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Stone from the Foundation of the Koch House, circa 1985


Scope and Contents

Irregularly-shaped, rounded reddish-gray rock with some concrete on one side.

This stone was once part of the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harry A. Koch, located at 301 South Elmwood Road in Omaha, Nebraska. Because of the rounded stones that made up the foundation, the residence was sometimes referred to as "Greyrocks" or "Red Rocks" (accounts by staff vary). Prior to serving as the Koch residence, the house had been the residence of Henry Doorly, publisher of the Omaha World-Herald newspaper. Prior to that, the property had been used for the keeping of E. John Brandeis's polo ponies.

In 1983, Nebraska Legislative Bill 410 allowed UNO to purchase land adjacent to campus in order to expand westward. The properties sought by UNO included the homes of Edward K. Connors, John A. Rasmussen, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Koch Jr., William R. Hamsa, William and Eileen Boyle, Virgil Anderson, Florence C. Davis, Cynthia Schneider, Lonnie Mercier, A. F. Montmorency, Paul V. Shirley, Jr., and the Omaha Catholic Archdiocese bishop's residence. The acquisition was opposed by the owners of several of the homes, along with Frances Batt and the Citizens Action Association. In April 1984, The Board of Regents approved the purchase of the Koch home for $475,000, along with the Mercier home for $240,000. These were the fourth and fifth lots purchased among the 12. By mid-1985, UNO had acquired all 12 properties. While some of the houses were left intact and repurposed for various UNO campus facilities, the Koch residence was among those demolished.

Source: Hamer, Roger. "UNO expansion given preliminary approval." Gateway. April 13, 1983. Mahoney, Jerry. "'We were not forced,' University says - UNO adds trees to buffer edge of campus." Omaha World-Herald. August 30, 1985. Malnack, John, II. "Regents approve purchase of archbishop's residence. Gateway. October 17, 1984. "Regents OK purchase of two more properties." Gateway. April 18, 1984. "The 12 properties UNO will purchase." Gateway. October 26, 1983. Thomas, Doug. "King, Kin Are Steeped in State's History." Omaha World-Herald. October 19, 1997.


  • circa 1985


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the Nebraska Public Records Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 84-712 through 84-712.09), and other relevant regulations. Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Nebraska Omaha assumes no responsibility.


From the Collection: 170 Cubic Feet (210 boxes; 3 crates; 3 envelopes; 1 garment bag; 95 loose objects. (Approximately) )

Language of Materials


Custodial History

When the house was demolished circa 1985, UNOUniversity Archivist Les Valentine snuck onto the site the morning after the demolish and collected one foundation stone from the rubble.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Archives & Special Collections Repository

Archives & Special Collections
Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library
6001 Dodge St.
Omaha Nebraska 68182-0237 United States