The travelling back and forth is something I can confirm from my grandmother as well. She said that her father said they had trouble with the "fruit trees freezing" and so his family made trips back to Missouri. I hadn't heard of "tree claims" before, but this fits too.
She also said that her father said the frame house in Phillipsburg, KS was COLD during winter and that they nearly froze! The sod house had been much warmer.
I didn't realize Jacob was a blacksmith. According to my grandmother, my great grandfather (Don Carlos Hoover) used to watch a blacksmith named Poalla work all the time as a kid, and was so fond of him that he named one of his sons Benjamin Poalla. (I learned this when I asked where on earth that name had come from.)
The Horn info is very useful, that's the first I've seen of the first daughter's name.
This little search has proven beneficial beyond what I could ever have imagined. I was able to find this Jacob's ancestor Jacob on the Valley Forge muster roll in 1777 and 1778. And that Jacob's grandfather, Gregor Jonas Hoover, was the ancestor to future President Herbert Hoover.