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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
John H. Putnam

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[This information is from p. 423 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

John H. Putnam, who carries on farming and market gardening in Niskayuna, was born in this town, June 15, 1816. His parents, Harmon and Margaret (Wheaton) Putnam, were natives of this county. His paternal grandfather, John Putnam, was an early settler here and a noted hunter in his day. He afterward resided in various places, and died in Greene, Chenango County, at an advanced age.

Harmon Putnam, the father, followed the carpenter's trade during his active period. He was married in Niskayuna, which was thenceforward his place of residence. He was a reliable workman, and as an honest, industrious citizen he stood high in the estimation of the entire community. He died at the age of sixty years. Margaret Wheaton Putnam, his wife, died at the age of twenty-seven. She was the mother of four children, of whom John H., the subject of this sketch, was the first-born, and is the only one living. Reuben and Jacob died young, and the other died in infancy.

John H. Putnam was educated in the town schools of Niskayuna. At an early age he began work as an assistant on the farm he now occupies, which was then owned by one John Clark, and he afterward worked for other farmers in the neighborhood. When seventeen years old he began an apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade, which was his occupation for thirty years, or until 1864. In 1876 he bought his present farm of seventy acres, which he has greatly improved, and has since been engaged in general farming.

On February 28, 1839, Mr. Putnam was joined in marriage with Mary Ann Van Vranken, of Niskayuna, daughter of Jacob Van Vranken and a representative of an old family of this town. Mr. and Mrs. Putnam have one son living, Jacob, who was born January 1, 1846, and is engaged in farming with his father. He married Gertrude McChessen, and has four children — John, Margaret A., Julia, and Lena.

Since the breaking out of the Southern rebellion in April, 1861, Mr. Putnam has voted with the Republican party. He has served with ability as Supervisor and Town Clerk, each two terms. He was Highway Commissioner five years, and has been a justice of the Peace. He is a Master Mason and one of the oldest members of St. George Lodge, No. 6, F. & A. M., of Schenectady, having joined the order in 1855. Mr. and Mrs. Putnam are members of the Dutch Reformed church.

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