Hulda Minthorn's family came from Canada, and settled in West Branch in 1859 when she was 11 years old. Hulda attended the University of Iowa for one semester before dropping out to help her mother cope with the death of Hulda's father. In 1867, Hulda taught school in Bloomington, Iowa. Hulda Minthorn married Jesse Hoover in 1870, and had 3 children: Theodore, Herbert, and Mary.
After Jesse died in 1880, Hulda supported the children by sewing and renting to boarders. She saved Jesse's insurance policy for the children's schooling. She also became a Quaker minister, traveling several times a year and preaching to Friends' Societies throughout the state. On one occasion she attended a regional conference in Kansas City. Each time Hulda left town, the children stayed with relatives. On one trip, Hulda fell ill and never recovered. She died from typhoid fever on February 9, 1884 at the age of 35.