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  1. #1
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    234 times

    The Yokum Silver Dollar Mine

    For the past 150 years various folk legends about silver have circulated in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas. In Southwest Missouri, in the early 1800ís one of the first families of settlers spawned such a legend, the famous Yocum Dollar Legend. The following is a composite of various versions of this legend:1

    "Four Yocum brothers arrived in the Upper White River country following the War of 1812. They were friendly with the Indians, especially the Delawares, one of whom married a Yocum. The Delawares worked a silver mine somewhere near the James River The Yocums traded horses and blankets to the Indians in exchange for the mine. Then the Yocums began to mint their own money with the words "Yocum dollar" on the face of the silver coins."

    "Everyone in the hills used the Yocum dollars as money and no one objected until someone presented the Yocum dollars at the government land office in Springfield, Missouri, to exchange for government land. The land agent objected to them as counterfeit and sent one of the coins to Washington D. C. for assay and a judgment. Meanwhile James Yocum and his Delaware wife were buried in a cave-in in the silver mine near their home, which concealed the mine entrance. A federal agent came to Southwest Missouri looking for the Yocumsí silver dollars and the mint. He did not find either."

    "One of the Yocum brothers died about 1848 and in 1850 Solomon Yocum left for the California gold fields. Solomon was the last survivor who knew the silver mineís location. Following a stroke, Solomon Yocum related the silver mine secret to his grandson, William, who drew a crude map of its location. Williamís son, Joseph Yocum, brought the map to Taney County in 1958 hoping to find the mine. He did not, but he gave the map to Artie Ayres, friend and owner of the land where the mine was located on the Yocum map."

    Colorful and alluring, as are most legends of lost treasures and secret mines, this bit of folklore has a complex history--a history that spans several decades and includes both white settlers and entrepreneurs trading with local Indians. Because the Indians had come to understand the white manís attraction to precious ores, they too promoted a legend about a "silver mine." Evidence of the perpetuation of the legend is given by Silas Turnbo, Turnbo, a farmer, Confederate soldier, and newspaperman of German Palatinate ancestry who came with his family to the White River country in 1840 and later collected oral histories in the Ozarks.

    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow



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