Presidential hopeful Donald Trump is going to have some explaining to do after an incident that he’s never publicly mentioned has just been brought to light. It happened at a Georgia farm back in the mid-80s, and it speaks volumes about who the GOP front-runner really is.
Ever since he first announced his plans to run for president, The Donald has come under fire from the militant left, who say that because he’s a billionaire businessman, he could never relate to us “little folk.” Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen; however, a chain of events from his past gives us a lot of insight about Trump’s true character.
It happened back in 1986, when farms across the South were folding in the worst agricultural crisis since the Great Depression, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A family farmer by the name of Lenard Dozier Hill III was a third-generation grower of cotton and soybean, but the bank foreclosed on his property, and it was about to be auctioned off out from under him.
In a last-ditch effort to save the family farm, Hill sadly committed suicide in the bedroom of his home, thinking that his life insurance policies would be enough to bail his wife out of debt, but there was just one problem – most every life insurance policy doesn’t cover suicides. The chain of events that followed show just how big of a heart The Donald really has.
Hill’s desperate act struck a chord. Reporters and TV crews descended on the Waynesboro church where the funeral was held. Vandals painted “farmer killer” on the door of the local bank.
Once the family realized the financial futility of Hill’s suicide, the burden of saving the farm fell on his widow, Annabel Hill, a 66-year-old teacher and social worker with gray hair and large glasses.
The widow was already familiar with Frank Argenbright, a wealthy and white Atlanta businessman who had made a name for himself by organizing the successful effort to save the farm of a black farmer in Cochran named Oscar Lorick.
Trump told the Atlanta businessman that his wife, Ivana, had seen the report on the Hill family’s plight on the network news, and she suggested that he get involved. The magnate summoned Argenbright and the Hills to New York. After a brief interview, Trump signed onto the cause.
Accounts of what followed differ. In his book “The Art of the Deal,” Trump wrote that, in a phone call, he twisted the arm of a vice president of the Georgia bank that held the Hill mortgage.
“I said to the guy, ‘You listen to me. If you do foreclose, I’ll bring a lawsuit for murder against you and your bank, on the grounds that you harassed Mrs. Hill’s husband to his death.’ All of a sudden, the banker sounded very nervous and said he’d get right back to me. Sometimes it pays to be a little wild,” Trump wrote.
Trump staved off the foreclosure, then gave Hill $20,000 of his own money to pay the bank and get her loan up to date, and he did it all while trying to keep his name out of the picture. During a press conference, Frank Argenbright only spoke of a “New York developer” when asked who stepped in and helped, but eventually, people figured out it was Trump.
He helped Hill raise money from people across the country to pay the loan off in its entirety, then he and a Texas oilman donated the last $78,000 Hill needed. Two days before Christmas, the family held a “mortgage burning ceremony,” then Trump paid to fly the Hills out to New York to have breakfast with him.
“We saw a whole different side of him that was kindhearted, to reach out to us, to help us,” said Hill’s daughter, Betsy Sharp. “Most people don’t know and see that side. All they see is just the ‘blurt’ that people put on the TV. They don’t see the other side of him, and that’s what my family got to experience.”
Thanks to the efforts from Trump, the family farm was saved. Annabel Hill died in 2011 at the age of 91, but the farm remains in family hands with Leonard Dozier Hill IV at the helm. Sharp lives in Columbia County and manages a surgery center, and when asked, she said she would proudly campaign with The Donald.