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Lemuel Pratt Putnam (1884-1968) was born in Iowa and grew up in South Dakota. He was educated at South Dakota State Normal School at Spearfish, the State Teachers College in North Dakota, and at Chicago Theological Seminary in Illinoiswas educated at South Dakota State Normal School at Spearfish, at Colorado College, and at Chicago Theological Seminary in Illinois.
Putnam began his career working with the YMCA in Chicago in 1912 until 1921. He served in WWI briefly from 1917-1918, with the YMCA in Texas, then with the 42 division in France, in the "Y Hut."
In September of 1921, Putnam moved to Eugene, Oregon where he became the General Secretary of the University of Oregon campus YMCA, and served until 1923.
From 1923 until 1935, he worked as Director of Administration, Youth Work, Religious Education, and Camp and Conference Work at the First Presbyterian Church in Portland, Oregon. From 1935 until 1938, Putnam returned to the YMCA, this time in Portland, and served as Secretary of Counseling and Guidance, and with the Metropolitan Program.
Putnam was then ordained in 1938 by the Portland Presbytery in order to become assistant pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Portland, Oregon. In 1942 he resigned in order to "take up war emergency work, accepting the call of the Portland Council of Churches to organize and direct The United Church Ministry to Defense Communities of the Portland Federal Housing areas."
In 1944, Putnam became the Associate Executive Secretary of the Portland Council of Churches. In 1945 he worked on the Restoration Fund for the Synods of Oregon and Idaho. After the war years, Putnam took part in a special survey project for Board of National Missions of the Presbyterian Church, and was a special consultant on the Restoration Fund.
From 1949 until 1952 he served with the Oregon Tuberculosis and Heath Association, and afterwards he returned to the First Presbyterian Church, and retired in 1953.
[Source: Biographical Information Folder, Lemuel P. Putnam papers, Ax 586, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.]
Correspondence consists of incoming letters arranged alphabetically by name or title. Correspondents include politicians, church leaders, and religious and political associations. There are over 300 letters from 1911 to 1963.
There is also religious writings including prayers, prayer fragments, and sermons.
Files on religious organizations and activities include: the National Council of Churches, Board of National Missions of Presbyterian Church, Oregon Council of Churches, Oregon Council of Christian Education, Portland Council of Churches, Portland Council of Religious Education, West Side Board of Religious Education, Commission on Christian Education, and field reports of the United Church Overseas Relief.
The collection also includes a file of biographical information.
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[Identification of item], Lemuel P. Putnam papers, Ax 586, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.