Herbert Hoover NHS Collection
Jesse built his Blacksmith Shop at the corner of Downey and Penn streets in 1871. Jesse Hoover was one of three blacksmiths in a town of 500. West Branch was a farming community, and many of its residents had horses, buggies, and wagons that needed repaired. In 1877, Jesse advertised in the West Branch Times: "Horse shoeing and plow work a specialty. Also dealer in all kinds of pumps. Prices to suit the times."
In 1879, Jesse sold the Blacksmith Shop and started a new farm implement business on the corner of Downey and Main streets. The new shop was the first in town to manufacture barbed wire.
Did You Know?
Herbert Hoover's birthplace was a tourist attraction as early as 1928. Jennie Scellers, the house's owner, charged 10 cents for tours and set up a souvenir stand on her lawn. More...