George Jewett Putney was one of the honored pioneer settlers of Saunders county, arriving the year in which
the county was organized, and as time passed on he aided largely in the development and upbuilding of the district,
promoting its educational and moral as well as material interests. He was very prominent in the community and ranked
with the leading farmers and stock raisers, conducting business interests of large extent and importance. Mr. Putney
was a native of Ohio, his birth having occurred at Conneaut, November 5, 1844, his parents being George W. and
Polly (Bellows) Putney. The father was born in Canada, March 1, 1798, and the paternal grandfather, George Jewett
Putney, was also probably a native of that country, but the mother was born in Pomfret, New York.
The subject of this review spent his boyhood upon the home farm and acquired a public school education. He was
not yet seventeen years of age when on the 16th of September, 1861, he enlisted for service in the Civil war, joining
Company E, Twenty ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with which he served for three years. On the 18th of October,
1864, he reenlisted, becoming a private of the One Hundred and Second Pennsylvania Infantry, in which he was advanced
from the ranks to the position of corporal. With that command he continued until the close of hostilities, being
honorably discharged July 6, 1865. He was twice slightly wounded and for some time was ill in a hospital.
When the country no longer needed his military aid Mr. Putney returned to his home, there remaining until his marriage
in 1867. Not long afterward he came to Nebraska and took up a homestead in Green precinct, on section 4, township
13, range 8, in Saunders county. He returned to his old home in the east for the winter but in the spring of 1868
brought his wife to Nebraska and settled upon his homestead farm of eighty five acres. With characteristic energy
he devoted his time and attention to the cultivation, development and improvement of that place and success attended
his efforts as the years went by. Eventually he purchased railroad land, becoming the owner of five hundred and
thirty acres southeast of Wahoo. He was one of the first men to introduce thoroughbred cattle in that county and
in a few years was the owner of the finest herd of shorthorns ever raised in Saunders county. By the introduction
of the shorthorn blood much improvement of the cattle in this county was brought about. His neighbors and friends
improved their stock of cattle by purchasing thoroughbred sires from Mr. Putney's fine herd. He successfully managed
and improved his farm until the spring of 1906, when he sold out and came to Wahoo, where he lived retired. His
business affairs were ever carefully conducted and his unfaltering industry and perseverance constituted the substantial
foundation on which he built his success.
On the 27th of June, 1867, Mr. Putney was united in marriage to Miss Elvira M. Griffey, who was born in Erie county,
Pennsylvania, a daughter of William M. and Maria (Sartweli) Griffey. Her father was also a native of Erie county,
Pennsylvania, and a son of George Griffey, who was of Welsh descent, while his wife was of German extraction. The
family was founded in Erie county during the pioneer epoch in its development, the journey thither being made on
horseback. William M. Griffey spent his entire life in Pennsylvania and in his later years turned his farm over
to the care and management of his sons. His wife died when her daughter, Mrs. Putney, was but three weeks old.
Her girlhood days were spent in Pennsylvania, where she remained until her marriage, and in the year 1868 she accompanied
her husband to Nebraska, becoming one of the pioneer women of Saunders county. They experienced the hardships and
privations of frontier life but lived to see these supplanted by the comforts and conveniences of modern civilization.
To them were born two children: Myrtle M., the widow of O. M. Tharp, of Yahoo; and William G., who is principal
of the schools of Weston.
In his political views Mr. Putney was a republican but was somewhat liberal, not feeling himself bound by party
ties. He belonged to John A. Andrews Post, No. 90, G. A. It., and thus maintained pleasant relations with his old
army comrades, with whom he enjoyed recalling the events and scenes of war times. He died January 5, 1914, and
in his demise the county lost one of its most valued, representative and worthy citizens. While he had been actively
and successfully engaged in farming and stock raising for many years and through the careful management of his
business gained prosperity, he never allowed business affairs to usurp all of his time and attention but took an
active part in shaping the development and growth of the district in which he lived. He helped build the first
school and the first church in his precinct and otherwise contributed to the improvement of the district. His life
was ever upright and honorable and young and old, rich and poor, were his friends. His widow now occupies a beautiful
home in Wahoo and, like her husband, she has the warm regard of all with whom she has been brought in contact by
reason of her kindly spirit, her generous disposition and her many good deeds.
Past and Present Saunders County, Nebraska
A Record of Settlement, Organization,
Progress and Achievement
Charles Perky Supervising Editor
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Saunders County, NE
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