Harry E. J. Putney


HARRY E. J. PUTNEY, who is engaged in the real estate and insurance business at Kittanning,, was born at Putneyville, Armstrong Co., Pa., Nov. 27, 1862, a son of Samuel B. and Harriet A. (Williamson) Putney.

David Putney, his paternal grandfather, was the founder of Putneyville. He was born in Connecticut, Oct. 18, 1794. On Sept. 29, 1818, he married Lavina Stevenson, born Jan. 7, 1796, and their children were: James T., George, David T., Mary E., William N., Samuel B., Nelson O. and Ezra J. Mr. and Mrs. Putney subsequently moved to Freeport, Pa., and in 1833 Mr. Putney bought from the Holland Land Company, at $1.50 per acre, a tract of one thousand acres surrounding and including the site of the present village of Putneyville. The bottom lands and the hillsides were covered with laurel and hazel brush. A little shanty was put up on the creek bank, where later a gristmill was erected, and this served as the home of the Putneys for about four months, until it was replaced with a cabin. This cabin was stocked with goods, to be sold to the surrounding farmers. Later a story and a half frame dwelling was built, which was the first of its kind in the neighborhood. In the meanwhile Mr. Putney successfully conducted his mercantile operations. In 1840 he contracted to furnish a large amount of timber to complete dam No. 1 on the Monongahela river at Pittsburgh. By this time a little settlement had sprung up about his location, and a few houses had been erected.

Samuel B. Putney, son of David was for the greater part of his life extensively engaged in a lumber and boat building business. His death occurred in 1865. He and his wife were the parents of the following children: David W., Boyd H. and Harry E. J. Mr. and Mrs. Putney were both active members of the Methodist Church, which Mr. Putney served as trustee. He was also active in Sunday school work, and exerted a powerful influence for good among his associates.

Harry E. J. Putney attended public school at Putneyville, the Reidsburg Clarion Academy, and the Clarion Normal School. After leaving school he became an apprentice to the painter's trade, which he followed for a time. Mr. Putney then spent six years in the employ of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, and later was engaged in a gas, oil and coal business. When he located at Kittanning he engaged in the general insurance business, in which he has since continued. In 1908, Mr. Putney, with H. A. Colwell and Mr. Pollock, cashier of the National Kittanning Bank, organized the Chicago Air Brake Company. This air brake acts upon a different principle from those manufactured by the Westinghouse people, and it is believed by those who are competent to pass judgment that it is destined to revolutionize the air brake system. A bright future appears to be before the promoters of this invention. Mr. Putney is active in fraternal circles, belonging to the Masonic order, in which he has taken the thirty-second degree, and also to the Elks.

On July 19, 1899, Mr. Putney was married to Marie Jones, daughter of David and Emma Jones, of Pittsburgh. Four children have been born to them: Harriet E., Jean D. J., Madge M. and Francis C.

Source: Pages 799-800, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed October 1998 by James R Hindman for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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