Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

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52 Ancestors – Joseph Fletcher Putnam – Hiked through the Jungle

Joseph Fletcher Putnam

Joseph Fletcher Putnam

My paternal great grandfather was born in Cambridge Massachusetts 18 May 1852 to Joseph and Mary Ann (Fletcher) Putnam. Between the birth of young Joseph and his older sister Nellie, Joseph senior had traveled to the Goldfields in California, where he and a friend Edwin Whipple had a claim on the Mokolome River, and back again to Cambridge. The “Family Story”  is that the family left Boston by ship and landed on the Gulf of Mexico at Panama where they had to trek through the jungle walking across the isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean. There they caught a steamer for San Francisco. Since the family is in the 1860 US Census in California Joseph would have been less then 7 years old and his older sister would have been younger then 12 years of age when the family made this trek. The 1860 US census shows that Joseph’s sister Lucy was just 4 months old in July when the census was taken and that she was born in California. Exactly when they arrived I have not completely documented.

1860 US Census Elliott Township San Joaquin County California

1860 US Census
Elliott Township San Joaquin County
California (Click on image to enlarge)

 

 

Joseph Fletcher Putnam grew up on his father’s orchard ranch in Clements California, which is about 23 miles northeast of Stockton California. At the age of 22 he met and married Fanny Stewart 18 years of age on 23 Febuary 1875 in Stockton California. The witnesses to the marriage were William Whipple and Lucy Fellows Putnam. William and Lucy later marry and raise a large family of their own.

Recorded Marriage Licence  Joseph Fletcher Putnam and Fanny Stewart

Recorded Marriage Licence
Joseph Fletcher Putnam and Fanny Stewart

Fanny was from Kansas, and I often wondered what she was doing out in California in 1875.  Fanny and Joseph had Grace Ellen  in Feb. 1875 and Alice was born 30 September 1876. In October of 1878 Fanny travels to Kansas to visit her family. Fanny took the 17 month old Alice with her and left 3 1/2 year old Grace at home with her father. Fanny and Alice never came back. In April of 1880 Joseph F. Putnam filed in Stockton California for a Divorce due to desertion, which was granted 20 April 1880 by A.V.D. Peterson, Judge of the Superior Court.

Divorce papers Joseph & Fanny Putnam

Divorce papers Joseph & Fanny Putnam

In the 1880 US Census Joseph Fletcher is alone in Hopeton Merced County California while his daughter Grace is with his parents in Clements (San Joaquin County) California.

On Dec. 30 1880 Joseph F. Putnam (age: 27) marries Ida May (Clough) Bryant (age: 25) in Stockton California. Ida May has three children from an earlier marriage to C.E. Bryant,  C.E. ‘Ed’ 8 years old, Allace 5 years of age, and Maude about 3 years old.

Marriage Lisence Record Joseph F. Putnam & Ida May Bryant

Marriage Lisence Record
Joseph F. Putnam & Ida May Bryant

 

Joseph and Ida May go on to have four more children together. Arthur dies in infancy, Ira B. is born in 1883, Lena A. is born in 1885 and Blanche A. is born in 1888.  Joseph’s second wife leaves him also and he is left with the children while his wife (Ida May)  appears in the 1900 census with a Charles Peters, a younger man.

900 US Census Alameda County California

1900 US Census Alameda County
California

Lena, Ira, Blanche Grace, and Joseph F. Putnam 1897 Photo courtesy of Frances Steggs

Lena, Ira, Blanche
Grace, and Joseph F. Putnam
1897
Photo courtesy of Frances Steggs

 

 

 

 

In the 1900 US census we find Joseph Fletcher living and working in Alameda County California with his three children from his marriage to Ida May, Ira, Lena and Blanche.

 

 

 

Grace, his daughter from his first marriage, has married and is living in the same area with her husband (George Bryant) and their two children (William and May). I have not discovered if there is a connection to Grace’s step mother (Ida May) and Grace’s husband George. It was very confusing to me for her married name to be the same as her 1/2 brother and sisters. It took several years and the story of Joseph Fletchers first marriage to be revealed by the decendants of Alice Putnam (Grace’s full sister) from Colorado and New Mexico who made contact with my sister and I back in the early 1990’s. We then learned where Grace fit into the family and who her mother was and why there were two Alices and one was spelled differently by Aunt Blanche. Dear Aunt Blanche if she explained it to Madeleine and I, we did not understand, maybe because we were just teenager and not yet into genealogy. Anyway Madeleine’s notes were hard to follow, at least for me .

Information from Aunt Blanche

Information from Aunt Blanche

Back to Joseph Fletcher.  In the 1910 US census we find Joseph F. Putnam married to an Elizabeth.

1910 US Census Visalia Tulare County California

1910 US Census
Visalia Tulare County
California

From this census we see that they have been married 4 years.  All of Joseph’s children are either married or off on their own.

Joe & Elizabeth (Potter) Putnam

Joe & Elizabeth (Potter) Putnam

Here is the last photo I have of Joseph Fletcher Putnam and his wife Elizabeth.

In 2000 I found a Land Record on Roots Web for Joseph F. Putnam dated 08 October 1891 . It was a cash sale for a Parcel listed as Township 018S, Range 029E, Section 6.

Land Record Tulare County, California From Rootsweb.com 2000

Land Record
Tulare County, California
From Rootsweb.com 2000

My brother wrote me requarding my question to him about where the Elliott Ranch was. I am now wondering if this is the section that he was speaking of:

The Elliot ranch was next to Grandpa Ikes , property to the Northeast, it was 160 acres that was sold off of the original 640 that was willed to one of the relatives, do not remember who.  Aunt Lena, aunt Blanche and Grandpa Ike inherited the other quarter sections, possibly you know who the other sibling was.  Seems like there was another brother or sister who I do not remember.

At the time I found this record I also found a parcel that William P. Punam (Joseph F.’s brother) puchased in 1908. This was listed in Tulare county as, Township 021S, Range 028E, Section 28. Here is an opportunity for us to do a little investigation about these two pieces of property. I know from newspaper articles that the property immediately north of Aunt Lena’s place was given for an airport by Joseph Putnam and that the Visalia Airport has expanded to take more of what was Aunt Lena’s place.

1920 US Census Visalia Tulare County California

1920 US Census
Visalia Tulare County
California

1930 US Census Visalia Tulare county California

1930 US Census
Visalia Tulare county
California

The next 20 years  find joseph and Elizabeth in and around Visalia.

18 August 1931 Elizabeth dies.

On 13 December 1932 Joseph F. Putnam  dies.

Elizabeth and Joseph are buried in Visalia.

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52 Ancestors-#36- Ira Blossom Putnam- Grandpa Ike

Ira "Ike" Blosspm Putnam

Ira “Ike” Blossom Putnam

Best known to all by “Ike”, he was born Ira Blossom Putnam on 30 March 1883 in Three Rivers, California. The son of Joseph Fletcher Putnam and Ida May Clough.  That name always bothered me, not Ike but Blossom. It was especially strange that every cow we ever had was called “Blossom”. When my sister and I were working on the family history we had this  “Aha!” moment. We discovered that Ike’s mothers step father was Ira Blossom. Blossom being his surname. So Ike was actually named after his step grandfather.

From the time that Ike and his two sisters were born until about 1892 the Putnam family lived in Three Rivers, California. In the Voter Registration book for Fresno County in October 1892 Joseph Putnam registered to vote. The precinct was called Sequoia and the Post Office was Camp Badger. Whether the whole family was living there is hard to know, possible since Ida May’s mother and step father were also living in Three Rivers, Ida May and the kids stayed there while her husband worked at Camp Badger to earn extra money. It may have been a logging camp. I have not found any information on Camp Badger. I did find a small community called Badger in Tulare county north of Visalia at approximately 3,000 ft. elevation near Sequoia and Kings Canyon. Could be the place.

In 1894 Ike’s grand father Joseph Putnam died in Clements California.

In 1896 I found Joseph Fletcher Putnam is in the Voter Registration book for San Joaquin County listed as a farmer in Clements. I take it that Joseph has gone home to Clements to take care of his fathers farm.

In the 1896 Voter Registration book for San Joaquin County Joseph Fletcher Putnam is still there. This time He is listed as a Saloonkeeper.  So is his family in Clements?

The next record I have is 1897 where Ida May marries a Charles Peters in Tulare County. They later move to Los Angeles.

In the 1898 Voter Registration book for San Joaquin County, Joseph Fletcher Putnam is still there and is again listed as a Saloonkeeper.

I found it interesting that Ike’s father moved up and down California so much and wondered if the kids were shuffled along with him or did they stay in Three Rivers all this time?

1900 US Census Santa Clara, California

1900 US Census
Santa Clara, California

In the 1900 census we have Ira B. Putnam at 16 years of age with his father and his two sisters, Lena and Blanche, in Santa Clara.

Lena, Ike, Blanche Grace and Joseph F. Putnam

Lena, Ike, Blanche
Grace and Joseph F. Putnam

They were not his only siblings. His father had been married previously and he had two older sisters Grace being the eldest and Alice who I believe Ike may have never met. His mother was also married previously and she had C.E. (Ed) Bryant, Maud Bryant, and Allace (Alice) Bryant.  In this same year (1900)Grace, Ike’s older sister, has married a George Bryant and that family is living in Alameda, not so far away.  “And that’s another story.”

Later that year (1900) Joseph Fletcher marries Elizabeth Potter.

Anyway back to Ike. On 15 July 1907 Ike married Etta Jane Francis in Visalia California.

Ira (Ike)  and Etta Jane Putnam Wedding 15 July 1907

Ira (Ike) and Etta Jane Putnam
Wedding 15 July 1907

The 1910 US Census shows Ike and Etta in Visalia. They are shown on the county road Goshen to Tulare. Ike is shown as a farmer who owns his place free and clear. From this I would ascertain that they are on the Ranch that my older brother and sister remember. Which would now be between the end of  Walnut Ave. and Hwy 99 West of Visalia.

1910 US Census Visalia, Tulare County, California

1910 US Census
Visalia, Tulare County, California

 

 

Etta, "Ike" and baby LLoyd

Etta, “Ike” and baby Lloyd

Their son, Lloyd was born 3 May 1912 and their daughter, Eunice was born 20 Feb. 1914.

 

"Babe" (Eunice) and Lloyd

“Babe” (Eunice) and Lloyd

From the 1910 census until his death “Ike ” lived and worked the Ranch outside of Visalia.

His mother died in Los Angeles February 1932. and his father died later that same year in December in Visalia.

Ike died 19 April 1948.

My paternal grandfather died before I could know him. I was sure my siblings all would have memories. My brother who is 6 years older then me wrote:

I was six or seven when he passed away,  do not really remember much.  They had sold the major portion of the ranch and had only kept the 20 acres where we grew up.  I remember before they sold the ranch, going to the milk barn with dad and the milk man would always put me on the roof to be out of his way.  That was when they would come to pick up the milk in the milk cans.  Also remember picking up prunes after they were shaken from the tree.  When they killed a hog they would scald it in a big iron tub and scrape the hair off the hide.  Mom would render the fat and we would have cracklings. After they sold that portion of the ranch and built the house between the one we lived in and aunt babes, he had cancer and they amputated his leg.  I remember him walking on crutches.  I have a picture from grandma Gay of him and Dad, holding a rattle snake he had killed. He loved the three rivers area, and we had relatives’ there.  He was always kind and thoughtful

So then my older sister who is 8 years older called me to relate her stories to me.

I remember when the family would go Posting up to Three Rivers. That’s  what they called it when they would go get Posts for the Ranch. There were rattlesnakes everywhere. Out there where that big oak tree was, was a Prune orchard. When Sweringer bought that piece he took all those Prune trees out and planted cotton. I use to follow him (Grandpa Ike) around when he picked blackberries in the garden, he had a big garden. I’ve never found nectarines as good as Ike’s. Maybe because he grafted everything. I remember the pomegranate tree, it was there as you drove up the lane and came around the house on the left you could see the pomegranate tree.

When I asked about his having his leg amputated she said:

Yes they had to do it twice. They took it off below the knee and then they had to go back in and take more. I was really devastated. All I really remember is his lying there in that bed at the house.

So my other sister who is just eighteen months older really has no memories. She does have a photo that has a story about her taking an egg to Grandpa Ike to show him.

I.B. Putnam Visalia Times 1948

I.B. Putnam
Visalia Times 1948

 

 

52 Ancestors – #17 Blanche A. Putnam

Blanche A. Putnam

Blanche A. Putnam

Auntie Blanche as she liked us to call her was born August 12, 1888 in Three Rivers, California to Ida Mae (Clough) and Joseph Fletcher Putnam. She was the fourth child born to Joe and Ida and sister to my Grandpa Ike. I was very confused growing up about exactly who our great aunts and uncles were. But when I was in high school Mom, Dave, Madeleine and I made a trip to Los Angeles and visited out Aunt Blanche. On that trip she helped Madeleine make a family tree.

Information from Aunt Blanche

Information from Aunt Blanche

As you can see it was a little confusing.  Joseph Putnam and Mary Fletcher were Blanche’s grandparents they had lived in Clements California.  Blanche told us the story about them coming around the horn to California in 1859 or 1860. She talked about a piano that they had shipped from back east that also made that trip. So her grandparents had 7 children according to Aunt Blanche: Lucy, Emma, Joseph Fletcher ( her father), Will, Ed, Maude, and Jenny. (In actuality they had 9). So her father Joseph Fletcher was married  once before,and Aunt Blanche did not know her name nor did she indicate she knew what happened to her, but she had two half sisters from that marriage, Alice and Grace. Her mother Ida Mae was also married previously to a Bryant and she had 3 more half sibling’s from that marriage Eli, Maude and Ed. When we finally started doing this genealogy thing. Aunt Blanche had already passed away and she was the last of that generation that we were in contact with. In the early years I discovered that Joseph Putnam’s first wife was  Fanny Stewart and she left after Alice was born presumably to visit her family in Kanas. She took the baby (Alice) with her and left the toddler (Grace) with her husband. She never returned and Joseph filed for a divorce claiming desertion. With a small child to take care of he married Ida Mae, who already had three children. Their first child (from Auntie Blanches family tree) was Arthur and he died in infancy, then there was grandpa Ike (Ira Blossom), Lena and then Blanche. In 1891 Joseph F. Putnam paid cash for a section of land in Tulare County California (Parcel 018s, range 029E, Section 6). I assume that is about when the family moves to the ranch in Visalia. I wish there was a 1890 census to see how many were in the household when Blanche was very young. The first census we have for Blanche is the 1900 US census which shows Joseph (46) living in Santa Clara California, alone with the three youngest children Ira B. (17), Lena (14), and Blanche (11). Blanche is still in school and both her father and her brother are listed as day laborers.

1900 US Census Santa Clara, California

1900 US Census
Santa Clara, California

I have found Ida Mae (Blanche’s mother) in the 1900 US Census in Fresno the wife of a Charles B. Peters (30). Listed is Ida M. (45) wife, and Clarence E. Bryant (27) stepson to head of household. Charles and Ida are listed as being married 3 years. So Blanche’s mother had left and remarried by 1897, Blanche would have been 8 or 9. On Oct. 16, 1907 Blanche marries a Nelson O. Cook in Visalia, California. Nelson is 29 and Blanche is 19. When we found this record in the Tulare County records office neither Madeleine or I had been aware that Aunt Blanche had been married previously.

1910 US Census  Los Angeles, California

1910 US Census
Los Angeles, California

In the 1910 US Census we find Mrs. Blanche Cook (21) widow in the household of John Corsen who is married to her half sister Alice. Also in the household is her sister Lena, and a boarder. Nelson  Cook had died 29, June 1909 in Tulare Co., California.

Blanche and Roy(?) at Ida Mae Peters Home Los Angeles, Calif.

Blanche and Roy(?)
at Ida Mae Peters Home
Los Angeles, Calif.

In 1912 Blanche marries Roy H. Berggren. In the 1920 US Census we find Blanche Berggren (31) wife of Roy H. (31) born in Illinois, both his parents born in Sweden and he is a plant manager for the Telephone Co. Do you remember that old black and gold phone that sat on her desk, an antique in 1960 when we visited her? In the 1930 census Roy H. Berggren (40) married at age 24 listed as a Engineer with the telephone company and Blanche A. (41). They are living on North Benton Way in Los Angeles.

Aunt Blanche

Aunt Blanche

Roy died 5 May 1936 at age 46 in Los Angeles. Auntie Blanche never remarried and continued to live in Los Angeles.

Putnam Family Members Blanche second from left

Putnam Family Members
Blanche second from left

I remember every Christmas, Madeleine and I would get the most beautifully wrapped gifts from the May Co. in Los Angeles that Auntie Blanche had sent to us. When we graduated high school we each got to pick out our “hope chest’ and she would pay for it. Mine is still one of my favorite pieces of furniture. Aunt Blanche would telephone her sister Lena on Friday nights in the 1950’s and you could hear the live crowd from the Saturday night fights in the background. She lived less then a block from the ROK studios in Los Angeles. I stayed with her for a couple of days in the summer of 1964. She took the bus everywhere. She had no car. But another grand nephew (grandson of Alice ‘Eli’ Bryant) was living in West Covina and would have her out for dinner on weekends. She lived in a beautiful old apartment building that still had an Ice Box in it.

Blanche Berggren circa 1960

Blanche Berggren
circa 1960

Auntie Blanche died August 7, 1983. Her ashes are buried in Visalia next to Nelson Cook. Auntie Blanche a truly great Aunt.

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