Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon


PUTNAM, TEXAS. Putnam, on U.S. Highway 80/20 ten miles east of Baird in eastern Callahan County, was established with the construction of the Texas and Pacific Railway in 1880. The community was called Catclaw until the first post office opened in 1882, when it was possibly named for Gen. Israel Putnam, a hero of the American Revolution. A company organized in 1910 planned to make Putnam a health resort to exploit local mineral water, but promoters could not compete with the well-established resort town of Mineral Wells. Fruit raising and oil production proved more capable of sustaining the town. The population was 250 in 1890 and 487 in 1940 but declined to 116 by 1980. A resident, J. H. Burkett, discovered the original papershell pecan tree east of Putnam (see ORIGINAL BURKETT PECAN). In 1990 the population was 103. The population was eighty-eight in 2000.


Brutus Clay Chrisman, Early Days in Callahan County (Abilene, Texas: Abilene Printing and Stationery, 1966).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

"PUTNAM, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on!