Monday, February 18, 2013

Presidential Family Mystery

This post first appeared on the blog in 2011. Even today reading the content gives me goose bumps!

Happy President's Day!

Several years ago I discovered a steamer trunk in the attic belonging to my husband's mother. One of the treasures inside was a letter addressed to Christian Wismer Ruth (husband's grandfather) from President Herbert Hoover.

December 21, 1937

Dear Dr. Ruth:

I have your letter of December 18th.

I am entirely aware of the situation you mention. For some years I have been the sole source of support for that family. The number of calls on my resources are such that I cannot do so in the great comfort that I should like to. However, I may inform you that every cent that they have comes from me. If there are other friends of theirs who can help, I know it would be well applied.

Yours faithfully,
Herbert Hoover

I have diligently searched for information to the family Mr. Hoover is referring. Doing a Google search with Dr. Ruth and Mr. Hoover together we discovered "Seth Cook Rees : the warrior saint" by Paul S. Rees. Paul S. Rees was a pastor with the Church of the Nazarene.

Here are several possible clues:

* C. W. Ruth was Assistant General Superintendent Church of the Nazarene. From family records we know that Nettie Springer (Christian's sister-in-law) was a prominent Quaker evangelist.

* Mathilda Atkinson Minthorn was a pastor with the Friends Church in Augusta, Maine.

* Mathilda's husband Dr. Henry John Minthorn was uncle to and charged with the raising of Herbert Hoover.

From the National Parks website we learn that Herbert Hoover's family belonged to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Are the Minthorns the family President Hoover references?

With the above facts discovered I have emailed the Herbert Hoover Library & Archives. They just may have the documentation to solve this Presidential mystery.

To date I have not heard back from the library. Any advice on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated. Revisiting this post reignites the desire to find answers.

Do you have a Presidential story?


  1. Oh my goodness! I hope you are able to solve this mystery. It would drive me crazy not knowing! Good luck!

    1. Cheri,

      Thanks for reading the post. Most certainly going crazy! Want to solve this riddle.

  2. This is so suspenseful! Hoover must have written the letter himself, for it is so free of jargon: "every cent they have comes from me." I can't wait to see what you find out. I hope you get some answers!

    1. Mariann,

      Thanks for stopping by the read the post. Looks like Hoover did write the letter since it was of a personal nature. Will eventually get to the bottom of this mystery!

  3. Oh, don't you wish he'd clipped his original letter to Hoover's reply -?! Hope you eventually find out the results!

    1. Celia,

      Thank you for reading the post and leaving a comment. Would love to have a copy of the original! Was hoping the Hoover Library could shed some light. Still no world. More digging!