Israel Putnam is perhaps the best-known inhabitant of the Putnam House. Born in Salem Village (now Danvers, Massachusetts) in 1718, he moved to Pomfret, Connecticut in 1740 as a young man. While in Connecticut, he encountered a wolf that had been attacking local farmers' flocks of sheep. Putnam gained acclaim for killing this wolf, which is now remembered as the last known wolf in the entire state.
Putnam fought in the French and Indian War. During this time, he quickly rose through the ranks. He was captured in 1758 but was rescued and soon returned to his duties.
During the 1760s, he became a vocal opponent of British taxation policies and a prominent member of the Sons of Liberty. Unsurprisingly, he then went on to serve in the American Revolutionary War.
Due to this series of heroic exploits, Putnam earned a reputation as a folk hero, as exemplified in a 1788 biography by David Humphreys entitled The Life and Heroic Exploits of Israel Putnam (linked below).