letters. -------------------- Check with Encylopedia Brittanica and you will see that Theodore Jesse Hoover died 2/4/1955

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Theodore Jesse (T.J. or Tad) Hoover's Timeline

1871
January 28, 1871
West Branch, Cedar, IA, USA
1901
May 13, 1901
Age 30
1906
1906
Age 34
Palo Alto, CA, USA
1955
February 4, 1955
Age 84
Rio Del Oso, Santa Cruz, CA, USA
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