From "History of Davenport and Scott County" Vol. II by Harry E. Downer-S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago.
Isaiah Calvin Yocum, deceased, was at one time numbered among Scott county worthy and representative farmers. He was born August 21, 1845, of the marriage of William and Sarah (Dopp) Yocum. His birth occurred in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, and he began his education in the public schools there, but when nine years of age accompanied his parents on their removal to the middle west. They settled upon the farm which is now the home of his widow. It was then all prairie land, wild and unimproved, which the father purchased from Mr. Stacey.
After arriving in this county Isaiah C. Yocum continued his education in schools here and also attended a business college in Davenport. He then returned to the old homestead, where he carried on farming up to the time of his marriage, when he removed across the road, settling on another part of the farm. There he continued to reside until his death, which occurred December 4, 1902. He was always an energetic, enterprising farmer, carrying on his work diligently and persistently and meeting with that success which ever follows earnest effort. He was also one of the directors of the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, and in addition to tilling his fields he dealt in stock and found that a profitable source of income.
Mr. Yocum was first married in Davenport, January 20, 1869, to Miss Hannah C. Pollock, who died on the 30th of May 1871, and their only child, William James H., who was born in May, 1871, died on the 6th of the following August. On the 10th of February, 1875, Mr Yocum was married to Miss Martha Ellen Pollock, a sister of his first wife and a daughter of James and Mary (Logue) Pollock, the wedding being celebrated at Titusville, Pennsylvania. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Yocum were born four children, but the eldest, Eva, died in infancy. Sarah Alice, who is a graduate of the Davenport high school, was married August 25, 1909, to Hugo A. Briceland and they reside upon the farm with her mother. Mary E., a graduate of the Highland Park College of Des Moines, has taught in a number of schools in Scott county. Samuel Carey was a student in the high school at the time of his death. Both the son and father were suffocated in the Lincoln Hotel in Chicago, to which city they had gone to attend a stock show. This double calamity was almost unbearable to the family, who were left to mourn the loss of husband and son, father and brother.
Mr. Yocum had taken an active part in community affairs, had served as school director for fourteen years and was also treasurer of the school board and filled the office of justice of the peace. He held membership with the Ancient Order of Untied Workmen, with the Woodmen of the World and with the Legion of honor, and belonged to the Summit Presbyterian church, and its first meetings were held in the old Yocum home. His life was an upright and honorable one, in harmony with his professions and he left to his family an untarnished name. Mrs. Yocum still resides upon the old home farm of one hundred and sixteen acres of fine land in Lincoln township. She and her children are members of the Summit church and her daughters are very active and efficient workers in both the Sunday school and the church.
An Excerpt from
OUR YOCHAM FAMILY
Joel Thomas Orcutt
Henry Schoolcraft, who passed through what was later Marion County, lent his canoe to Mr. Yochem on January 14, 1819, to carry bear's bacon and pork to the mouth of the Great North Fork River, where a keel boat lay with trade goods. Yochem lived in the vicinity of what was later Talbert's Ferry."
Some of the early settlers on the Upper White include very familiar names. Augustine 'Teen' Friend was here in 1819 five miles below the shoals of White River. William Trimble and his wife, Sallie Coker, settled on White River before 1814. Henry Schoolcraft was noted to have stayed with Solomon Yocum and his son, Jacob, during his tour of the Ozarks in 1818 and 1819."
In 1818 the United States Government made an agreement with the Delaware Indians, granting them land west of the Mississippi River in exchange for their land in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. The Delaware Tribe settled near the James River in southwestern Missouri. Upon taking possession of their lands granted by the U.S. Government, the Delawares, and some other tribes, effectively “displaced” some settlers, termed “squatters”, among whom were the Yoachums, Solomon and his brother, James, (also known as Jake, or Jacob), who by some accounts had already settled in the area as far back as the late 1790’s. As an alternative to the white settlers simply leaving they were allowed to rent bottom land for cultivation, pasture for stock grazing, and erect mills on waterways, and other industry, and allowed to co-exist with the Indians, as long as they were peaceful and law-abiding. But it didn’t take long for complaints to arise, particularly those of John Campbell, official Indian Agent for the U.S. Government in charge of the Delaware Reservation, who reported in a letter dated October 1, 1825;
“Solomon Yoachum has erected a distillery... and has made a quantity of peach brandy and has been selling it for some time in quantities to the Indians. There is a number of those outlaw characters all below him who are selling whiskey constantly to the Indians."
John Campbell called for government removal of some so called “Outlaws” from the Delaware lands, including Solomon Yocham.
Lynn Morrow, in an 1983 article in the Ozark Mountaineer, titled St. Yocum and the Delawares stated;
“Tossed from The Nation, ( The Delaware Indian Nation) in 1825, Solomon set up just south of the reservation, below Finley’s mouth on the James, and opened up a distillery making whiskey and brandy.”
Making peach brandy, while perhaps providing Solomon and the Yochums a bit of local, short lived infamy in connection with their Indian “clientele”, somewhat pales on a historical note compared with the most popular bit of Yoachum, and Ozark history. While some may take slight exception in referring to the Yocum silver dollar as history, and not strictly as mere “legend”, enough has been told, and written about it to qualify it as a true icon of Ozark history. Perhaps no other legend, (as we might as well refer to it), in American history has yielded a more profitable return than that of the Yocum dollar. An entire industry, theme park Silver Dollar City, and it's off shoots have now “mined” the legend for what must surely be billions of dollars. Many people have searched away countless hours, days, months, and even years looking for the source of the legend, the famed Lost Yoachum Silver Mine. Some people believe that it is a canard, or hoax, the typical tale told often by the evening fire, usually with the sure knowledge of someone who knows someone that once saw one of the dollars, or the molds that made them, or knew of someone that knew of someone that had a map. Enough interest has been raised at various times to attract persons schooled in geology, mining, and formations, and reports of a professional nature seem to suggest that there is very little likelihood of silver being found in an quantity and quality to justify believing that a mine actually existed.
In the early 1980’s I corresponded briefly with Artie Ayres, who owned the property that the Yoachum silver mine was believed to have been on. I bought his book, Traces of Silver, an interesting read, with a pro “mine existed” content. Since then I have read many accounts dealing with the mine, and the silver dollars, both pro and con, regarding belief in either, or both, and along with what I have read, and the older members of the family I have talked with, I cannot say that I entirely believe there was a mine, but cannot say I summarily discount it out of hand either. On the other hand, I feel confident that the Yocum “trade dollar” was in fact made, and used for a short period of time. There were no banks in Missouri until 1837, and it was not illegal to coin legitimate money in those early days, and as Government money was scare it makes sense that some people would have made their own money, if they had something to make it out of. Of course counterfeit money, called among other things in those times past as the “Queer” , then as now, has never been legal.
A Guide Book of United States Coins, 1984,
“Federal silver dollars were scarce during the early 19th century. President Jefferson imposed a moratorium on their production in 1806 which lasted until 1837. There was, however, a great deal of private coinage during this period. Coins were "by no means fabricated in order to deceive the public; they were simply attempts, and successful ones, to commercialize the newly-produced metal. They did not claim government authorization but indicated the name of the producer and generally passed as money."