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PUTNAM, JOHN ABRAM BRYANT (1839–1895). John Abram Bryant Putnam, also listed as Putman, lawyer, Confederate soldier, state representative, and judge, was born in Illinois, on December 29, 1839. Putnam immigrated to Texas with his family in the 1840s, settling at Old Tarrant, Hopkins County. Putnam was raised in Hopkins County and, upon reaching adulthood in 1857, established himself there at Sulphur Springs. He read law during this period, but was forced to postpone his studies by the outbreak of the Civil War. During this conflict he served with the Twenty-third Texas Cavalry Regiment. Following the war Putnam resumed his studies, gaining admission to the bar at Tarrant County in 1866. He returned to Sulphur Springs where he assumed a leading role in state and local affairs. Putnam served as the first county judge for Delta County, established in July 1870. That same year he won election as representative for Hopkins County to the Twelfth Texas Legislature. He later served two terms as district judge for Hopkins County. In addition, he retained a private practice during the 1880s as a partner in the Sulphur Springs firm of Hunter, Putnam, & Crawford, and in 1889 he was an inaugural member of the board of directors of City National Bank. This bank is Sulphur Springs' oldest financial institution and the subject of a Texas Historical Marker. He was a master Mason and, though not affiliated with a particular faith, occasionally taught Sunday school at the community's Methodist Church. Putnam died at his home in Sulphur Springs on January 4, 1895.


H. L. Bentley and Thomas Pilgrim, Texas Legal Directory for 1876–1877 (Austin: Democratic Statesman Office, 1877). Hopkins County TxGenWeb, "Historical Markers" (, accessed June 7, 2007. "Towns of Hopkins County TX in 1884–1885" (, accessed June 7, 2007. June E. Tuck, Hopkins County Obituaries Prior 1939, Volume I (Sulphur Springs, Texas: June E. Tuck, 1995).

Aragorn Storm Miller


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Aragorn Storm Miller, "PUTNAM, JOHN ABRAM BRYANT," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 29, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.