1010 Prospect Ave, Hartford, CT
Old Trinity Church Cemetery Brooklyn, Windham County, Connecticut, USA
William Hutchinson Putnam (February 1, 1878 - March 10, 1958) was a leading civic figure for more than 40 years and the moving force behind Hartford 's redevelopment and bridge, building program. He was a member of the Horace Walpole Society, elected in 1943.
William Hutchinson Putnam was the son of John Putnam. He married Adabelle C. Lyon (died 1944) in 1899. They had three children: Lyonel Hutchinson Putnam, Marcella Rockwell Putnam and Albert Day Putnam. A stockbroker who was a partner of Putnam & Co., Putnam was probably best known for his work in promoting Hartford's multibridge plan and in obtaining funds for the bridge construction. On October 1957, Putnam was the first to drive across the newly opened Windsor-South Windsor bridge, marking fulfillment of the first part of his five-bridge dream. He also participated in dedication ceremonies when the Founders Bridge opened two days before Christmas. A man who left his mark in the fields of education, public safety, redevelopment and health, Putman was also known in local horticultural circles for being the most prominent pea picker in the area. Best known was his annual rivalry with Edgar L. Ropkins. It was always a matter of considerable moment when Putnam announced, usually sometime in May, that he had picked his first batch of peas at his home at 1010 Prospect Ave, Hartford.
Just a little more than a month before his death, Putnam was honored on anniversary as "Hartford's Number One Citizen" at a testimonial dinner attended by some 800 government, business and civic leaders. The William H. Putnam Fund was initiated at this time with the presentation to Putnam of checks totaling $10.300. The fund, to be administered through the Hartford Hospital board of directors, honored Putnam's work in obtaining a modern structure for the hospital.
As another memorial to Putnam, a bronze plaque, to be mounted near the Founders Bridge, was unveiled at the dinner. The plaque was inscribed "In recognition of the lasting contributions to better life in Greater Hartford by William H. Putnam."
William Hutchinson Putnam died on March 10, 1958, at Hartford Hospital of an acute internal hemorrhage. He was admitted to the hospital failed to rally after an emergency operation. All traffic on the Greater Hartford bridges was halted for two minutes the day of his funeral as a mark of respect. After the service at the Trinity Episcopal Church, the funeral cortege passed over the Founders bridge en route to Brooklyn, Conn., where burial took place in the family plot in the churchyard of Old Trinity Church.
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