William Hope "Coin" Harvey

Huntington Herald-Dispatch
February 12, 1936

'Coin' Harvey, 85, Noted Bi-Metallism Champion, Succumbs

One-Time Huntingtonian Dies of Peritonitis Following Attack of Intestinal Influenza At Monte Ne, Arkansas, Home

MONTE NE, Ark., Feb. 11. - William Hope "Coin" Harvey, 85, veteran champion of bi-metallism and one-time presidential candidate, died at his home here at 9:20 o'clock (Central Standard time) tonight.

Harvey was stricken with peritonitis following an attack of intestinal influenza. He passed into a semi- coma late today and death followed swiftly. With him at the time of his death was his second wife, Mrs. May Ellston Leake Harvey, to whom he was married seven years ago and who was his private secretary for more than 30 years.

His three children, Tom Harvey of Huntington, W. Va., Mrs. Hammond Halliday of New York City, and Miss Annette Harvey of Huntington, were notified late today of their father's critical condition.

Born at Buffalo, W. Va., August 16, 1851, Harvey was the son of Col. Robert and Anna M. Hope Harvey. He was educated at Buffalo Academy and Marshall College, West Virginia.

'Free Silver' Champion

He practiced law from 1871 to 1874 and married Anna R. Halliday of Delaware, O., in 1876. They were divorced in 1929.

Harvey, writer on money and economics, was the presidential candidate of the Liberal party in 1932 after he had been in retirement for years.

He was best known to an older generation for his "free silver" campaign with the late William Jennings Bryan in 1896.

Harvey claimed two outstanding successes in his life although it was his heroic "failures" that made him nationally famous.

He built, with contributions from citizens, the mineral palace at Pueblo, Colo., in 1889 to house exhibits of the mineral resources of that state. An heroic statue of "King Coal" in the palace was cut by a Chicago sculptor from a solid piece of coal weighing 11,000 pounds.

Started Ozark Trails

Harvey also started the Ozark trails at Monte Ne, the route extending from St. Louis to Roswell, N. M. He spent thousands of dollars out of his own pockets on this venture, described as being the beginning of good roads and highways in the central and western states.

Outside of his ill-starred political battles, Harvey's greatest "failure" was a pyramid he started to erect to a "lost generation" at his home here. But earlier than that he experienced serious financial reverses, among which was the collapse of his Monte Ne summer resort, established more than 30 years ago.

Attracted Tourists

For a time this attracted tourists from all sections of the United States who stopped at its two huge log hotels, played around its springs, pavilions, lakes and wooded valleys. Harvey's management drew him into a squabble with other stockholders and the resort was finally sold at auction.

Harvey came to Arkansas after resigning as chairman of the ways and means committee of the Democratic national party in a rage over the abandonment of his free silver issue, made famous in the McKinley-Bryan campaign of 1896.

The failure of his Liberty party in 1932 was another blow to Harvey's spirit. He expressed keen disappointment after the votes were counted and when funds to support the "Liberty Bell," official organ of the party, ceased coming in.

Until recent months, however, the sage of Monte Ne was in excellent health and insisted that he would live to be 100.

Harvey obtained a divorce from his first wife in 1929 and marries Mrs. May Leake, Springfield, Mo., in April of that year. The second Mrs. Harvey, a trained nurse, was in constant attendance at his bedside. The first Mrs. Harvey lives in Huntington, W. Va., with her daughter, Miss Annette Harvey.

Author Of Books

During the last few years of the nineteenth century, William Hope Harvey achieved a wide reputation as author of a book on finance called "Coin's Financial School."

The volume, written in 1894, had an extensive circulation and from it he acquired the nickname "Coin," which stuck to him the remainder of his life. The same year he wrote "The Tale of Two Nations," which added to his fame as an author.

For nearly 25 years thereafter, Mr. Harvey lived in virtual obscurity in Arkansas when he again attracted attention by his announced plans for the erection of a huge pyramid of America in the Ozarks of Arkansas.

Pessimistic as to the future of the civilization of his time, which he believed eventually would be destroyed, he conceived the idea of the pyramid as a means of preserving for future peoples a complete record of the world in which he lived.

Taught School

In his early years, Mr. Harvey began teaching school at 16, then took up the study of law and was admitted to practice before he was 21. He gained some prominence as a lawyer in West Virginia and also established offices in Chicago and Cleveland. In 1884 he went to Colorado and engaged in the real estate business.

Interested in finance and for a long time a close student of the subject, he turned to writing upon it. After publishing several volumes he abandoned that activity to re-enter the real estate business in Arkansas, to which state he removed in 1900. There he interested himself in the Ozark territory in which he lived and in good roads.

His long search for knowledge of prehistoric civilizations and the causes of their downfall, gave Mr. Harvey the idea of the pyramid. By it he hoped to prevent all trace of the present civilization from being lost. He visioned greed for power and money gradually carrying the world to destruction.

"Suicides, insanity, tenantry and divorces," he once explained his views, "are destroying the basis of the existing government and society, until people will return to savagery and will eventually be numbered with the prehistoric civilization that have gone before us."

Chose High Site

The site chosen for the pyramid at Monte Ne, Ark., was believed by geologists to have been at one time one of the highest points on the earth. Mr. Harvey planned a shaft 130 feet high of concrete with a base 40 feet square and tapering to six feet square at the top. A plate at the top was to bear this inscription:

"When this can be read, go below and find the record of and cause of the death of a former civilization."

A vault at the base of the pyramid was planned to contain the history of the rise and growth of this civilization; the dangers threatening its overthrow; a symposium of opinions of the cause of its threatened destruction; volumes on industry and scientific attainment; pictures of outstanding inventions and discoveries and of people and animals. There was also to be a book to aid in translation into the language in use when the pyramid would be opened.

Among other books, of which Mr. Harvey was author, were "Patriots of America," "Coin on Money, Trusts and Imperialism," "The Remedy," and "Common Sense."

Early Resident Here

William Hope "Coin" Harvey, who died last night at his home in Monte Ne, Ark., was one of Huntington's earliest settlers. He began the practice of law here in 1876 with his brother, the late Judge Thomas H. Harvey, and built the Harvey home next to the old Enslow home on Third avenue. He was the last of the sons of Col. and Mrs. Robert T. Harvey of Putnam county and Huntington. He last visited Huntington five years ago when he came to see his son, Thomas W. Harvey, of 1127 Twelfth avenue, and his daughter, Miss Annette Harvey. He survived another brother, the late Harry C. Harvey. The son said last night that he would attend the funeral and burial services which would be held at Monte Ne.

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