Early Presidential Homes Offer a Personal Look at Our Past

Koch Foundation

Koch Foundation



Donald L. Koch currently serves as president of Koch Asset Management. A multi-experienced executive in the financial industry, he focuses on securing strong shareholder positions in community-based banks across the nation. Donald L. Koch is also the founder of the Koch Foundation, through which he presents public lectures by authors and dignitaries focused on the history of America’s founding documents and principles.

One recent foundation presentation featured Clark Beim-Esche, author of the book Calling on the Presidents: Tales Their Houses Tell. Having toured every president’s home, Beim-Esche offers an inside view of their lives and accomplishments.

Almost all of our first presidents’ residences were in Virginia: George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon, Thomas Jefferson’s at Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier in the town of Orange, and Highland, the Charlottesville home of fifth president James Monroe. John Adams, the only one among the first five presidents born outside Virginia, grew up in Quincy, Massachusetts, and his home at Peacefield is now part of the Adams National Historical Park there.

Visitors will find a rich architectural history in these homes. For example, Mount Vernon today reveals the residence that Washington expanded from a smaller house constructed by his father into an elegant mansion of more than 20 rooms, now restored to reflect their appearance during his era. At Monticello, Jefferson built for himself a sanctuary of 43 rooms surrounded by stunning grounds, which include a vegetable garden that blossoms today with the same species he cultivated.


President Lincoln’s Birthplace Cabin in Hodgenville, Kentucky

Abraham Lincoln Image: en.wikipedia.org

Abraham Lincoln
Image: en.wikipedia.org


As head of Koch Asset Management in St. Louis, Missouri, Donald L. Koch has extensive experience in financial services investments and community banking. Through the Koch Charitable Foundation, he regularly sponsors presentations on topics pertaining to America’s founding documents and executive leadership. Donald L. Koch’s foundation recently sponsored a talk by Clark Beim-Esche on his book Calling on Presidents: Tales Their Houses Tell.

Undertaken by Mr. Beim-Esche and his wife, the project involved extensive travels around the country to the childhood homes of presidents, from Ulysses S. Grant’s two-story brick residence in Georgetown, Ohio, to Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace cabin in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

Set within the neoclassical Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, the cabin is diminutive and humble and speaks of pioneer roots. The Lincoln family moved to Sinking Spring Farm from Elizabethtown only a few months before the birth of Abraham, with $200 paid for nearly 350 acres of “stony ground” near Nolin Creek. The name of the property came from a deep cave on the property, from which fresh water emerged.

The cabin did not play a major role in the future president’s life, as his family moved when he was 2, and he could not remember it as an adult. Dating from the 19th century, the current cabin on display is not the original, but a reconstruction of a dwelling that had fallen into decay even before Lincoln was elected president.

Partnerships of the Carver Bank in New York City

Carver Bank in New York City pic

Carver Bank in New York City
Image: carverbank.com

A Harvard Business School graduate, Donald L. Koch began his financial career as a senior security analyst at Connecticut Bank & Trust prior to serving as chief economist at Barnett Banks in Florida. Donald L. Koch is currently the president of Koch Asset Management, a St. Louis, Missouri-based financial firm that regularly holds shareholder positions in financial institutions, including Carver Bank in New York City.

Named after George Washington Carver and committed to serving African American communities with limited access to financial institutions, Carver Bank was founded in 1948. Currently the largest African American-owned bank in the United States, Carver Bank also partners with government agencies in New York City to meet the needs of local communities and customers. These partnerships include:

– The New York City Office of Financial Empowerment, to provide no-cost income tax preparation and bank accounts to individuals with low incomes
– The New York City Housing Authority, to support a program allowing residents to pay rent through Carver Bank at a lower cost than at other banks
– The New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority, to serve as the lender for the Small Business Mentor Program, which provides business opportunities for minority, women, and disadvantaged businesses.