Businessman, Philanthropist, & Carthage Historian
William Chase Putnam, Jr., son of William Chase Putnam, Sr. and Joan (née Cargill) Putnam, was born in Carthage on July 15, 1943. Bill attended Mark Twain School and Carthage High School, earning the Eagle Scout award in 1959, and graduating from Mercersburg (PA) Academy in 1961. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics from Beloit College in 1965 and attended business school at The University of Missouri. Bill married Cindy (née Welch) on August 23, 1969, and they have 4 children.
As an area businessman, Bill Putnam, Jr., served since 1976 as President of Tapjac Company, a family-owned company engaged in the building materials and land development business in the four-state area. He also served 25 years as a Director at banks in Mt. Vernon, Aurora and Carthage. In business, he is noted to be an intelligent businessman who has a sincere concern for his company’s employees, customers, and the communities in which it operates. He and Cindy also own and operate The Professional Building.
Bill’s whole life has been one of service to Carthage. His incredible efforts have made a lasting impact on the betterment of our community. Bill served as President of the Board of Public Works, and has served on the Carthage City Council. He was co-chairman of the 1990-1992 capital campaign to build the Fair Acres Family YMCA. During that campaign, Bill gave generously of his time, talent, and own treasure to bring a fantastic facility and resource to our community.
Bill helped found the Carthage Community Foundation in 1999, serving as board member and volunteer director for many years, and continues to be a leading advocate for legacy giving to make Carthage better for our citizens today and for generations to come. Over the years, he has served as President of the Carthage Area United Way, and President of the Missouri Southern State University Board of Regents. He is active in Grace Episcopal Church, where he has served on the vestry and as senior warden. Bill has served on the advisory board of the Steadley Memorial Trust since 1994, and in 1996 he received the Richard M. Webster Citizen of the Year Award from the Carthage Chamber of Commerce. Other recognitions include the Silver Beaver Award for service to the Boy Scouts, the Distinguished Service Citation from Beloit College, and he was named an Outstanding Eagle Scout by the National Eagle Scout Association. Bill has been a member of Carthage Rotary Club since 1973. He is a Paul Harris Member Plus 4 in recognition of his giving to the Rotary Foundation and he still volunteers at fundraising events of the Club.
Bill’s family came to Carthage in 1868, and he takes pride in our community and its history. In 2012 he helped form the Hall of Carthage Heroes to honor and recognize pioneers, civic leaders, and outstanding athletes from Carthage. He regularly researches Carthaginians who helped build, grow, and contribute to our community, nominating them for the Hall of Carthage Heroes so their achievements are not lost, and to inspire future generations. In 2019, Bill wrote a book called The Steadley Legacy, highlighting the family who left an amazing charitable trust to support our community for many generations to come.
Bill’s favorite quote is “Public service is the rent we pay for the space we occupy on this earth,” and serve well he does.