The future US President Herbert Clark Hoover was born on August 10, 1874 in West Branch. His parents were Quakers with German roots from provincial Iowa. The boy’s father sold agricultural machinery and worked as a blacksmith. He died when Herbert was only 6 years old. His mother died 4 years later. An orphaned boy moved to his uncle in Oregon. In 1891, young Hoover entered the newly opened Stanford University. He became a mining engineer, and nothing foreshadowed that this specialist would be engaged in politics.
In 1895, Herbert Hoover received a bachelor’s degree. His professional career was extremely exciting. First, a Stanford graduate got a job as a rock cleaner at the mining company Reward Gold Mine. Then British Bewick, Moreing and Company, specializing in gold, hired a 23-year-old Hoover and sent him to Australia. There Hoover gained invaluable experience not only as a geologist, but also as a manager.
Later the specialist received an unexpected offer from the Chinese government. The Chinese wanted to learn modern Western experience. The American was in China when the infamous Boxing Uprising began there. Peasants were against the domination of foreigners and they did not like the missionary activity of Christians. Once Tianjin, in which the Hoovers lived, came under fire. The rebel shells landed in a building across the street from the house of an American engineer. On that day, Herbert, risking his life, rushed into the ruined house and saved a Chinese girl.