ALBERT D. PUTNAM

& THE DAY FAMILY

BIOGRAPHY

AS RECORDED IN:

COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF 
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE  CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  552 - 554

ALBERT D. PUTNAM,  one of the highly respected citizens of Danielson, Windham county, is a lineal descendant of that hero of other days, and who as long as this Republic endures will be honored, Israel Putnam.  The Putnams have an old and established ancestry, reaching as far into the past as 1580.

John Putnam, born about 1580, of Aston Abbotts, County Bucks, England, came to New England, according to family tradition, in 1634; is of record in Salem, Mass., in 1641.  He married, in England, Priscilla (probably Gould), who was admitted to the Church in Salem in 1641.  John Putnam was admitted in 1647, and was made a freeman in the same year.  He was a farmer, and for the times, was exceedingly wealthy.  His death occurred in Salem Village, now Danvers, Dec. 30, 1662.

Lieut. Thomas Putnam, son of John, was baptized at Aston Abbotts, England, March 7, 1614-5, married (second) at Salem, Sept. 14, 1666, Mary Veren, widow of Nathaniel, a rich merchant formerly of Salem.  Lieut. Putnam was prominent in public, military and ecclesiastical affairs, was the first parish clerk of Salem Village, was grand juror and constable, and received a number of important appointments.  In 1640 he was an inhabitant of Lynn, a freeman there in 1642, and one of the seven selectmen in 1643.  He was admitted to the church in Salem, April 3, 1643, and his death occurred at Salem Village May 5, 1686.

Joseph Putnam, son of Lieut. Putnam, was born April 14, 1669, in Salem Village, married, April 21, 1690, Elizabeth, born Oct. 7, 1673, daughter of Israel and Elizabeth (Hathorne) Porter.  Mr. Putnam will always be remembered for his opposition to Mr. Parris and the witchcraft trials.  He opposed from first to last the proceedings which disgraced Danvers and his immediate relatives and friends at the peril of his own life.  He died in Salem Village in 1724-25.

Gen. Israel Putnam, son of Joseph, born Jan. 7, 1717-18, in Salem Village, now Danvers, married (first) at Danvers, July 19, 1739, Hannah, baptized there Sept. 3, 1721, daughter of Joseph and Mehitabel (Putnam) Pope, of Danvers.  She died in Brooklyn, Conn., Sept. 6, 1765, and he married (second), June 3, 1767, Widow Deborah (Lothrop) Gardiner, daughter of Samuel and Deborah (Crow) Lothrop, of Norwich, Conn., and the widow of John Gardiner, fifth proprietor of Gardiner’s Island.  Soon after his marriage and the birth of his first child Mr. Putnam removed to Pomfret, Conn., purchasing, in connection with his brother-in-law, John Pope, about 500 acres of land in that part of Pomfret which, in 1786, became Brooklyn.  This land he became the sole owner of in 1741.  He was a thrifty and highly prosperous farmer, and was an earnest and helpful friend to all the best interests of the settlement.  He was prompt to offer his services in the French and Indian war when the New England Colonies were called upon for a large military force, and he was at once placed in command of a company which he had raised, and he figured more of less prominently in the campaigns for ten years following 1755-56, acquiring a great reputation as a soldier and hero.  He was promoted major in 1757, and later lieutenant-colonel and colonel in 1764.  He was foremost in making the “stamp act” impossible in Connecticut, and from the hour of its passage stood forth as a ready and resolute defender of the imperilled liberties of the people.

Between the close of the French and Indian war and the outbreak of the Revolution, Col. Putnam received many marks of the confidence of his fellow-citizens, was place on important committees, chosen moderator of town meetings, was several times elected selectmen, and a deputy to the General Court.  The news of the battle of Lexington, April 10, 1775, reached Pomfret on the morning of the 20th, and was received by Putnam as he was ploughing in the field with his son Daniel, who was then but sixteen years of age and who afterward wrote of his father:  “He loitered not, but left me, the driver of his team, to unyoke it in the furrow, and not many days later to follow him to camp.”  That afternoon he heard of the fight at Concord, and at once left on horseback for the scene of hostilities.  Soon after he was appointed a  brigadier-general, and from that time until the close of the campaigns of 1779, he was a conspicuous figure in the war of the Revolution, but his exploits therein we have neither time nor space to recount – suffice it to say that he held the confidence of Gen. Washington and his countrymen.  He was especially conspicuous at the battle of Bunker Hill and in other important engagements.  After Bunker Hill he was made a major-general, and served with distinction until disqualified for service by a stroke of paralysis, which seriously affected his limbs and closed his military service as specified.  Gen. Putnam returned to his home in Pomfret, where he died May 29, 1790.  His wife, who had accompanied him in most of the campaigns in the Revolution, died at his headquarters at Fishkill-on-the Hudson, Oct. 14, 1777.  Gen. Israel Putnam was the father of the following children:  Israel, born in 1740;  Daniel, born March 10, 1742, who died at the age of seventeen years;  Hannah, born Aug. 25, 1744;  Elizabeth, born March 20, 1747;  Mehitable, born Oct. 21, 1749;  Mary, born May 10, 1753;  Eunice;  Daniel, born Nov. 18, 1759;  David;  and Peter S., born in 1764.

Of Putnam, Washington Irving wrote:  “A yeoman warrior, fresh from the plough, in the garb of rural laborer, a patriot brave and generous, but rough and ready, who thought not of himself in times of danger but was ready to serve in any way and to sacrifice official rank and self-glorification to the good of the cause.  He was eminently a soldier for the occasion.  His name has long been a favorite one with young and old, one of the talismanic names of the Revolution, the very mention of which is like the sound of a trumpet.  Such names are the precious jewels of our history, to be garnered up among the treasures of the nation and kept immaculate from the tarnishing breath of the cynic and the doubter.”

Daniel Putnam, son of Gen. Israel, born in Pomfret (now Brooklyn), Conn., Nov. 18, 1759, married, in Boston, Sept. 2, 1782, Catherine, daughter of Shrimpton and Elizabeth (Malbone) Hutchinson, born in Boston April 11, 1757, and was occupied in farming on a large scale, owning some 400 or 500 acres in Brooklyn, Conn.  He was a man of much worth, a Whig in politics, and he was a member of the Episcopal Church.  His death occurred April 30, 1831, and his wife died Oct. 31, 1844, in Hartford.

William Putnam, son of Daniel, born Jan. 1, 1783, married, April 17, 1805, Mary, born April 17, 1786, daughter of Ebenezer and Mary (Payne) Spalding, of Brooklyn.  Mr. Putnam died in Brooklyn Dec. 5, 1846, and his wife passed away Dec. 29, 1880.  Mr. Putnam was a farmer in Brooklyn, Conn., and held various town offices.  He was highly respected and held a prominent place in the community and both he and wife belonged to the Brooklyn Episcopal Church.  The children of William Putnam were:  (1) Caroline M., born Feb. 17, 1806, died April 10, 1882.  On Jan. 6, 1834, she was married to Edward Fogg, who was born in Brooklyn, July 1, 1797, and who became one of the town’s most representative men.  In politics he was first a Whig, but after 1856 a Republican.  He served as judge of probate for several terms, also selectman and was captain of the local militia.  In 1839 he represented the town in the Legislature, and was for many years warden in the Brooklyn Episcopal Church.  To Mr. And Mrs. Fogg were born:  Thomas B., born Oct. 28, 1834;  Mary, born Jan. 25, 1837, died in 1841;  Miss Elizabeth, born Dec. 8, 1838;  Edward, born Dec. 14, 1840, died young;  Miss Mary P., born Oct. 11, 1843, lives in Brooklyn; and Edward F., born Nov. 24, 1846, died Feb. 13, 1858.  (2) Miss Harriet, born Feb. 5, 1810, resides in Brooklyn, Conn.  (3) William Hutchinson was the father of Albert D. Putnam, of Danielson.  (4) Elizabeth, born Dec. 11, 1813, died in Brooklyn, Oct. 29, 1891.  She married Benjamin Spalding, and lived for years at Ripon, Wis., their son Luther being a farmer at River Falls, Wis.  (5)  Asa, born July 16, 1820, died in July, 1868.  (6) Jane, born April 25, 1823, died Sept. 30, 1900; she was the wife of Dr. Camp, of Brooklyn, Conn.  (7) Ann, born March 20, 1825, died in 1897; she married Charles Bacon, of Simsbury, Conn., lived for a number of years in Hartford, but died in Brooklyn, her children were:  Richard, a lawyer of Cleveland, Ohio; and Charles P., a lawyer of New York City.

In recalling the life and services of William H. Putnam, perhaps the biographer can do no better than to quote from the Windham County History as follows:  “William H. Putnam was born in Holland, Mass., Feb. 2, 1812, and died July 17, 1889.  In childhood he removed with his parents to Brooklyn, Conn., where the residue of his life was spent.  The best schools obtainable at that early day afforded him a knowledge of the elementary branches, and the work connected with his father’s farm occupied his time until his marriage.  On the 12th of March, 1834, he was united in marriage with Miss Eliza, daughter of Capt. John Day, of Brooklyn, Conn., who died on the 27th day of May, 1880.  Mr. Putnam two years after his marriage leased the farm belonging to Capt. Day, of which he finally became the owner.  He cultivated the fertile acres, and made it his residence until 1877, the year of his removal to the village of Brooklyn, his son, Albert D., in the meantime succeeding to the farm interests.  Mr. Putnam interested himself with matters pertaining to his town and as a Republican held various local offices and represented the town in the Legislature in 1858 (**see footnote) and 1879.  His prevailing modesty and aversion to the excitement attending a public career influenced him to decline more important honors.  His advice was often sought in questions requiring maturity of judgement and experience.  He was a director of the Windham County National Bank and the Brooklyn Savings Bank.  Mr. Putnam was a member of the Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church of Brooklyn, of which he was for many years senior warden.”

To William H. and Eliza (Day) Putnam were born these children:  Harriet G., born Dec. 1, 1834, died in November, 1895, unmarried;  Mary, born in November, 1835, is the wife of James Perkins, of Danielson;  John D., born June 19, 1837, who is a Government official stationed at Los Angeles, Cal., married Helen Lovell, and their children were:  William H., Catherine E., Charles P., Sarah L., John D., Dana G., Mary and two who died young; Sarah, born June 30, 1839, died Dec. 23, 1880, unmarried;  William, born Jan. 30, 1843, was killed at Cedar Creek, Oct. 19, 1864, while serving as a volunteer in Co. C, 12th Conn. V.I.;  Catherine B., born Oct. 7, 1848, resides in Danielson; and Albert Day, born Feb. 25, 1852.

Albert Day Putnam grew up in Brooklyn, Conn., where he attended the common schools and later the schools of Danielson, this being supplemented with a year at the New Britain Normal School.  Prior to this, at the age of seventeen, he began teaching and followed this profession through eight winters, in Brooklyn, attending to farm work during the summers.  His first school was on Church street, then for three terms he taught on Allen Hill and four terms in the Christian Corner district.  For a time he operated the home farm, continuing until 1888, when he came to Danielson, where he has since made his home.  Here he has been connected with the banks of the borough in the capacity of clerk, for a long period being with the Savings Bank, in which institution he is now a trustee, and he is a director in the Windham County National Bank.

Mr. Putnam is a Republican in political sentiment, although he takes no very active part.  He has, however, always taken a lively interest in educational matters, and for the past ten years has been a member of the school board.  The entire family are members of the St. Alban’s Episcopal Church of Danielson.  In fraternal organizations Mr. Putnam has been connected with  Moriah Lodge, No. 15, A.F. & A.M., for the past twelve years; with Aetna Lodge, A.O.U.W., for some six years; and he is also a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.

On Dec. 6, 1876, Mr. Putnam was united in marriage with Miss Harriet E. Dorrance, daughter of Charles and Jennett (Sharp) Dorrance, and to this union were born:  William H., born Feb. 1, 1878, is treasurer of the Uncas Knitting Co., of Danielson; he married Adabelle C. Lyon, and has a son, Lyonel.  Bertha Dorrance, born in November, 1879, died at the age of two years.  Sarah J. was born July 11, 1882.  Eliza Day was born May 16, 1886.

Footnote:  although it seems that this date should read “1878”, it is reproduced as published.

THE DAY FAMILY,  the maternal line of Mr. Putnam, includes many distinguished names. 

Capt. John Day, born March 12, 1756, was a resident of Killingly, and it was in his honor that the village of Dayville was named, he having erected the first house in what is now that pleasant village, and he also built and operated a small mill here.  Capt. Day bought a large tract of land in East Brooklyn, and he took a prominent part in local affairs and was very successful in his business ventures.  On Oct. 17, 1793, he was commissioned captain of the local militia, his commission being signed by Gov. Samuel Huntington.  Capt. Day died March 10, 1838.  His parents were James and Mary (Parkhurst) Day, the former of whom died Dec. 25, 1782, aged sixty-six years, the latter surviving until July 28, 1818, dying at the age of ninety-four years.  Their children were:  Capt. John, born Nov. 12, 1756;  Annis, who died April 27, 1848, aged eighty-seven years; and James, Jr., who died unmarried, May 29, 1808.

Capt. Day was married Jan. 25, 1781, and his children were:  Lucy, born July 15, 1782;  Eunice, born Sept. 12, 1783;  Polly, born Aug. 2, 1785;  Betsey, born Sept. 12, 1787;  Calvin, born Dec. 16, 1789;  John, Jr., born Feb. 16, 1792, died Jan. 28, 1864;  Phila, born April 25, 1794;  Susan, born June 21, 1796;  Sally, born Dec. 8, 1798;  Luther, born April 9, 1801; and Wealthy, born June 28, 1804.

John Day, Jr., son of Capt. John, was born at Dayville and engaged in farming near the place of his birth, though for a short time after his marriage he lived in Brooklyn, Conn.  Mr. Day was active in the building of the Norwich & Worcester Railroad, contracting to build a considerable length of the road and fulfilling the contract.  On March 17, 1814, he married Sarah Ann Dexter, born Oct. 18, 1793, and their children were:  Eliza, born Jan. 29, 1815, married William H. Putnam, and died May 27, 1880;  Willard, born Sept. 29, 1816, is represented to-day by his descendants, Hon. Frank Day, of Brooklyn, and George H., the president of the Electrical Vehicle Co., of Hartford, Conn.;  Albert, born Dec. 16, 1819, married (first) Susan Payne, (second) Susan Child, and (third) Lucinda Bartlett;  Herbert, born June 12, 1823, married Ellen Millard, of Danville;  Sarah, born Dec. 8, 1831, died young; and Ann, born Sept. 9, 1835, married Benjamin Spalding, and died in Brooklyn, Connecticut.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel 

 

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