PUTNAM, MILDRED OLIVE ANDREWS (19 June 1890/92-13 April 1984) and PETER ANDREWS PUTNAM (1925-1987) were art benefactors and philanthropists who funded numerous notable causes, including three projects in Sandusky, Ashtabula and Franklin and Pickaway Counties, Ohio, and who left a $37 million bequest in their wills to the Nature Conservancy, the largest non-profit land preservation group in the world. Mildred's benevolence was through various family foundations and funds bearing her own name and that of her husband, John B. Putnam, a prominent Cleveland lawyer.
Born in Norwalk, Ohio, to Horace and Laura (Dempsey) Andrews, Mildred graduated from HATHAWAY BROWN SCHOOL in 1909. After her husband's death, Mildred assumed control of the family real estate, and investment holdings. She kept an office in the Point Building, and owned the Winous Building on PLAYHOUSE SQUARE. She spent millions on sculptures and paintings by such artists as Picasso, Henry Moore, Jacques Lipchitz and George Segal, which she presented to Princeton University, CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY and the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART. In 1978 Mildred commissioned Segal to sculpt a memorial to the Kent State University students killed by Ohio National Guard troops in 1970. KSU officials rejected the proposed sculpture of Abraham ready to sacrifice his son, Isaac, as "inappropriate" and "too violent". She then gave it to Princeton University.
Mildred was a member of the vestry of TRINITY CATHEDRAL from 1970-1974. She had endowed a special music program which included the series of free concerts at noon for people who want to eat a brown bag lunch while listening to music.
Mildred and John Berman Putnam married on 29 Dec. 1917. They had two sons, John Jr. (died in WWII) and Peter. An Episcopalian, Mildred lived in BRATENAHL and died in Houma, LA. She is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.
Born in Cleveland to John and Mildred Putnam, Peter earned a doctoral degree in physics at Princeton University where he apprenticed under Albert Einstein. Peter eventually moved to Houma, Louisiana, where he lived a spartan existence with a friend in a modest apartment. He worked as a night watchman and janitor, while writing philosophical essays, and monitoring the family's stock portfolio. He was killed by a drunken driver while riding his bicycle at night. Although eccentric, Peter tripled his family's fortune by successfully investing in stock ventures. His will left the bulk of his estate to the Nature Conservancy.