A one-story wooden building painted off-white has two windows and a central doorway.
Many rural Midwestern towns like West Branch placed a high value on education

NPS Photo by John Tobiason

Quick Facts

West Branch, Iowa
Part of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

"Iowa in those years was filled with days of school, and who does not remember with a glow, some gentle woman, who with infinite patience and kindness, drilled into us those foundations of all we know today."

Herbert Hoover

By 1853, enough people lived in West Branch to build and support a public school. Hard work was a core value of the Quaker townsfolk, but so too was education— for both boys and girls. Herbert Hoover's own mother, Hulda had been a teacher in neighboring Muscatine County before she married. Because the Society of Friends raised much of the money for the construction of this one-room schoolhouse, it was also used as the town's first Quaker meetinghouse.

Last updated: November 11, 2018