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.