Julia Elizabeth Putnam, 77, a resident of Albany, Texas, departed this life on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in an Abilene hospital. She was born in Abilene, Texas, on Oct. 10, 1943, to Joseph Carrol Putnam and Margaret Elizabeth Sheers Putnam. Julia lived on the family’s Camp Cooper Ranch in Throckmorton County before they moved to Albany in 1947. The Putnams moved back to the ranch in 1955. Julia attended Albany schools and graduated from high school in 1962.
In the mid-1940s, the Putnams bought a log cabin in Idlewild, New Mexico. Spending summers there was one of Julia’s favorite activities throughout her life. In the little community, she and her family met people who became their lifelong friends to the second and third generations.
Miss Putnam received her bachelor’s degree in library science from Texas Woman’s University in 1967. She worked as a librarian at Mineral Wells Junior High School until she retired about 1997. Julia served as sponsor of the yearbook at the junior high school for many years. She studied photography and used her skills to advantage in the yearbooks.
After she retired, Julia returned to Albany. She was an avid researcher of the history of the area, especially the family’s historic Camp Cooper Ranch and the pre-Civil War fort of the same name. Julia, her late mother, and Mike Martinson of Throckmorton gave guided tours of the ranch house and fort site for more than four decades. Their extensive knowledge of the history delighted visitors, who came from all over the U.S.
Miss Putnam and her mother oversaw many restoration and conservation projects at Camp Cooper, including work on the Honeymoon Cottage, the Camp Cooper Cemetery, and several foundations. Throckmorton history and preservation lost a true advocate and friend with Julia’s passing. Her legacy and work will endure, just as her beloved Camp Cooper Ranch has endured.
Julia loved the Fort Griffin Fandangle and attended at least once each year. She invited her numerous friends from far and wide to attend the event. She was a longtime member of the Shackelford County Historical Commission and served as president for several years. Under her leadership, the commission placed several Texas Historical Markers in Shackelford County.
Miss Putnam was active in the First United Methodist Church of Albany, where she served as president of the United Methodist Women for several years. She was a member the Albany Study Club and the Fort Griffin Fandangle Association, and was also a member and past president of the Shackelford County Retired Teachers Association. Julia worked with the Shackelford County Library and was instrumental in bringing computer services there.
Miss Putnam was involved in getting the present-day pavilion built in the Albany Cemetery. She was a docent at the Ledbetter Picket House in the Bank Park in downtown Albany and a driver for Meals on Wheels for several years.
Outgoing and friendly, Julia never met a stranger. She was generous, selfless, and kind. She lived every day to help others and to do good. The world may not see her like again.
Julia was preceded in death by her parents. Survivors include her brother John Putnam and his wife Rita of Albany; her sister Margaret Putnam and her husband Marvin Hale of Albuquerque, New Mexico; her brother Joe Putnam and his wife Jan Hart of Irving; nephews Robert Putnam and his wife Rebe of Albany, and Joe Putnam of Parker, Colorado; nieces Sara Putnam Chisum and husband Eddie of Roby, and Evelyn Hale Valdez and husband Jason of San Antonio; eight great-nieces and -nephews, and numerous cousins.
Morehart Mortuary’s Albany location is directing the burial services, which will be in the Albany Cemetery on Friday, Feb. 5, at 1:00 p.m.. The Reverend Tim Trimble of First United Methodist Church of Albany will perform the graveside service. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4th at Morehart Mortuary of Albany.
Suggestions for memorials include the First United Methodist Church of Albany; Shackelford County Meals on Wheels; the Shackelford County Library; the Fort Griffin Fandangle Association; and the Texas Historical Commission. PD