Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Posts tagged ‘John Edwin Dougherty’

52 Ancestors #11 Dorothy Ada Dougherty – My Mom

Todays blog is in honor of Mothers Day. For my mom.

Dorothy Ada Dougherty

Dorothy Ada Dougherty

All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother ….Abraham Lincoln

My mom has been gone 27 years now and yet I still think of her everyday. Happy Mothers Day.

Dorothy Ada Dougherty was born Nov. 2, 1914 in Davis California the oldest child of J.E. and Ada Richmal (Heap) Dougherty. Mom had red hair and green eyes. She was tall about 5’8″.

Her two bothers were Robert Edwin, and Walter Lyle Dougherty.

Dorothy, Robert, and Walter Dougherty

Dorothy, Robert, and Walter Dougherty

Mom remembered the house in Davis on A street. She told us:

It burnt down when my mother left a hot iron unattended.



A. St. House Davis Calif. circ. 1915

A. St. House
Davis Calif. circ. 1915


Mom graduated from high school at 16. She attended Sacramento City College for her first year.

Dorothy Ada Dougherty clippings


Mom was quite the actress and Director of plays not only in high school but throughout her college years. The year she attended university of Calif. at Davis she was one of only three girls in UCD’s Sophmore class. She transferred to Madison Wisconsin and the university there for her final year.


Upon graduating she tried to get a job in the San Francisco Bay Area. Even with a college degree jobs were scarce in 1935 The best she said she could do was in a “5 and dime” store (guess that would be a Dollar Store today). On May 21, 1937 in the garden of her parents home she married Lloyd Fletcher Putnam, who she had meet while he attended UC Davis.

Dorothy & LLoyd Putnam

Dorothy & LLoyd Putnam


Lloyd and Dorothy had 4 children. I’m the youngest.

Putnam Kids circ. 1950

Putnam Kids
circ. 1952


In 1952 when I started kindergarten, Dorothy began her teaching career in Visalia, California at Carrie Barnett School. She tried teaching eigth, sixth and fourth grade. She settled on fifth grade. In 1956 we moved to Placerville, California where Mom taught at Mother Lode as a fifth grade teacher. She later taught at Charles Brown School. She had to stop teaching about 1966 when rheumatoid arthritis so severely effected her legs that she became wheel chair bound.

I remember as a first grader complaining to mom that she spent too much time at home on her school work. After that Mom tried to complete her lesson plans and grading papers and the like at school. I know she was a great and  conscientious  teacher. She tutored various students through the years who were having trouble with their school work. I remember her working with one young girl in the late 50’s early 60’s at our dining room table on weekends who needed help with English, Spanish was the girls native language.

Mother of four, grandmother of 7, and a great grandmother before she died on 24 August 1987.

On Mother’s Day I salute my mother for contributing to the lives of many and being most appreciated by this daughter for making our home as stable and comfortable as possible while working full time. I still use moms receipes on a regular basis. One of my favorites is a simple and delicious receipe for rice pudding, if you do not already have it, I can share.


52 Ancestors: #3 Poultry Farmer/ University Professor

John Edwin Dougherty  July 29, 1887 – August 12, 1976

John Edwin Dougherty

John Edwin Dougherty

John Edwin Dougherty, known by Ed or even J. E. Dougherty  was born to John Lyle Dougherty  and Margaret Helen Ferguson in New York, the youngest of 6.
William E.  Dougherty was b: 22 October 1882 and d: 12 January 1885.  Howard Dougherty another older brother to John, b: 2 Jan 1872 and d: 10 April 1883 and Dorothy Grace Dougherty was two years older then John, was b: 26 March, 1885 and d: 18 August 1894 Ed and Dorothy were close. His surviving sisters were at lest 9 years older. Alice b: 1879, Inez b: 1874 andHattie b: 1868. So the loss of his sister Dorothy was especially hard on him.

Dorothy Grace Dougherty

Dorothy Grace Dougherty

John  Edwin Dougherty and Ada Richmal Heap meet when as a teenager,  Ed sold and delivered vegetables off the family truck farm to homes in town on Staten Island.

J.E. "Ed" Dougherty

J.E. “Ed” Dougherty

Ada was born and raised on Staten Island. Her family home was on Roe Street. Her father Charles Heap was a plumber. My Grandma Ada told the best stories.  But in doing the family genealogy I soon learned Grandma’s stories were just that, stories! (See my blog 52 Ancestors: #1 Getting Started.)
John Edwin went to Cornell University where he studied poultry husbandry. After finishing at Cornell he went on to teach at Purdue, Indiana.
While at Purdue he accepted a position at a brand new Agricultural school in Davis, California. newpaper cliping re JE Dougherty

Before leaving the East he married Ada Heap, 23 December 1911

J.E. and Ada

J.E. and Ada

Ed and Ada had three children, my mother was the oldest and was named in memory of Ed’s  sister Dorothy (Dorothy Ada b: 2 Nov. 1914). The other Two children were Robert Edwin, b: 5 March 1917 and Walter Lyle, b: 24 Nov. 1919.

While my mother (Dorothy) was a teen the family moved to Madison, Wisconsin so her father could work on his PHD, in Poultry Husbandry, there at the University of Wisconsin. One of mothers stories from that time was that her father would come home with sacks of groceries he had won ice skating.  Apparently this was a regular occurrence. But for me I could not picture the man I knew doing something that sounded like fun. It was several years before I asked Mom about grandpa’s ice skating. I think I must have thought figure skating but Mom did clarify it to racing.

It was while the family was in Wisconsin that the banks closed. J.E. Dougherty lost all of his savings. He had to leave his work on his PHD and returned to the ranch he had built in Davis, CA.

J.E. Dougherty @ Davis Ranch

He was able to return to teaching at UC Davis  but never completed his PHD. He never trusted the banks again.
He was for always saying, ” don’t keep all your eggs in one basket”. This was not referring to the eggs from the hen houses but your money. He kept a limited amount in each bank. I have no idea how many accounts he had but I imagine more then the average person.

1929 Newspaper article

1929 Newspaper article

Not only did J.E. teach at Davis he spent several years at Berkeley teaching and also traveled around California lecturing. He was editor of the Nulaid News (Poultry Producers of Central California)  for many years. Grandpa remained on the Davis Ranch until he needed full time care.

There are many memories of the family times at the Ranch in Davis. Hopefully I will get to many of them as I tell each family members story. Thanks to cuz. Ron for the photo of Grandpa at the Davis Ranch.

Come back next week for: William L. Dougherty My Brick Wall.

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