Coin Harvey about 1930.


In 1932 William H. “Coin” Harvey became the first Arkansan to run for the White House. In 1929 he had finally started work on the Pyramid itself. But after the stock market crash of 1929 and the bank failures that followed, Harvey had to stop work on the project.

Harvey believed that both major parties were failing to properly address the needs of a nation devastated by the Great Depression. So in 1930 he formed the Liberty Party.

 



The 1931 convention of the Liberty Party was held at Harvey’s amphitheater.

In August 1931 the party held its national convention in the amphitheater at Monte Ne. The 786 delegates from 25 states soon found that the only candidate they could agree on was the 80-year-old Harvey. His running mate was Andrae B. Nordskog of Los Angeles, California. The party’s slogan was “Prosperity in 90 Days.”

Harvey began publication of the Liberty Bell to promote the party’s platform and candidates. He also hired young Kenneth Doescher to work as his secretary during the campaign.

This issue of the Liberty Bell presented Harvey’s views on
 the dispute within the party.

Within a few months Harvey and Nordskog had a falling out and the latter was dropped from the ticket. The falling out resulted from a meeting of Liberty Party leaders at Tulsa late in 1931. Harvey claimed that the meeting was an attempt to oust him as the party’s nominee, a charge that was only partially denied by those involved.

At one point C.W. Henninger, chairman of the national committee of the Liberty Party, defended Harvey from his detractors in a letter. One sentence in that letter speaks volumes about Harvey’s personality, at least in old age: “I deny that Mr. Harvey is unbearable.”

In late August 1932 Harvey announced that he would undertake a speaking tour across the West. After returning from that tour he made a 20-day speaking tour of Arkansas in a car equipped with loud speakers. His final campaign appearance was in Rogers on November 8. Harvey came in fifth in the national race, with most of his votes coming from Western states where the Free Silver cause had been most popular.

Harvey’s health had been precarious for several years. In 1934 he fell in the amphitheater and fractured his hip; his condition was listed as serious for several days. Then in 1936 Harvey suffered an attack of intestinal influenza that led to peritonitis.

He died on February 11 with his wife May at his bedside. On February 14 his body was interred next to that of his son Hal in the concrete mausoleum at Monte Ne. Over the next few years May Harvey sold the last of the land and water rights at Monte Ne.


Above, Harvey’s death mask, made by Ortis McKinney, manager of the Callison
 Funeral Home in Rogers. Below, Harvey’s mausoleum at Monte Ne.

 


More Info

For a report by Time on Harvey’s nomination, click here.

To view the complete platform of the Liberty Party, click here. (657kb jpeg)

To view C.W. Henninger’s letter in defense of Harvey, click here. (226kb jpeg)


For audio of Kenneth Doescher’s memories of Harvey, click here. (4 meg mp3)

For a history of Camp Joyzelle, click here.

To read W.B. Holyfield’s eulogy of Harvey, click here.
Part I. (49 kb pdf)
Part II. (36kb pdf)

For the obituary of Harvey in the Huntington, West Virginia, Herald-Dispatch, click here.

Introduction | Early Life | Adventures Out West | The Free Silver Crusade | Retreat to Monte Ne
Monte Ne Heyday | The Ozark Trails Association | Gloom and Doom | A Run for the Presidency | Monte Ne Today