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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Gilbert Schuyler Putnam

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 598 - 600

Gilbert Schuyler Putnam, attorney-at-law, and a resident of Greenbush, is an early settler of that town. He was born in the town of Cazenovia, Madison County, N. Y., March 18, 1836, and is a son of Benjamin and Sophia (Moyer) Putnam. His paternal grandfather, Gilbert Putnam, was of Dutch and English parentage. He was born December 15, 1771, in the Mohawk Valley, and died August 12, 1815. He moved with his family to Louisville, Ky., when our subject's father was a child. A few years later, the parents died, and the children, under the care of the eldest son, returned to New York. Benjamin Putnam, the father of our subject, was born in Montgomery County, of that State, February 11, 1811. On his return from Kentucky, he served an apprenticeship to the trade of spinster in a woolen factory in his native State, and on reaching man's estate was united in marriage to Sophia Moyer. Mrs. Putnam was born in the Mohawk Valley, her birth occurring October 3, 1805. She was descended from families of the early Holland settlers of that region, and her mother was a member of the Schuyler family so prominent in the early history of New York. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Putnam settled at Cazenovia, where they spent the remainder of their lives. The latter died March 4, 1854, and the former on January 18, 1888.

Gilbert S. prepared for college at Yates Polytechnic Institute, at Chittenango, N. Y., and in 1857 entered Hamilton College. Two years later he left college to go West, and located at La Porte, Ind., where he engaged in school teaching. In 1860, he came to Greenbush, Sheboygan County, Wis., where he was again engaged in teaching, teaching the school of that place some four terms, besides teaching elsewhere in Sheboygan County. He was also engaged in farming.

On the 12th of September, 1861, Mr. Putnam was married in Greenbush to Catherine Nare. Mrs. Putnam was born in Steuben County, N.Y., September 25, 1839, and is a daughter of Peter, and Lena (Dockstader) Nare. Her father was born in the town of Palatine, Montgomery County, of the Empire State, in 1813, and was a son of Henry and Catharine Nare. He was married in 1833 to Lena Dockstader, a daughter of John and Lena (Ecker) Dockstader. Mrs. Nare was also a native of Palatine, where her birth occurred in 1814, and is descended from an old Mohawk Valley family, of Holland origin. Mr. Nare worked at the carpenter's trade in the East, but in 1846 he emigrated to Sheboygan County, Wis., with his family, and settled in the town of Greenbush and engaged in farming. Mr. and Mrs. Nare had three children, two sons and one daughter, as follows: John Henry, who married Jane Brown, and now makes his home at Golden, Colo.; Catherine, now Mrs.Gilbert S.Putnam; and George, the youngest, who was a soldier of the late war, a member of Company C, Fourth Wisconsin Cavalry, and died in Baton Rouge, La., while in the service. Mr. Nare died in Greenbush on the 29th of December, 1863. Mrs. Nare survives her husband and resides in Greenbush with her brother, Henry Dockstader, of whom see sketch.

On the 17th of November, 1863, Mr. Putnam enlisted as a member of Company C, Fourth Wisconsin Cavalry. He was promoted to be Third Sergeant and served until after the close of the war. He participated in several engagements, and performed various duties in guarding bridges and supply trains, and in skirmish line. About his last active service was at the capture of Mobile, Ala., and the taking of Ft. Blakely and Spanish Fort. He was mustered out at New Orleans, August 22, 1865.

Mr. and Mrs Putnam have had seven children, of whom three are living. William N., born September 6, 1862, died July 11, 1863; Charles H., born July 24, 1864, died September 18, 1865; George N., born March 22, 1867, married Lena Sinz, and is a farmer of the town of Greenbush; Carrie L., born July 30, 1870, died March 21, 1873; Lena P., born July 15, 1872, is now the wife of Patsy Gannon, a farmer of the same town; Giles H. was born November 27, 1875; and Henry I., who was born June 18, 1877, died July 19, 1882.

Mr. Putnam was a Republican up to 1888, when he left that party and supported Grover Cleveland for President, having since voted with the Democratic party. He was induced to make the change by his belief in the Democratic principle of tariff for revenue only. In 1870, he was appointed Register of Deeds by the Governor to fill a vacancy, and was the candidate of the Republican party at the ensuing election for that office. His party being in a minority, he was defeated, but he carried the Democratic city of Sheboygan by one hundred and six majority, being the only Republican on the county ticket who got a majority in that city. He has .served as Chairman of the town of Greenbush for three terms, and as a member of the County Board of Supervisors. He has also served as Justice of the Peace several terms.

In early manhood Mr. Putnam entertained a desire to enter the legal profession, and to that end studied the standard textbooks while teaching school, and later while engaged in farming. Finally he took a course of reading under the direction of Judge William H. Seaman, of Sheboygan, and was admitted to the Bar May 2, 1884, since which time he has practiced in the courts of the county.

Socially, Mr. Putnam is a Knight Templar, belonging to Acassia Lodge No. 167,A. F. & A . M . , of Plymouth; Harmony Chapter No. 10, R.A.M., of Sheboygan; and to Fond du Lac Commandery No. 5, K. T., of Fond du Lac. He also belongs to the Odd Fellows' fraternity.


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