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.