Henry John Minthorn

An 1883 portrait photo depicts a man with a mustache and sideburns in a suit with a bow tie.
John Minthorn in 1883

National Archives & Records Administration

Quick Facts

Henry John Minthorn, physician, educator, missionary, and businessman, was the older brother of Hulda Minthorn, Herbert Hoover’s mother. 

Young Bert's New Family

In 1885, "Uncle John" asked the other relatives of Herbert Hoover to send the orphaned boy to Oregon where he could live with the Minthorn family and attend the Friends Pacific Academy, where Minthorn was superintendent. In 1888, Dr. Minthorn and his family moved to Salem, Oregon with Herbert joining them. In Salem Dr. Minthorn operated the Oregon Land Company, where young Herbert worked as an office boy. 

"My Second Father"

President Hoover wrote in his memoirs, “The doctor was a mostly silent, taciturn man, but still a natural teacher.” Minthorn recalled of Hoover in 1920, “I do not think he was very happy. Our home was not like the one he left with his own parents in it and with very little of responsibility and almost no work.” Hoover later described his Dr. Minthorn as “my second father.” 

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

Last updated: March 20, 2021