Methodist Church Site

Black and white photograph of a white church with a steeple and gothic windows.
The Methodist Church in West Branch as photographed in 1915

National Park Service

Quick Facts

West Branch, Iowa
Part of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

When Herbert Hoover was growing up, a Methodist Church, built in 1870, occupied the lot where C.E. Smith’s house now stands. A towering three-story steeple impressively pointed to the heavens, and it’s likely the Hoover household heard its ringing bell on Sunday mornings. An 11-foot tall street lamp is a historic reconstruction of the copper lantern box and post that stood in front of that church. The original lamp burned kerosene oil, and was one of eleven that were lighting the streets of West Branch by 1883.

Last updated: November 17, 2018