Biography of A. T. Yoachum
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A. T. YOACHUM. Many minds labor under the misapprehension that real patriotism is peculiar to men of high genius or the favorites of fortune. The true patriot is one who, from love of country, does, or tries to do, in the proper sphere, all that appears necessary to promote her honor, prosperity and peace. The substantial elements of this precious virtue which underlies the welfare of every nation, and especially of one professing to be free, like our own, are furnished by men in every walk of life, who step out of the realm of mere self-love, and seek to further and augment the common weal. Among those who fill the highest seats, and prove themselves most deserving of public gratitude, many have been the farmers of the land, who have redeemed this great country from the wilderness and made even the rocks drip with fatness and blessing.
Among the prominent pioneers of the State of Missouri stands the names of Solomon Yoachum, grandfather of our subject, and George W. Yoachum, father of our subject. The latter was a native of the Buckeye State, who came with his father to Missouri at an early day. Later they moved by boat down the Mississippi River and settled on the White River, where they were among the first settlers. At that time the Indians were the only people in the county. After residing there for some time they came up the White River, then up the James, and settled in what is now Stone County. It was then all Arkansas. The father farmed at the mouth of Fidley Creek, on the James River, until his death in 1848, when forty-eight years of age. He was at that time the owner of 600 acres, and was a very successful agriculturist. In politics he was a Democrat. Before leaving Ohio he married our subject’s mother, whose maiden name was Alcy Friend, daughter of William Friend, another early settler of Missouri, but who subsequently moved to Arkansas, where he died. The mother of our subject passed away when the latter was but a small boy. Five children were born to this worthy couple as follows: William, a farmer, died in 1888 in McDonald County, this State; our subject and Solomon were twins (Solomon is residing on a farm in Harper County, Kan.); George died when eighteen years of age, and Josina, who married James Walker, died in 1861. After the death of his wife Mr. Yoachum married again, and five children were the fruits of this union: J. Harvey, Marion J., Augusta, Jacob and Sarah, all now living but the latter. The family held membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the father was a prominent man of the county, holding many public offices. At that early day the country was full of game, the table was well supplied with wild meat, bee trees were thick, and the early settler lived well. The father had a mill and he would take his flour down the James and White Rivers to the Mississippi River and sell it in the towns along the river.
Our subject took many trips with his father, as it was the only way to get the goods into the market. The latter hired a teacher to instruct his children, but young Yoachum received only a limited education. He was born on the White River, in Arkansas, February 7, 1827, and in 1848 he branched out to make his own way in life. He first began managing the old mill at the mouth of Finley Creek, on the James, carrying this on until 1855. Previous to that, in 1852, he began farming, and since that time much of his attention has been given to that occupation. In 1861 he enlisted in Company F, Fourteenth Missouri Regiment, under Col. John M. Richardson, and served out one year. He was in a number of skirmishes with Marmaduke and was in the fight at Springfield. After leaving the army he started a store at Ozark, but at the same time continued to till the soil. For fifteen years he sold goods in Ozark, and was then engaged in farming and stock trading up to 1887, when he and John Schonook, of Springfield, built the mill at Ozark. This mill has the full roller system and the capacity is eighty barrels a day. The principal brands are the Fancy , Daisy and Snowball, making three grades. He ships to Texas and Arkansas and supplies a large local trade, doing an annual business of $50,000. Mr. Schonook sold his interest to our subject, who is now the owner and president, T. L. Robinson being vice-president, Benjamin Larkins secretary, and S. G. McCracken stockholder. Mr. Yoachum has been one of the largest land owners in the county, but has only 300 acres here at present. He resides at Ozark and is highly esteemed by all. In politics he is a Republican. Public spirited and active in his support of all worthy measures, he is one of the county’s most influential citizens. All his property has been accumulated by hard work, for he has ever been industrious and enterprising. Socially he is a member of Lodge No. 352, A. F. & A. M., at Ozark. He was married in what is now Christian County to Miss Mary F. Glenn, a native of Marshall County, Tennessee, and the daughter of W. A. and Mary M. Glenn, who came from Tennessee to Missouri in 1856. Both parents are now deceased. He was a farmer by occupation.
Mr. and Mrs. Yoachum attend the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and contribute liberally to its support. Our subject was treasurer of Christian County from 1874 to 1878, and during Gen. Grant s administration was postmaster at Ozark. He is president of the Christian County Bank and also director, being one of its largest stockholders. He is also somewhat interested in the grocery business with Mr. McCracken, and is a first-class business man. At one time Mr. Yoachum was engaged in buying grain and stock in Springfield, and he built the elevator now owned by the mill company in 1881.