THOMAS C. YOAKUM. - The name of Yoakum has long been a familiar one in Sangamon county, and is inseparably connected with its history. Its representatives have been especially active in agricultural life and have aided materially in making this portion of the state to bloom and blossom as the rose. Mr. Yoakum, of this review, was born in Menard county, Illinois, August 14, 1840, and now lives in Salisbury township, Sangamon county, his home being on section 29. He is one of the thrifty farmers and stock-raisers, owning and operating eighty acres of land, and he is also a carpenter and joiner, and has been to a greater or less extent identified with the building interests of the county. He is a son of Mathias Yoakum, a native of Tennessee, born in 1798. The grandfather, George Yoakum, removed with his family from Virginia to Tennessee, where he spent his remaining days. His widow afterward came to Illinois with her family, arriving in this state in 1810. She settled in Sangamon county, but afterward established her home in Menard county. Mathias Yoakum was reared to manhood in Menard county, and after attaining his majority he wedded Miss Elizabeth McHenry, a native of Virginia, who came to Illinois with her parents, who first located in the southern part of this state but subsequently settled in Menard county. At the time of his marriage Mr. Yoakum took his bride to a farm in that county and continued its cultivation until his death in 1855.
Thomas C. Yoakum, whose name introduces this review, was reared to manhood in Menard county and educated in the common schools there. When a young man of twenty-two years he responded to his country's call for troops, enlisting in August, 1862, as a member of Company F, One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois Infantry. The regiment was sent to Missouri and on to Tennessee, and was attached to the Army of the Cumberland. Mr. Yoakum was under fire at Jackson, Mississippi, and participated in the long continued siege of Vicksburg. He was afterward in the second battle of Jackson, and was in the engagements at Brandon, Tallahatchie, Guntown, Tupelo, Nashville, Spanish Fort, Fort Blakely and in numerous skirmishes. The capture of Fort Blakely largely ended the active service of the regiment, and Mr. Yoakum then marched with his command to Montgomery, Alabama, whence he was sent to Vicksburg, and there was mustered out and honorably discharged in July, 1865. He was never in the hospital or lost any time in the service, but responded to the roll-call each morning and stacked arms with the company each evening.
When the war was over Mr. Yoakum returned to his home and located where he now resides on section 29, Salisbury township. he purchased the farm, erected good buildings and has improved the place, making it a valuable property, which returns to him a golden tribute for the care and labor which he bestows upon the place. In his farming methods he is progressive and everything about his place indicates his careful supervision.
On the 15th of May, 1866, Mr. Yoakum was united in marriage to Miss Barilla Hoag, a native of Ohio, born in Butler county. She was brought to Illinois, however, during her girlhood, and was reared in Sangamon county. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Yoakum has been born a daughter, Maude, now the wife of Augustus Miller, a teacher of Sangamon county. They, too, have a daughter, Edna Belle Miller.
In connection with his farming operations, Mr. Yoakum is engaged in contracting and building, following that pursuit in Mechanicsburg and in Salisbury. He has erected a number of houses and barns, and has received a good patronage in this line of activity. He also served as postmaster of Salisbury for a number of years. He votes with the Republican party, believing firmly in its principles, and he was elected and served as township assessor, but has never been a politician in the common acceptance of the term. He and his wife are loyal members of the Christian church, taking an active part in its work and he is serving as one of its elders. In all life's relations he has been found true to duty and the right, whether upon the battle-fields of the south, in public office, in his church or in the conduct of his business affairs.