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

National Archives & Records Administration

Quick Facts

Significance:
Uncle of President Herbert Hoover
Place of Birth:
Bergersville, Ontario
Date of Birth:
April 25, 1846
Place of Death:
Portland, Oregon
Date of Death:
October 11, 1922
Place of Burial:
Newberg, Oregon
Cemetery Name:
Friends Cemetery

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

In 1885, Dr. Minthorn 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.

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 Minthorn as “my second father.” 

Last updated: October 25, 2018