Saturday, November 9, 2013

Treasures of Small Town Iowa: Eli Hoover's Grave

Whenever we get an order to deliver concrete pads to a propane company, I quickly grab a map and look for nearby points of interest.  Last week when we received an order for two pallets of pads to be delivered to Hubbard, Iowa, I glanced at the map only to see nothing in the Hubbard area.  Not easily discouraged, I searched the internet for attractions in Hubbard...and found a cemetery!  Other attractions were an old school house, a church bell, church paintings from 1912, a chainsaw sculpture, and of course, the usual Midwestern small town charm.  

Since I knew we wouldn't have much time on our hands, we decided to visit the cemetery.  Now, before you decide I'm totally eccentric, this isn't any ordinary cemetery.  President Herbert Hoover's grandfather, Eli Hoover, is buried there.

It took a few minutes to find the gravestone.  Many of the stones at the cemetery date into the late 1800s.  Eli Hoover's stone was very distinctive, which was fortunate for us who were looking for it.
The inscription read:
Eli Hoover
Died July 24, 1892
Aged 72 Y & 7 D
Farewell unto father, sweet thy rest
Heavy with years and worn with pain
Farewell till in some happy place
we shall behold thy face again.
It's ours to miss thee all our years,
and tender memories of thee keep.
Thine in the Lord to rest,
for so he gives his beloved sleep

A plaque placed in front of the stone in 1990 by the Open Fire Chapter DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) notes that Eli was the grandfather of Herbert Hoover, the 31st President (and Iowa's favorite son).

Eli married Mary Davis in Ohio in 1840; both were 19.  They had 5 children, Eunice, Allen, Jesse, Rebecca, and Henry.  Mary died on March 3, 1853, and their daughter Eunice died a month later. After the untimely deaths of both his wife and daughter, Eli decided to move to Iowa in 1854, taking with him his remaining children.  His son Jesse Clark Hoover married Hulda Minthorn in 1870 and started a blacksmith shop in West Branch, where Herbert Hoover was born.

Much about Eli Hoover's life has been forgotten by history--as an internet search of his name will reveal.  The gravestone, however, reminds us that someday there will be a resurrection.  Like a tree stump with roots holding life deep in the soil sprouts again, so we, with the roots of our souls planted deep in Christ will live again eternally.

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