Growing up an orphaned Quaker boy and getting sick on too many pears from the orchard doesn’t conjure up images of presidential and humanitarian greatness. But Herbert Hoover, 31st president, left a legacy formed by his time living in the Hoover-Minthorn House in Newberg, Oregon.

Hoover may not have spent very much time here, but during his formative teen years in the residence he developed beliefs and habits that stayed with him for the rest of his life. Hoover attended Friends Pacific Academy where he was taught by his aunt Laura. Outside of the classroom his education continued as he accompanied his uncle on medical calls. Hoover recalled that during these trips his uncle, who was generally a quiet man, would tell his nephew about “physiology, health, and sickness.”1

The pears are from a story that’s told about Hoover never tasting a pear before. Upon his arrival in 1885, his aunt was making pear butter and the young boy was offered to eat as many pears as he wanted. After two days of eating almost nothing but pears, he became ill and it took years before he had another.

Learn more about the Hoover-Minthorn House Museum and plan your visit to this unique property.


1. Herbert Hoover, The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover: 1874-1920 Years of Adventure (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1951), 12.