Peninah Yocum: Birth: 1817 in Arkansas. Death: Aug 1852 in Philbert Cemetery, Stone County, Kimberling City, Missouri
Note: nd peltry were the chief items of export to the down-river markets. Aside from barter, which was the most common means of exchange, Spanish silver dollars from the Santa Fe trade penetrated the area, where they were often cut into parts and served as a medium of exchange. Another medium of exchange was created by the Yocums, who fashioned a mold and cast their own silver dollars. According to tradition, the Yocum dollars circulated in the area for several years and were accepted at face value until agents of the Federal Government came upon the scene. Sometime in the late 1840's, the government completed its land surveys in the upper White River Valley, which brought about a rush of land entires in the 1850's by people who wished to homestead the land they were living upon or cash enter additional land. When one of the settlers presented Yocum dollars at the land office in Springfield in payment of fees, etc., the government agent refused to accept them until he had sent one of them to Washington to obtain approval from the proper authorities. The Yocum dollars were approximately the same size as the U.S. dollars and actually contained a little more pure silver. They were uniform in size, but no other attempt had been made at imitation. Only two words, "YOCUM DOLLAR", were stamped on them. The government agents did not accept the Yocum dollars in payment of fees at the land office, nor did they charge the Yocums with counterfeiting money. But apparently a cease and desist sort of instrument was used, for no more Yocum dollars were coined. The creation of Yocum dollars revived the old silver mine stories of the past, which gave added impetus to the legend. The Yocums allegedly learned the location of the silver mine from the Spaniards or the Indians and were supposedly obtaining the silver for their coins from the mine. But in all probability, they were only melting down fragmented pieces of old Spanish collars that had come into their possession through trade and commerce on the river About the same time they established themselves along this tributary of the White river, four brothers of the Yocum Family arrived in the area and established friendly relations with the Indians. They soon learned that the Delawares were recipients of a federal annuity of about $4,000 in silver species. By the 1820's, some of the Yocums had found a way to obtain some of that silver. They made potent peach brandy to use as trading material. Providing Indians with liquor was illegal, so, according to Mr. Morrow, the Yocums felt it wise to "launder" their profits by melting down the federal silver and recasting it as the famed "Yocum Dollar." Creating new coinage was not yet an illegal act. To cover their activities, they claimed the silver came from a mine they had found; later the mine entrance was supposedly blocked by a cave-in, and therefore was difficult to find, Morrow said. Morrow had an interesting theory tying the Yocum dollar to a centuries-old Bohemian coin, the "Joachim's Thaler," produced at a place named for St. Joachim (pronounced Yo-a-kim), in one of its many spellings. Similarly, "dollar" comes from "Thaler," through the Dutch. Morrow assumes that Europian Yocums knew of the Joachim Thaler, and that it was an easy step to the Yocum Dollar. The legend familiar in this area has the Yocums trading horses and blankets, for a silver mine that the Delawares had discovered, and working to obtain their silver. "Osarkers know that the Yocums produced a silver dollar, presumably from Silver Cave where it was mined," Morrow said. "But the silver did not come from the earth. It came from the Delaware Nation - in the form of federal specie." Morrow concluded, "It seems historically fitting that located east of the historic Yocum settlement lies the sprawlijg Silver Dollar city, the real Ozark silver mine, with its one-half million annual visitors!" by Lynn Morrow
Note: Text: During those early years, White River was the main avenue of trade and commerce. Furs a
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