Charles E. Putnam, a prominent farmer and business man of Richmond, Kan., is a native of Kansas, having been born in Anderson county, that state, Aug. 19, 1859. He is of English descent, a scion of that branch of the Putnam family which was established in America by John Putnam, who was born in Aston Abbotts, Bucks county, England, in 1580. He married Priscilla Gould in England and immigrated to America, according to family tradition, in 1634, settling in the Connecticut colony. However, records of Salem, Mass., show that in 1641 John Putnam was granted 100 acres of land there. He was a farmer and churchman and probably was in Connecticut during the excitement incident to the banishment of Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams, and during the Pequot Indian war, but later removed to near Boston, Mass., where he purchased land as stated. He died in Salem village, now Danvers, Mass., Dec. 30, 1662. John and Priscilla Putnam were the parents of nine children. Their eldest son was Lieut. Thomas Putnam, born at Aston Abbotts, Bucks county, England, March 7, 1614, who was married Aug. 17, 1643, to Ann Holyoke, daughter of Edward and Prudence Holyoke, members of one of the most prominent and aristocratic families in the Massachusetts colony. Lieut. Thomas Putnam was first parish clerk at Salem village, and was a leader in the local ecclesiastical and town affairs. He died at Salem village May 5, 1686. Sergt. Thomas Putnam, a son of Lieutenant Putnam, was born at Salem, N. H., Jan. 12, 1652, and married Ann Carr Sept. 25, 1678. Sergt. Thomas Putnam was a well educated man, but of a decisive and obstinate nature. He was deeply interested in the witchcraft of that time and, being parish clerk, he kept a record of the witchcraft proceedings of his vicinity, his writing being very fine and clear. He died at Salem, N. H., May 24, 1699. He and his wife were the parents of twelve children, the youngest of whom, Seth Putnam, was one of the earliest of the Danvers Putnams to go into the wilderness to make a home, the Danvers Putnams meaning the family that originated and for several generations had resided in and near Salem village, Essex county, Massachusetts, now known as Danvers. Seth Putnam was born in Salem, N. H., in 1695, married Ruth Whipple Sept. 16, 1718. He bought property in Billerica, N. H., where he resided until 1750, when he removed to Post No. 4, now Charlestown, N. H. This frontier post had been so fearfully exposed to Indian attacks that but three of the grantees settled there. His son, Ebenezer Putnam, fought in New Hampshire in the French and Indian war, in 1755, and was enrolled under Col. Josiah Willard; he also served under Capt. Phineas Stevens. In that year, upon a petition by the inhabitants of Charlestown, fourteen in number, among whom were Seth and Ebenezer Putnam, the post was regarrisoned, as there had been ten Indian attacks between 1753 and 1755. In 1754 a committee investigated the claims of the residents and reported forty-three claims, among them being those of Seth, Ebenezer and Thomas Putnam, to each of whom was awarded one-fourth of the whole. Seth Putnam helped to found the first church in Charlestown, and was one of its first ten members. He was a prominent and highly respected member of the settlement, and when the first town meeting of Charlestown was held, in 1753, he was chosen tything man. He died at Charlestown, N. H., Nov. 30, 1775. Ebenezer Putnam, mentioned above, was born in Billerica, N. H., Aug. 8, 1719, and married Mary Barker. He too was one of the first ten male members of the first church at Charlestown and was made its deacon. He served as selectman in 1755-56, 1761 and 1765, and as moderator from 1765 to 1769. He died in Charlestown, N. H., Feb. 2, 1782. Jacob Putnam, the thirteenth of fourteen children born to Ebenezer and Mary Putnam, was born at Charlestown, N. H., March 18, 1771, and married Polly Worth. They were the grandparents of Charles E. Putnam of this review, and the second of their six children. Leander Putnam was his father. Leander Putnam was born near Montpelier, Vt., Sept. 17, 1809, and married Martha M. Emerette, who also was born in Vermont, her birth date being July 9, 1825. The original progenitor of the Putnam family in America was the son of Nicholas Putnam, of Wingrave and Stukeley, England, who died in 1598. The ancestry of the Putnam family in England can be directly traced back for sixteen generations to one Simon de Puttenham, which form of the name would indicate that it was probably of Norman origin and that the original ancestors in England were probably followers of William the Conqueror. Seth Putnam, the great, great-grandfather of our subject, was a cousin of Gen. Israel Putnam, whose name is familiar to every school boy and girl in our land through his conspicuous part with Colonel Prescott and General Warren at the famous battle of Bunker Hill, and for his subsequent bravery throughout the Revolutionary war. It has also recently been conceded that he was the original designer of the United States flag in its original form. Leander and Martha M. (Emerette) Putnam, the parents of our subject, left Vermont in 1855 and located near Fond du Lac, Wis., where they resided until 1857, in which year they started for Kansas, accompanied by their family of two sons and four daughters, with two yoke of oxen and two ox wagons loaded with household goods. They finally arrived in Anderson county, where the father preëmpted 160 acres of wild prairie land about two miles south of Richmond, Franklin county. The family spent that winter living in covered wagons and tents while the father was building a house for them, a frame building with a "shake" roof and built of native timber. During the following spring the oxen were used to break twelve acres of the virgin prairie for corn and the crop yielded proved an excellent one. The year of 1860, known as the dry year, the father had a good crop and was able to sell to his less fortunate neighbors. He continued to be engaged in farming and stock raising, especially in raising great numbers of horses, until his death. In 1860 he rode twelve miles through a blinding sleet storm to cast his vote for Lincoln. There were no roads then, and the trail was hedged on either side by tall grass which was frozen over and which he had to get down and break in order to get through. During the Civil war he was on the frontier doing guard duty when his wife heard the rumor that Quantrill, having burned Lawrence, was on his way from Lawrence to Humboldt. She hastily placed her three small children, together with some supplies, consisting of about twenty-five pounds of corn meal, a small piece of pork and a skillet, in a two-horse wagon and went several miles west into the hills, where they remained until the danger was past. Mr. Putnam can remember when often during the war the family had only corn bread and sorghum molasses for food. Leander Putnam was the father of ten children, of whom four sons and two daughters are yet living. He was twice married. Of the children born to his first wife, Cynthia Stone, of Vermont, two are yet living: Augustus E. Putnam, now residing in Oakfield, Wis., and W. B. Putnam, who resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. The surviving children of the second marriage are: Mrs. Emerette Cummings of Iola, Kan.; George L. Putnam of Garnett, Kan.; Hattie E., who resides in Richmond and cared for her mother in declining years, the mother dying in December, 1910, aged eighty-five years; and Charles B. of this review.
Transcriber's note: Hand written note has been inserted between pages 1242 and 1243 of this copy, says:
Martha M. Emerette should be Martha M. Pike, daughter of David & Lydia Pike of Worcester, VT
Tombstone reflects birth as July 9, 1829
Kansas Vol. 3 Pt. 2
Great Grandchildren of:
Barbara Putnam Coyne
Joan Putnam Helseth
Mr. Putnam, our subject, was reared in Anderson county and was educated in the district school near his home. The first school building in which he attended was a log house with slab seats, greased paper for window panes and a dirt floor. The school term was never more than three months of the year, but by diligent application and self-study he was able to secure a teacher's certificate at the age of eighteen, and taught successfully five years, during which time he secured two three-years certificates. At the same time he served three years on the county board of examiners of Anderson county.
On April 20, 1882, Mr. Putnam married Miss Ida McGee, the daughter of James McGee, a farmer of Anderson county and a veteran of the Civil war, who died in Humboldt, Kan., in June, 1907. Mrs. Putnam was born Jan. 12, 1859, in Illinois, and came to Garnett, Kan., with her parents when a child. To Mr. and Mrs. Putnam have been born six children. Webster M. the eldest son, born April 16, 1883, after completing the high school course at Richmond, took a three-years course at the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan. He is now in charge of a 1,400-acre ranch in Franklin county, adjoining Richmond. He married Edna Semple of Richmond, Kan., April 2, 1908, and to them was born, in 1910, a daughter, Louise. Ina Blanche Putnam, born April 23, 1884, was educated at the Richmond High School and at Ottawa University. She is now the wife of Ross Axling and resides in Ottawa; they have a daughter. The third child, George E. Putnam, born July 9, 1887, has had a remarkable educational career. After gaining one year in completing his common school course and a like period in the high school course he entered Ottawa University, Ottawa, Kan., where he completed three years' work in two years. He then entered the University of Kansas, where he became an alumnus at the end of two years and had made a perfect record in deportment and studies. In athletics he became the champion university hammer thrower west of the Mississippi and held an equally high standing as right guard in football, having been adjudged the best in that position in the Mississippi valley. Yale College, hearing of his ability, tendered him a free scholarship for one year of post-graduate work at that institution. He accepted the offer, completed the course with distinction, and received his degree of Master of Arts. He earned his own way while at Yale by taking charge of and managing a hotel for a lady there. He was then awarded a Rhodes scholarship from Kansas. He selected Christ Church College, Oxford, England, the one coveted by all the students, and was chosen to enter it. There he completed his three-years course in a year and a half, and received his diploma of special merit, being one of but five to receive such honorable mention. Having completed the course in less time than required, he remained there and took a special course, receiving the highest degree conferred by that institution. He is now assistant professor in economics in the University of Kansas. He broke and now holds the world's university record for throwing the sixteen-pound hammer. He spent the summer of 1910 in Russia, visiting St. Petersburg, Moscow, the Volga river and the Ural mountains, and had as a companion a member of the upper house of the Russian Parliament, whose brother gave Mr. Putnam 400 roubles and all expenses to come and teach his son English and athletics. He presents a splendid appearance physically, being six feet one-half inch in height and in weight about 210 pounds. Ralph Ethan Allen Putnam, the fourth child, born May 30, 1895, graduated from the Richmond High School in 1911, having completed the four-years course in three years. He, too, is a youth of fine physique and of exceptional promise in his educational career. Mark L. Putnam, born April 12, 1898, and Arlo C. Putnam, born Jan. 9, 1902, are both attending the Richmond schools.
Mr. Putnam began a lumber and hardware business in Richmond in 1883, but after seventeen years he disposed of the hardware business. He aided in organizing and for three years was president of the Bank of Richmond, the first bank in that town. Later, he sold his interest in that bank and started the private bank of C. E. Putnam, known as the C. E. Putnam Bank, which he sold after five years. In 1907 the local bank had a great loss on account of the failure of the Bankers' Trust Company, of Kansas City, Mo. Depositors in Richmond solicited Mr. Putnam to help reorganize the bank, which he did, and held the position of president of the People's State Bank until the local bank's stock was again at par. He then resigned and since that time has devoted his attention to the lumber business and farm interests. He owns 2,040 acres of land, which he manages by the aid of a foreman. He ships his own cattle and buys and ships hay. His whole business career has been very successful. He is a Republican in politics; has served as a member of the school board twenty years and as township treasurer a number of years. He is a member of the Presbyterian church and has been very active in church work for years. He is an elder of the Presbyterian church at Richmond and at Ottawa, and has been superintendent of the teachers' training or normal work of the Franklin County Sunday School Association eight years. He was vice-president of the Kansas forward movement, managed by Dr. W. E. Biederwolf, who is said to be the most able scholar of ancient Greek in the United States. In 1909 Mr. Putnam served as vice-president of the Kansas State Sunday School Association.Pages 1242-1246 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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