Home |  PublicationsEncyclopedia |  Putnam

The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture


Located in southern Dewey County, Putnam is situated thirteen miles south of the county seat of Taloga on U.S. Highway 183. Named for a 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. Ten years later the population had dropped to 29.

Linda D. Wilson


"Putnam," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.

Spanning the River: Dewey County Family History (N.p.: Dewey County Historical Society, 1976).

Browse By Topic

Urban Development




The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Linda D. Wilson, “Putnam,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=PU006.

Copyright and Terms of Use

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS). This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and part or in whole.