Jesse Hoover was an inventive and talented young entrepreneur, a self-taught blacksmith, inventor, pump manufacturer, community leader, pioneer West Branch businessman, and husband...as well as the father of the thirty-first President of the United States. When he is mentioned in biographies of his son, Jesse is little more than a footnote, whose work ethic and entrepreneurship were an inspiration. While remarkable in many ways, Jesse Hoover’s life offers us a window into the social, economic, and religious life of the broader Iowa community that produced Herbert Hoover. Join us for new perspectives on a man who, to the son who barely remembered him, remained a figure in the shadows.
Park Ranger Peter Hoehnle is a native of Iowa who has worked for Herbert Hoover National Historic Site for only a little more than a year but has a life-long attachment to the park from visits as a young boy. He has a Ph.D. in History from Iowa State University.