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Frederick Putnam diaries

 Collection
Identifier: MSS-002

Scope and Contents

The collection includes the 13 volume diary of Frederick Putnam, dating from May 1846 to January 1900. The diaries contain Putnam’s reflections and observations of various events that occurred during his life as a resident of Muncie. Also included are transcriptions of the diaries dated 1846 to 1883 and photocopies of the diaries dated 1883 to 1900.

Dates

  • 1846-1900

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Biographical Note

Frederick Putnam was born February 11, 1818, in Charleston, New Hampshire. Much of his early life was spent in poverty. Attracted by the opportunities the west offered to young men, Putnam left New Hampshire in October 1838, eventually settling in Muncie, Indiana.

He accepted a clerk position in the store of Charles F. Willard, an early Muncie merchant. Later they became business partners. In 1841, Putnam married Susan J. Sayre, the daughter of Colonel Benjamin Sayre. The marriage eventually produced four children. In March 1842, Putnam went into the general merchandise business for himself, operating his business until 1849. He entertained thoughts of moving to California, but soon abandoned them in favor of forming a new business partnership with John A. Wachtell. This venture lasted for two years.

In 1860, he formed another business partnership in the hardware trade with John M. Kirby. The firm was known as Putnam & Kirby and was located at 91 E. Main Street (corner of Main and Walnut Streets). The business did quite well, allowing Putnam to amass a comfortable fortune.

Along with being a successful businessman, Putnam was an important figure in civic affairs. He was elected as Delaware County Treasurer in 1852 and served until 1857. From 1857 to 1860, he was assistant auditor of the county. In addition, he served as school examiner for two years and as a school trustee for nine years. He also served on the Muncie City Council, as a director for the Muncie National Bank, and as Secretary of the Delaware County Republican Central Committee. Putnam died January 18, 1901, at the age of 82.

Extent

1.8 Cubic Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Arrangement

Arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Putnam, Frederick diaries, 1846 May-1900 Jan.

Series 2: Putnam, Frederick diaries transcripts, 1846 May-1883 Aug.

Series 3: Putnam, Frederick diaries photocopies, 1883 Jul..-1900 Jan.

Other Finding Aids

An index to the Frederick Putnam diaries is available. See Purdy, George E. An Index to the Frederick E. Putnam Diary in the Delaware County Archives at Ball State University, 1976. [MSS.000.2: Local history research papers, 1936-2010]

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation.

Accruals

No further additions are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Select materials from this collection have been digitized and are available online in the Ball State University Libraries Digital Media Repository:

http://libx.bsu.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/PtnmFrdDiar

Related Archival Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie IN:

MSS.087: Thomas L. Ryan diary, 1886

MSS.129: Mina McCormick Beckett diaries, 1933-1962

MSS.105: Thomas Neely diaries, 1867-1901

SC.006: Ken Trietsch diary, 1945

SC.020: Charles Murray diary, undated

SC.145: John R. Kerns diary, 1850-1950

SC.171: J.W. Brant Civil War diary, 1862-1880

SC.375: David Hendrickson diary, 1897

SC.444: Sarah A. Heinsohn diary, 1886-1887

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 1994/02/25 by M. Sears. Finding aid created 1994/02/25 by M. Sears. Finding aid revised 1996/02/08 by M. Seelinger. Finding aid revised 2009/07/30 by Maren L. Read. EAD finding aid completed 2012/08/28 by Bethany Fiechter. EAD finding aid updated 2015/02/20 by Brandon Pieczko.
Title
Frederick Putnam diaries
Status
Completed
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Contact:
Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA