Yankie Cousins.
John Swisshelm

Written and compiled by
Fran Ganard
Wednesday, April 30, 2003

... I'm still writing Book II of A SCHWEISSHELM SAGA and am deep into John Swisshelm's prospecting adventures. My daughter-in-law, Sandy and I went down to Silver City, NM last Wednesday and came back on Thursday. It was a terrific trip and I found a lot more than I knew before about John Swisshelm when he was there in the 1870s. But I neglected to look up anything about Joe Yankie.........ho hum. I did take a picture of his street sign though: the corner of Bullard and Yankie. I do know that Joe didn't follow John Swisshelm and Jim Bullard into the Arizona Territory, but instead I think he went north to Clifton, AZ area and teamed up with a J.N. Stevens and his brother, Capt. Jay Stevens and located the following mines: the Montezuma, Copper Mountain, Yankie and Arizona Central. That is what I wrote in my first book about the Swisshelms and I got that from the history text we used when I took two years of Arizona History at the Scottsdale Community College several years ago.

Written and compiled by
Gerald W. Yankie
I suggest that you talk with Susan Berry, Silver City Museum Director, about Joseph Trimble Yankie (sometimes spelled Yankey, but never correctly spelled Yankee). Joseph Trimble Yankie was born in Adams County Ohio on July 24, 1844. My grandfather (Jay Trimble Yankie) was the son of his sister. Joseph was in the Union Army during the Civil War and shortly after the war was over he went to New Mexico with his cousin, John Swisshelm, and his brother, James Minor Yankie, to seek their fortune. The 1870s and 1880s were some wild times in Silver City and surrounding territory. Hillsboro, NM is said to have been named by Joseph Trimble Yankie, after the county seat near his home, Hillsboro, Ohio. The Swisshelm Mountains in eastern Arizona were named after his cousin, John Swisshelm. This group from Ohio were extremely successful in gold and silver prospecting as well as other businesses. I do not know the whole story but will eventually learn more about their activities in the region. Susan Berry has helped me with some newspaper stories during the life of Joseph Trimble Yankie in your town. With Billy the Kid roaming the country and Apaches trying to protect their land, it was a colorful and frightening time. What made Joseph Trimble and James Minor Yankie leave New Mexico we may never know but they both moved back home, with a lot of money, and married local Ohio women and raised families. Joseph Trimble married Margaret Vinton Patton on Nov. 11, 1884 and James Minor married Anna Copeland on Feb. 2nd, 1887 (on Groundhog Day). These records are in the family bible of their father and mother, Jonathan Yankie and Sarah Armstrong Yankie. Joseph Trimble Yankie died on June 12, 1926 and is buried in Ohio. His brother, James Minor Yankie died on Feb. 13, 1928 and buried in Los Angeles, CA. So, never allow the city road department to change the spelling of Yankie Street. I hope this history will add more meaning to the place that you havechosen for your business. Bullard and Yankie were business associates but I do not know the exact connection.