William "Coin" Hope Harvey (16 August, 1851 – 11 February, 1936) was an American teacher, businessman, author, and politician best remembered for his views and his book on bimetallism and the health resort he built in Northwest Arkansas, Monte Ne. Many of his ideas also became the basis for the American Populist Party.
Almost nothing is known of William Harvey's childhood except that it was disturbed by conflict between the Unionist majority in his region and secessionist sympathizers, among whom were some of his paternal relatives. He had one sister who joined a convent and a brother who died under the command of Robert E. Lee in the American Civil War.
Early in his career, he took a case that no other attorney would. He defended a white man who married an African American woman, which was against the law in West Virginia. To close his defense Harvey asked, "Can anyone in this courtroom prove that this man has not a drop of colored blood in his veins." The case was dismissed.
Another case he had seems to have profoundly impacted him for the rest of his life. Harvey was representing a wealthy client who was the victim of a murder. From then on he mistrusted great wealth. He developed a strong belief in the coining of money with silver at 1/16 the cost of gold. This would increase employment in silver mines and bring people out of debt. He hated usury, and the practice of charging interest on loans. These views earned him the nickname "Coin".
Robert had obtained a job as brakeman on the Frisco Railroad in 1903. He had been a law student in Chicago when Harvey bought Monte Ne. Robert received word that he was being appointed to the Railway Mail Service. Two days later he was on his last trip on a freight train as a brakeman when his train was wrecked and he was killed. He was interred in a concrete mausoleum in Monte Ne.
Harvey established the Ozark Trails Association to promote good roads, highway markers, and maps. Although his main interest was promoting travel to Monte Ne, in southwest Missouri and across Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle, and on into New Mexico. Much of this route became the famed U.S. Route 66.
In his later years, as Monte Ne began to sink into debt and his health began deteriorating, he believed that human civilization was on the verge of collapse. He began making plans to build a giant obelisk, although he referred to it as 'The Pyramid'. It was serve as a time capsule for future humans to see what society had been like at its peak. Although some preliminary work on the Pyramid was done, Harvey became preoccupied with building an amphitheater which used up most of his funds and after the stock market crash of 1929 all work at Monte Ne ceased and the Pyramid was never constructed.
In 1932 Harvey formed the Liberty Party based on his financial theories.