PUTNAM C. BROWNELL, ex-Sheriff of Madison County, was born in the town of Hamilton in 1835, a son of Nathan and Polly (Brown) Brownell. His father was born in Little Compton, R.I., March
13,1789, and died in Brookfield, Madison County, May 24, 1866. He was a son of George Brownell, of the same place, who was born March 31, 1744, and who married Lucy Richmond, born July 26, 1751. George and Lucy Brownell were the parents of eleven children, eight sons and three daughters, of whom Nathan was next to the youngest child. About 1793 they removed from Little Compton to the State of New York, bringing with them only limited means, and upon arriving here bought a farm on Paris Hill, Oneida County, upon which farm they lived and labored, loved and died; and there the husband and father lies buried. Their eldest son, Loring, was a seafaring man, owning the schooner of which he was the captain.
He came to this State with his parents, and bought the farm upon which they afterward lived, and then returned to his vessel to make one more voyage to the West Indies, taking with him his two brothers, Peres and Putnam, both single men. None of them ever came back, nor were any tidings from them ever received. This was about the year 1792. Loring left a widow and one son, who, having been born after his father left on this last fatal voyage, was never seen by him. He became a prominent man, and died in Piqua, Ohio.
On December 30, 1817, Nathan Brownell married Polly Brown, of the town of Madison, he being at the time twenty-eight years old, and she seventeen. He followed farming for some time, and then engaged in general merchandising in Madison Centre, afterward in Hubbardsville, and still later in Brookfield, where he died. He and his wife were the parents of ten children, eight sons and two daughters, five of the sons and one of the daughters living to mature years, and four of the sons surviving to the
present time, namely: George, a painter, living at Earlville, who has three sons and two daughters; Nathan, a farmer, of Hubbardsville, who was Supervisor during the War of the Rebellion, and later County Clerk, and who has one son and one daughter; Peres, of Utica, who has one son and one daughter; and Putnam C., the subject of this sketch. Lucy married Jerome Terry, who died, leaving one son, George B., who in the spring of 1861 was one of the first to respond to his country's call. A fine young man, a good soldier, he died of small-pox in a hospital near Washington, D.C., at the early age of nineteen. Nicanor died at Hubbardsville in 1887, at the age of sixty-four, leaving one daughter. After the death of her first , husband Mrs. Lucy Terry became the wife of Alfred Babcock, who died in December, 1866, leaving her again a widow, with three children: A. Jerome, now a successful mechanic, of Chicago; Hattie, wife of Dr. Chase, of Morrisville, N.Y., and Charles, who was adopted by Mr. E. A. Brown, of the town of Brookfield, N.Y.
Putnam C. Brownell married February 12, 1857, Cornelia E. Morgan, a daughter of William and Minerva (Curtis) Morgan, both now deceased, the father having died in 1883 at Hamilton, N.Y., aged eighty-three years, and the latter at Brookfield in March, 1867, aged sixty-two. Six of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Morgan are still living, namely Mary Morgan, of Hamilton; Wealthy, widow of Martin P. Willis; Mrs. Brownell; Myron, of Clinton, Oneida County; Sarah, wife of S. D. White, attorney-at-law, of Hamilton, who has one son; and Mandalia, wife of Myrtus A. Sanders, of Rochester, N.Y. Mr. and Mrs. Brownell have buried two sons Everett, who died April
10, 1862, aged twenty-one months; and Willie H., who died July 27, 1866, aged three years. They have one daughter, Florence Minerva, an interesting young lady of good capacity, who at sixteen years of age has finished with credit her course of study at the Hamilton public school.
Mr. Brownell began life for himself as a general merchant at Brookfield, when twenty-two years of age, and remained there until 1866, when he sold out his business and removed to Hubbardsville, where for sixteen years he was a buyer of hops for Charles Green & Son. In 1882 he was elected Sheriff of the county, and removed to Morrisville, after the expiration of his term coming to his present fine home in Hamilton on the east side of the beautiful park. He has a fine farm of one hundred and ten acres, one mile south of the village. He was out of business for some years, except as a buyer of hops. In the spring of
1893 he became a stockholder and manager of the Hamilton Lumber Company, which company purchased, the business of Wedge & Allen. In connection with this business he has travelled over twenty-eight States and Territories of the United States, and is thus well acquainted with the country, with its conditions and possibilities. In politics he is a Republican, and has been true to its policies and its career since the candidacy of its first nominee, General John C. Fremont, the brilliant young "Pathfinder of the Rocky Mountains."
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