Clinton Township -- Next to Clarke County, Clinton is below Russell, next to Monroe and above Madison Townships. The town of Morton is in Clinton. Asbury Vandever bought the first piece of property in this township followed a month later by Roan Irwin. The first birth was recorder as John Sigler born 10 days before Christmas in 1825, son of Andrew and Sarah. The first school was taught by Capt. William H. Thornburgh. Portland Mills, Morton and of course, Clinton Falls are in Clinton Township. L.K. Dille was the first postmaster of Clinton Falls, appointed August 31, 1874.
Cloverdale Township -- the southernmost township in the Southern section of Putnam County, bordering Owen County, the town of Cloverdale is its largest populated area and has always been. One of the later townships to be organized (1846) it was originally part of Warren & Jefferson. In the spring of 1823, William Hamilton and James Robinson who came from Kentucky together, entered land in what is now Cloverdale Township. Macy, James, Kilgore, Hadden, VanSickle and McNary are early settlers as well, along with Meadows, Macy, Bandy and Taber. Elizabeth Tabor (sic) daughter of John was the first white child born in the township in 1824. This was in Section 36. The first death was a child of Ambrose Bandy. David Martin and Betsy Tabor or Berry Brannaman and Morris Sinclair were the first to marry. Abraham Waters built the first sawmill on Doe Creek. It was not until 1863 when Joseph Pearcy and Gabriel Woodville erected the first steam mill.Moses Nelson kept the first tavern and Thomas Nelson the first store. Thomas was also the first postmaster. Thomas Evans taught the first school beginning in 1835. The first JP was William Hamilton while the first Dr. was H.D. Dyer who came to the township in 1845. The Methodists held the first church services as early as 1824.
Floyd Township -- one of the eastern townships, it flushes with Hendricks County. Springfield and Groveland are the only two towns I've found there and are extinct today. Joseph W. Warford was the first settler there. The first marriage in the township was also a Warford, Wilson marrying Nancy the daughter of Isaac Monnett.There was no flour for the bread (cake or bread, they chose the cake) but the feast was enjoyed without the bread. Another Warford made township history, Delia, born in 1824 and the first death was a daughter of Joseph Warford in 1822. Sec 33, in 1829 produced the first sawmill built and ran by Anderson Matthews. Anderson's son, William was the first resident physician, who would come to author many medical books and send multiple articles to medical journal. One of the more interesting businesses was built by John Millman, and was a factory (1838) in Section 26 that made fur and wool hats. This business ran until 1863. First JP -- Andrew Matthews. First sermon was preached by Daniel Anderson at Joseph Warford's home in late 1822.
Franklin Township -- the middle upper township, Franklin lies between Russell and Jackson and above Monroe. Towns include Carpentersville, part of Roachdale and two villages, Fincastle (laid out in 1838 by John Obenchain -- David Fosher the first postmaster) and Carpentersville. James Gordon and William Elrod were among the early settlers, adding Garrett Gibson and James Fiddler next. Philip Lemon was the first blacksmith while the first store was Philip Carpenter's. The Louisville, New Albany & Chicago Railroad went through Carpentersville in the early 1840s. The town's first postmaster was Ezra Whitney.
Greencastle Township -- The county seat of Greencastle, above, is in the approximate center of this township. The area is mostly of a rolling nature but some flat areas exist, as well. Big Walnut Creek crosses it diagonally from NE to SW. The township had the following settlers who began the township in 1821 (John Sigler; Thomas Johnson; Benjamin Jones; Jubal DeWeese; Silas Weeks; John Miller; Amos Robertson; David DeWeese; Jefferson Thomas; and Samuel Rogers. Joshua H. Lucas was the first postmaster (in the city of Greencastle). In fact, the two the town and township coincide perfectly with the first settlers and their importance in the area. Walter and Hosea Wright had the first tannery; Milton Barlow was the first hatter; Arthur Mahorney the first Justice of the Peace.
Jackson Township -- Jackson is the Northeastern township in Putnam. New Maysville, Barnard and Roachdale are the main towns. It touches Hendricks County on the east, Montgomery on the north. William Welch, John Smith and George Sutherlin were among the first settlers. John S. Talbott was the first postmaster, having the USPO as was the case with many early ones, was in his store (1832). David Johnson, son of John Johnson was the first white child born in the townsip on March 8, 1828. The rich soil of this township is said to be some of the best in the county.
Jefferson Township -- Jefferson Township fairly well reflects Warren and is in the lower portion of the county, touched by Mill Creek, Warren, Marion, and Cloverdale. Although there are many branches of water in the area, no large creeks exist in this portion. The first settlers were three families named Higgins and one named Kirk who took up temporary settlements in Sec 16, in 1819, but it was not until late 1822 when John C. Sherrill actually purchased the first property. Jefferson has had Warren, Cloverdale and Deer Creek as part of its township at various times but finally in 1846 Jefferson was made what it is today. William Aldrich and Betsy Higgins were the first marriage in 1823. Caroline Sherrill was the first white child born Feb 27, 1823. The first JP was David Scott. The Baptists organized the first church (Mill Creek) with Absalom Hurst, minister. The Methodists were there earlier than 1838 but that is when their first was built. 1834 saw the first school.
Madison Township -- Bordering Clarke County, Madison owns Little Walnut, Suak and Long Branch Creeks. The I & St. L Railroad ran through the lower portion of the township in the early days of railroading and several towns popped up but are now gone. Richard Moore purchased the first land on December 13, 1821? 1820? Other early settlers were Benjamin Bell; Isaac Wolverton and Isaac Matkins, along with Leathermans, Wrights, Oatmans, Curtis and Williams. Joseph Thornburg was one of the most active. Isaac and Sophia Matkins had the first child, John Thomas Matkins born in the township, but sadly George, their son was the first death. Limestone quarries were abundant in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Two small towns, Oakalla and Brunerstown had post offices with Isaiah Wright the first postmaster at Brunerstown and Charles Eppinghousen the first at Oakalla. Brunerstown dates back to 1839 and Oakalla 1872.
Marion Township -- Two railways at one time ran through the upper part of Marion Township, thus the little town of Fillmore flourished. It barely exists today. The only other towns I find in Marion Township were Malta Station and Mt. Meridian which were mainly whistle stops on a railway. Lumbering was an early way to make money with poplar, walnut, white, red and burr oak, hard maple, beech, ash, elm, gum, hickory and sycamore. Deer Creek runs through this township. The first settler was Reuben Ragan who was one of the very first in the county, coming in 1818, coming here to decide just where he wanted to choose land in the surrounding counties and townships. He became a permanent resident in Marion township in 1822 and remained there until his death August 19, 1869. His hewed-log home became part of the family home and in 1910 was the oldest standing building in the county. He was remembered for his expertise at orcharding. Daniel Brewer, Coatsville was one of the more interesting of the early settlers, having been born in Holland on August 31, 1782. Arthur A Denny, son of John was the first white child born in the township a week before Christmas in 1824. Just six days later neighbor Samuel Hazlett became the father of America. A Smith-Smith wedding (John, son of John and Willie, daughter of Judge Smith) were the first to marry. James Agee, was the first blacksmith of the township while Abijah Robinson at Nicholsonville (later Fillmore) had the first post office in the township.
Monroe Township -- lies just below Franklin Township and is the home of Bainbridge, still one of the active towns of Putnam County. Jesse and Rollin James; Elias Gordon and John Powell all built their cabins in 1821 and are considered the first settlers of the township. George Johnson marrying Susannah Tomlinson was the first marriage in the township. John Jackson was the first blacksmith, Thomas Heady being the first JP. The Brick Chapel cemetery is one of the oldest in the county.
Russell Township -- is in the northwestern part of Putnam County. Russellville is the only town in the township. Raccoon and Ramp Creek are two of the waterways in the area. Russell Township was one of the first settled, with David Swank building his cozy little cabin in 1820. Allen Elliott settled the same year near the center of the township while Austin Puett settled near Portland Mills and Clark Butcher on the Big Raccoon. The first birth has still not been established although many feel Elizabeth Guilliams McGaughey was (her obit states such). The first marriage by Rev. Quinlet was definitely John Guilliams and Miss Lydia Fosher in July 1822. Daniel Anderson was the first preacher. The first mill established was by Jacob Beck, appropriately named Beck's Mill. Russellville had a newspaper for decades. The first postmaster there was Jacob Durham who had the office 18 years.
Warren Township -- Located above Cloverdale Township, between Washington and Jefferson, in the southern portion of the county, Warren is one of the smaller townships. Putnamville is located in this township. Deer Creek flows through the northern portion. Clay has been abundant in this township as could be seen by early potters, Boyd & Perry and A.W. Welker. Stone quarries have also popped-up during Warren's existence.
Washington Township -- one of the larger townships and the oldest of them, is located on the Southwestern portion of the county, bordering Clay County to the West and Owen County to the South. Mill Creek, Deer Creek and Big Walnut are the main portions of water. Reelsville is the bigger of the few little towns that cropped up. James Athey was the first settler, followed by members of the Reel, Horton, McIntosh, Roberts, Colemans, McCullough, Wrights, Simpsons, Funican, Boone, and Clark family members. Athey built the first home in the winter of 1818-1819. The first blacksmith in the county was John Hooton while Athey and a man named Busick were the first Justices of the Peace. Thomas McCullough was the tallest man to date to ever live in the county, being just shy of 7' tall and owning great physical power. Rev. Isaac Denman was the minister of the first Hard-Shell (Predestinarian) Baptist church at Manhattan, the earliest town in the township. A Christian Church was also established there in 1838 with Elder John Harris at the head of the congregation. Probably the most famous inhabitant was Squire Boone, brother to the famed Daniel. July 3, 1837 his home was struck by lighting and two of his children killed. Then years later, in their home, twin sons were born, Tip and Tyler (love it). Later on, two of his daughters were married on the same day in the same house so like all families, there were good times and bad. Another interesting settler was David Sublett. His life was full of sorrows. One of his daughters married Greenberry Mullinix who murdered his new wife before they had been married three weeks. He went to the gallows. Two of his sons and a son-in-law were killed by the railroad and one son was shot to death in Effingham, Illinois.