Hoover's Higher Education
Some may say sending an 11-year old boy from Iowa to Oregon after the death of his mother would be a life-changing event… and not necessarily in a good way. But going to live with his maternal uncle, a doctor in Newberg, Oregon, turned out to bring two very important things into the young orphaned Herbert Hoover's life. Timothy Walch, Executive Director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum reveals one of them:
In 1891, 17-year old Bert Hoover enrolled in Stanford determined to become a mining engineer. With just $850 from his mother's estate to supplement his education, Bert Hoover's tireless work ethic resulted in a wide variety of jobs including a paper route and a laundry business.
"I'm told at least for the first year because he had very little money to support room and board," says Timothy Walch, "that he lived in the barracks with the workmen who was constructing the campus because the campus was still under construction. So self-made, I think, is a fair statement, and that really helped shape his friendships, and his future view on life."
Hoover's senior year at Stanford brought the second very important thing into his life. It was in geology class, that he met the love of his life-Miss Lou Henry. Bert felt compelled to help the striking freshman with her studies. In his memoirs, Hoover wrote:
Bert graduated in 1895 with a degree in geology and quickly became a successful mining engineer in Australia. Three years later, Lou received her geology degree - making her one of the first women in America to do so. When Bert's marriage proposal came by telegram, Lou cabled back her consent. They were married on February 10, 1899, and the next day, set sail for China. Their life of travel and adventure had begun.