A trip to Iowa reveals President Herbert Hoover was an extraordinary man

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WEST BRANCH, IA (KTVI) - If a museum is meant to make you think, then there's a line that runs through the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum that might make you take notice.

A fishing line that is.

'When people come here and they see his accomplishments both before and after the presidency they realize that this was no ordinary individual,' says Thomas Schwartz, Director Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum.

In West Branch, Iowa on the Eastern side of the state you'll find the first home and final resting place of the 31st president, Herbert Clark Hoover.

Upon entering the museum, if you look down you'll get a sense of the global impact from the humble Hoover.

'Hoover believes he fed more than 1.4 billion with a `B` people in the course of those food efforts,' says Schwartz.

Orphaned by the age of nine he spent his time in the great outdoors where he found solace under the sun, an interest in engineering and his future bride Lou Henry.

At Hoover`s museum you can stair into the face of the former first man.

'This is a life mask, it`s not a desk mask,' says Schwartz.  'Everyone thinks when they see the plaster cast it`s a death mask.  It`s a life mask of Hoover taken around 1920.'

Hoover`s name became anonyms and synonyms for everything right and later wrong in the world.

'Today we call Hoover a big data guy,' says Schwartz.  'He loved collecting big statistics and then seeing how you could use that to plan more effectively moving forward.'

He was the Secretary of Commerce who commenced in setting standards that are still used today in highways, bricks, lumber and dairy.

'He got them to agree to use uniform sizes of pint, quart, half-gallon and a gallon,' says Schwartz.

The pacifist pair of Herbert and his wife had an interesting side to their travels.

'Bert and Lou loved murder mysteries,' says Schwartz.

'Really?' Asks Patrick Clark.

'So they`d have the latest murder mysteries on the shelf for their guests,' says Schwartz.

When elected, the 31st president from West Branch was wildly popular.

But unbeknownst to him and most Americans the Great Depression was starting to set in.

Hoover would put projects in motion but the time before results could be seen was too little too late for many and instead of a second term, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to office.

But on your visit to West Branch you`ll see his doodle`s, his darling wife`s interesting collections and other firsts for west branch`s favorite son.

'He was one of the first people to use a teleprompter,' says Schwartz.  'He used this at a Republican National convention and he didn`t do well with it because the operator couldn`t keep up with him and he was frustrated.'

Throughout his life, he and Lou Henry spent time in the streams and rivers around the world.

Their Quaker roots made them fishers of men teaching the next generation how to be humanitarians.

'Fishing was kind of that perfect exercise to be at one with nature,' says Schwartz.

Like every good fish story there's a second act and how Hoover spent his many years after the oval office, well you might just have to see it for yourself.

'What was important to both of them was that people realize their own potential and use that to help others,' says Schwartz.

And if you do go, you might want to bring a fishing pole because there is an Iowa resident wait for you to return just like he did.

In the Eastern part of Iowa in West Branch, Patrick Clark FOX 2 News.

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