Please direct any comments/corrections/additions to:


April 20, 2001;  revised 8/1/2003 


Pruett family in Indiana;  Early Pioneers in La Crosse:     Stephen Pruett (1799-1868) and Naoma Moore (1801-1879) (prior to 1868)
left to right :  Naoma and Stephen in front;  who is on the right?  Abraham?

Left back row…Telitha Ann Pruett Coleman (1826-1915 (confirmed by Hal Coleman)


Unconfirmed:  Jemima, (1823-1889) (?)  Seems likely.

Mahala Pruett Branson (1827- married in 1842 in Indiana) on eyear younger than Telitha.

Alice (Elsie) 1833-? would have been younger than Telitha

Abraham or Perry (Perry died of smallpox in Civil War)





Stephen Pruett married Naomi Moore on 24 May 1822 in Knox County, Kentucky. [1]  [??Jesse Moore in listed as a laborer in the 1820 Census of Wayne County with a wife, 2 sons and 2 daughters (all under the age of 10).]  They seem to have left Kentucky with her parents between 1822 and 1826.  He is listed in the 1830 Parke County Indiana Census index (page 117).  The Pruett family lived with the Branson and Moore families in this region and they are all listed in the same census page.  In 1830, the census confirmed that Stephen and Naoma were there…Jemima b. 1823 would have been 7;  Telitha b. 1826 would have been 4; Mahala b. 1827 would have been 3; and Daughter b.1829 would have been 1.  Abraham was not born until three years later.


They moved to Greenfield, La Crosse, Wisconsin after 1850 (Wisconsin became a state in 1848.)  It is a mystery to me why Stephen and Naoma, who was called "Oma" left their home in Indiana, where their daughters were and where her parents had lived for so many years.  Wisconsin was known as "an agricultural and stock-raising locality. Although its surface is badly broken by high bluffs, and diversified by deep valleys or coulees, yet, by constant application, the soil is made very productive.  The town is well watered by numerous natural springs, rivulets, and creeks.[2] 


Another author summarized it this way: 

They came to escape the hardship, taxes, enforced military conscription, and religious persecution of their European homelands. They streamed to the Wisconsin wilderness from the squalor, noise, and confinement of large Eastern seaboard cities, and from poorer sections of the already-settled south.  The first big wave of immigrants to Wisconsin began in 1820, when southerners rode up the Mississippi River into the southwestern counties to take part in the lead mining boom.[3]

In the 1850 census, Jesse is listed (age 68);  his wife Amelia (Naoma's mother) is not listed.  Perhaps she had died.  Note:  There is also a "Moore cemetery" in Parke County.[4] 

The Parke and Vermillion county history (1913 provides some insight into Naoma Moore's family history: 

Jesse and Amelia [Stone] Moore, both b. in SC emigrated to Ky. in a very early day and in 1826 sought a home in Jackson Twp. They started Oct 8, and arriving here leased 70 acres of the NE 1/4 of Sec. 9, agreeing to build a house, set an orchard, besides clearing the 70 acres.  They had the privilege of using the whole quarter. There were 3 families of them: the old folks, Jesse and Amelia; Naoma Pruett and husband with family of two children [Jemima and Telitha]; Thomas Moore and wife, with one child; and Job, a single man.  Jesse and his son Joab worked one half the land, and Thomas and Stephen the other half.  Thomas is now the wealthiest man in Jackson Twp.


In the 1850 Census of Parke County, the following information is listed: 

        53  53  Moore                 Ephram         31          M        Farmer            800      Ky

        53  53  Moore                 Lucy Jane      25         F                                              Tenn


1.  53  Moore









2.  53  Moore    

Geo L








3.  53  Moore         

Thos. I.      








4.  53  Moore         









  5   53   53  Moore         

John M.      








  6   53   53  Moore         




S. C.





  7   54   54  Pruett        



M Farmer400






  8   54   54  Pruett        









  9   54   54  Pruett        









 10  54   54  Pruett        




Ind                     X





 11  54   54  Pruett        









 12  55   55  Branson       



M Farmer 50






 13  55   55  Branson       

Rebecca M    








 14  55   55  Branson       



F                      Ind






 15  56   56  Branson      



M Farmer






 16  56   56  Branson       

Winey C.      


F                      Ind






 17  56   56  Branson      



F                      Ind








In 1856, Stephen Pruett is listed in the Wisconsin land grant records as acquiring 40 acres in La Crosse County.[6]   Stephen and Naoma Pruett are then listed in the 1860 Census of Inhabitants of Greenfield, in the County of La Crosse.  He is listed as 60, she as 57.  Abram is 25, and Elsa (Alice?) is listed 23; Perry is 19.  Abraham's wife Eveline is listed as 23, with a child Preston 2/12 (2 months old).  He died in 1861 and is buried in Mormon Coulee.  Stephen is listed as a farmer; Abraham is a laborer.  All are listed as being from South Carolina (which we think was inaccurate). 


Not much is known about Stephen and Naoma[7], but his obituary was listed in the La Crosse Daily Republican:

Died In the town of Shelby, in La Crosse County, Wis., on the 14th Oct. 1868, at the age of 68 years and 6 months, Stephen Pruett, Esq., an old and highly respected citizen of this County.  Mr. Pruett as a native of North Carolina, and resided many years in Indiana, previous to coming to La Crosse County in 1851.  He was highly esteemed by all who knew him.  He leaves a wife, five sons and daughters, all married.  His only son Abraham, resides in Shelby.[8]  [this indicates that Perry and Marshall were deceased by 1868.  Perry may have died in the Civil war…]

Since Naoma Moore Pruett cannot be found in the 1870 census in La Crosse, it is believed that she left La Crosse sometime between 1868 and 1870 and traveled to Glendon, Guthrie County, Iowa to live with her oldest daughter, Jemima Lorton Thrush Pruett Mains.  It is also believed that her father Jesse Moore also was living there since he died in 1874.  Jemima had married Stephen Mains when she was 16 years old.  They moved to Guthrie County in 1870.


Naoma Pruette's (sic) death is  recorded in as February 13, 1879 in the Tombstone records of Guthrie County, Iowa.  She is buried at Glendon cemetery, town of Guthrie, Block 41 (page 186, footnote?)  She was 76.  (listed as wife. of Stephen).  

ü      To check:  1870 Guthrie County, Iowa census…was Naoma there yet???

ü      check news articles for Naoma's arrival 1868-1870+ 

 Go to Abraham Pruett…  Back to Mary Ann's home page

[1] "Moore, Naomi married Prewitt, Stephen on 24 May 1822 in Knox County, Kentucky"

Dodd, Jordan. Kentucky Marriages to 1850. [database online] Provo, UT:, 1997.

Electronic transcription of marriage records held by the individual  counties in Kentucky.


[2] History of Parke County, Indiana.  J. H. Beadle.  Chicago, HH Hill, 1880.  Another version is cited in the History of La Crosse:  Jessie and Amelia Moore (Naoma's parents) came in 1826 from Kentucky to Jackson Township.  With them "Naoma Pruett and husband with family of 2 children [at that time, only Jemima and Telitha were born], Thomas Moore and wife with one child; and Joab, a single man.  Jesse and his son Joab worked a half of the land and Thomas and Stephen [Pruett?] the other half." [2]   

[3] Schafer, Mary.  The Way We Were, by Mary Schafer. "Brave New World."  Chapter 2.


[4] Naoma Moore:  "b: December 15, 1802 in Knox Co. near Frankfort, Ky  d: February 13, 1879 in Menlo Guthrie|.

[5] Census Year: 1850  COUNTY:  Parke  DIVISION:  Dist. No.137 Jackson Twp  Reel:  164  page:  160b.  Enumerated by W. Burton on this 9th day of August 850


[6] Spelling of Stephen's last name is listed as Pruette


[8] Source:  La Crosse Daily Republican, 10/21/1868, page 1.  Note:  Mormon Coulee cemetery headstone reads:  Stephen Pruett. d. Oct 14, 1868, aged 69 yrs, 5mns. (another obituary appeared in the DD on 10/19/1868 page 4, C1:  "An aged man gone:  We have just learned of the death of Mr. Stephen Pruett, living in the town of Greenfield at the advanced age of 68 years.  We have been intimately acquainted with him for the last 15 years, and many is the pleasant hour his fine social qualities have rendered us.  He had seen a great deal of the world, but of late years had settled on his farm and died there.  Farewell, old and true friend."