Joe Putman

Laurene Putman Compton

Joe Putman, 1941. Photo courtesy of Jessie Putman.

In 1941 Joe Putman was a member of the U. S. Army stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother, Lela Putman, organized a "Birthday Card Party" for him and on February 5th he received many birthday cards from friends and family in his hometown in Arkansas. Joe saved these cards and letters and his wife later put them in a large scrapbook as memories of his days in the military. This letter from Laurene (Putman) Compton is among them. Joe and Laurene (Putman) Compton were second cousins, grew up together, and played together as children, as Laurene mentions in this letter. The letter paints a vivid picture of the changes that shaped a small town, and of Arkansas and the South in general, since the 1940's.

Laurene Putman and Joe Putman playing as children.

c. 1920

Joe Putman and the family sheepdog.

Photos courtesy of Jessie Putman