Part 1 of History Not Taught in Public Schools By Frank E. Ralston in the July 20 1962 ,Mining Review
Frank called himself the Old Historian,
Rich Hill has had outstanding baseball clubs over the years, and have developed some very classy ball player, but we doubt if anyone now alive recalls that Rich Hill sent a young ball player to professional baseball as early as the spring of 1887. Thomas Hackett, a young blacksmith was signed to a Kansas City Western League contract and left for the spring training April 13, 1887. A local paper stated at the time: "Tom is a young man of good character personal bearing and one whose Rich Hill fans feel a pride and personal interests." Sorry, we cannot give you any record of his success. Tom also played the tuba in the famous Rich Hill band of those days.
One of Rich Hill's prosperous industries before the turn of the century was the Vertified Brick and Tile plant, which employed more than 50 men and operated for a number of years. The company was organized and built by Major D. H. Wilson and Thomas Sanderson and T. B. Farmer, all prominent business men of the early days, and they were the local stockholders. Mr. J. H. Curry was in charge of the building and was superinternment of the plant. The plant was built in the spring of 1891 on the Spencer land, directly east of the Rich Hill Zinc Smelters, another early day industry. After operation for a number of years, the plant was sold to Walter S. Dickey of Kansas, who converted the plant to strictly a tile plant, and it was in operation for a number of years. Many a car load of brick and tile was shipped, from this plant.