August 16, 1851: Reformer Coin Harvey Born
Social reformer William Hope ‘‘Coin’’ Harvey was born at Buffalo in Putnam County on August 16, 1851. He was a teacher, lawyer, silver miner, politician, land speculator, geologist, and bestselling author.
Harvey attended Buffalo Academy and Marshall College (now Marshall University) before becoming a lawyer. He opened his first law practice in Huntington at age 19.
In 1883, Harvey went to Colorado and worked as a silver prospector and miner. He soon became an advocate for “free silver,” a populist cause that called for abandoning the gold standard and returning to the free coinage of silver. After 10 years in the West, he moved to Chicago, where he wrote the million-selling Coin’s Financial School, earning Harvey his nickname.
Harvey suggested many populist reforms, including the abolition of taxes, rent, interest, and profits. In 1900, he moved to Arkansas and began building an extensive retreat and vacation resort along with a huge pyramid where his ideas could be preserved. In 1932, he received more than 50,000 votes for president as a candidate of the Liberty Party.
William “Coin” Harvey died in 1936 at age 84.