This blog came to me, from an Old Mining Review newspaper via Jeff Droz. Thank you Jeff, for sending me the articles and making this blog possible. I have been wanting to do an article on "Old Town Rich Hill" and Jeff's articles made it possible. thanks again, Jeff.
This blog is from the Rich Hill Mining Review July 29, 1955 this editon was written by Ed McQuitty- for 75th Anniversary Issue.
The "Old Rich Hill" was a sleepy little village, everything from day to day being routine, nothing going on in the way of relaxation or entertainment, except perhaps the music of the anvil in the blacksmith shop, and never any excitement, except on one occasion when there was aplenty, an account of which is told in a letter received recently from Mr. Homer Spencer of Concord, North Carolina. Reminiscing, Mr. Spencer said, doubt if there is anyone living today that remembers the Dave Hardy 'hanging bee' that took place near Old Rich Hill in 1876. I was only four years old at the time and must tell of the incident as afterward told to me. Hardy had stolen some merchandise at Butler. A Mr. Wilson, constable of the territory, with a warrant in his pocket, rode up to the village to serve the document. Hardy perceived the officer’s coming and ran into the timber, which grew to within a short distance from the little town. The officer pursued on his horse, soon catching up with the criminal. Hardy was carrying a shot gun and when overhauled pointed it at the constable and warned him to desist, vowing to shoot his head off if he advanced nearer. Wilson however, continued on, and with a smile exclaimed: No, Dave, you wouldn't shoot me,' whereupon Hardy leveled the weapon and fired. Wilson fell dead from the saddle. Watching from the post office, several people witnessed the murder and at once formed a posse, capturing the criminal a short time afterward. At the school house, house Hardy was given a ‘trial,’ declared guilty, served with good meal and placed astride a horse. The posse escorted him to a big oak tree growing near where the Rich Hill Zinc Works used to operate, placed one end of a stout rope around his neck, the other to an overhanging limb. The horse was slapped on the rump and Davey, old boy, swung dead, leaving no street address or telephone number. The incident was strictly hush, hush, never again referred to in the community and escaped mention in the Butler papers, so, if the story is published, it will be the first time it ever appeared in print." Continuing Mr. Spencer said "us kids were in the habit of gathering- hops in the vicinity of the old oak tree with which mother made yeast for bread. Well, after the hanging we were so frightened of the locality that we “hopped” around in a different place for mother’s bread making ingredients.