YOCOM, William Jacob.-The pioneers of Illinois placed the State under lasting obligations, for they were the forerunners of civilization and made possible the conditions that exist today. Where now are beautifully tilled fields, the pioneer found a vast wilderness, peopled by savage beasts and often hostile Indians. Little by little he cleared away the undergrowth. routed out the Indians and wild animals, put in his seed, built his horse and barns, developed roads, and erected schoolhouses and churches, in all being assisted by his faithful wife, until today Illinois stands second to no other State except New York. One of the families closely associated with the early history of the State, is that bearing the name of Yocom, and one of its able representatives of Springfield is William Jacob Yocom.
Mr. Yocom was born in Sangamon County, March 8, 1846, a son of Stephen and Martha A. (Council) Yocom, both natives of Kentucky. Grandfather Yocom was born in Virginia, and he and his wife rode from that State to Kentucky on horseback, more than a century ago. The parents came to Illinois in 1828 and spent their remaining lives in Williamsville Township, where the father was a farmer. They reared a large family and its members have married and located throughout Sangamon County, until there are hundreds of descendants of the two hardy Illinois pioneers who bore the name of Yocom.
After a boyhood spent in Williamsville Township, during which time he attended district school and worked on the family farm. Mr. Yocom began farming for himself, and still owns the fine farm he acquired.
During the Civil War Mr. Yocom enlisted in Company I, One Hundred and Thirty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Orendorff. He served for one hundred and fifty days, guarding prisoners at Rock Island. A stanch Republican, Mr. Yocom has served as School Director upon many occasions, but otherwise has not been before the public for office. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen, Royal Neighbors, and Stephenson Post, G. A. R. The Methodist Church holds his membership and he gives liberally towards its support. Mr. Yocom has never married. He is genial in temperament and cordial, being a welcome addition to any social gathering, where he is sure to find many warm, personal friends, for he is a general favorite.