Located in southern Dewey County, Putnam is situated thirteen miles south of the county seat of Taloga on U.S. Highway 183. Named for Revolutionary War hero Gen. Israel Putnam, a post office was established on June 4, 1895, with Lyman Reed serving as the first postmaster. Robert F. Cain edited the weekly Putnam Pioneer newspaper begun in 1904. The first federal census for Putnam indicated a population of 140 in 1930. In the 1930s the town supported two schools and three churches. Putnam served as a trade center for farmers who grew wheat and oats. The town's growth was stunted by the fact that the railroad bypassed it. In 1950 Putnam had 106 residents. The population has continued to decline from 83 in 1960 to 74 in 1980. In 2000 the town had 46 inhabitants of which 88.9 percent of those employed commuted to work.
SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Putnam," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Spanning the River: Dewey County Family History (N.p.: Dewey County Historical Society, 1976).
Linda D. Wilson
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