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 Nancy Cameron <I>Rutledge</I> Prewitt

Photo added by Richard K Thompson

Nancy Cameron Rutledge Prewitt

  • Birth 10 Feb 1821 White County, Illinois, USA
  • Death 16 Jan 1901 Fairfield, Jefferson County, Iowa, USA
  • Burial Fairfield, Jefferson County, Iowa, USA
  • Plot SDivof17-005
  • Memorial ID 35966869

The following biographical sketch is drawn from a composite of several sources; any corrections are welcome. It should be noted that various sources provide somewhat differing dates, so the following hedges somewhat pending solid verifiable facts. Several online Rutledge family sources provide reputed photos of Nancy, but without permission to use those photos all that I can provide are the headstone photos. Am using the headstone inscribed DOB and DOD for this memorial:

Daughter of James Rutledge*, a miller at New Salem, Il. The Rutledge family were friends with Abraham Lincoln and the older daughter Ann Rutledge was rumored to be a close friend of Abraham Lincoln as well.

Nancy Rutledge spent her early years in White County in Illinois and at New Salem in Menard County, Illinois. She came to Van Buren county in Iowa with her mother, Mary Ann Rutledge, in 1836 or so.

In 1846 or so she married Anthony T Prewitt. She was the mother of four children, of which two were surviving as of 1901: Rev. A.M. Prewitt at Downey, California and Will S Prewitt in Fairfield, Iowa. She also helped raise four children that were born to her husband during his first marriage.

Nancy Prewitt was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and lived closely by its teachings.

The Rev. H.O. Spelman had charge of the funeral services, and was assisted by Rev. J.F. Magill.

Note: On April 17, 2009 I originally took and posted headstone and inscription photos for Nancy C Rutledge Prewitt. The quality was poor, so on August 8, 2010 I returned and took the new photos now posted. /rkt 8/8/2010

Nancy shares this cemetery plot and headstone inscription side with her daughter-in-law Ida M DeMarsh Prewitt.

In the adjacent Old Fairfield City Cemetery is William Gabriel Beck , his mother and family lived in Illinois and had Abraham Lincoln and his family as houseguests for some time after Lincoln was married to Mary Todd Lincoln.

In a microfilm archive search of the Fairfield Ledger for another item, the item below was found. The content of it was interesting and most relevant to Nancy Cameron Rutledge Prewitt and is transcribed below. McClure's Magazine was an illustrated American magazine that published literature and journalism in the 19th and early 20th centuries. McClure's Magazine published its first issue in June 1893. Publication was interrupted multiple times in the 1920s, with the last issue published in 1929. The magazine was them absorbed into The Smart Set. There are no active issue copyright renewals of this magazine, but some of the material that appeared in the magazine has active renewed copyrights. A number of issues are available online, some with photo illustrations. A search of those issues did not turn up any photographs that were specifically noted as being provided by Nancy Prewitt, however. There is a portrait of the mother, Mary Ann Rutledge, from a tin-type. Perhaps it was provided by her daughter, Nancy, but the source of that portrait was not credited. No pictue of Nancy Cameron Rutledge Prewitt was found published, probably because she was not central to the point of the series of articles about Abraham Lincoln.

The surnames are kept 'as is', not put in CAPS.

Fairfield Ledger
December 11, 1895
Pg. 3 Col. 5 & 6

Personal Acquaintance With Lincoln

Considerable local interest attaches to the "Life of Abraham Lincoln" now appearing in installments in McClure's Magazine, from the fact that a lady at present residing in this city and members of her family have been and will be frequently referred to in connection with Mr. Lincoln's residence in Illinois. In the current number of this publication several portraits of earlier settlers of New Salem, Ill., appear, as well as pictures of the old town and some of its buildings. This town was founded in 1829 by James Rutledge and John Cameron, who threw a dam across the Sangamon river at that point, and erected a flouring mill. It was on this obstruction to navigation that Lincoln had one of his noted flat boat adventures, and it is possible that this misfortune had some influence in determining his residence at a later period. A picture of the old mill, as it appeared twenty-five years ago, is given to the December number, and it is said that Lincoln had charge of it at one time.

James Rutledge was also the proprietor of the only "tavern" in New Salem at that time. His daughter, Mrs. Nancy Cameron Prewitt, nee Rutledge, has been for several years a resident of Fairfield. She was a girl of eight years when Mr. Lincoln located at New Salem, where he had come to enter the employ of Denton Offut, merchant and miller. He was a frequent visitor at the Rutledge home, in fact came to be considered "almost one of the family." She had such an acquaintance with him as a child of her years might have with a young man, and retains some lively recollections of his appearance and manner, his pranks and jokes. Anna Rutledge (sic. usually known as Ann Rutledge), an older sister, is said to have been the young man's first sweetheart. He was deeply enamored of the handsome girl, and her death in 1836 wrought many changes in his manner. It is said by those who were intimate with him at the time, that the death of Anna Rutledge impelled him to leave New Salem, and Mrs. Prewitt says she never saw him there after the season her sister died.

The publishers of McClure's have requested Mrs. Prewitt to furnish them with portraits and pictures connected with the early life in the little Illinois town. They desired very much to secure a portrait of her sister Anna, but none is in existence. The request for pictures of the Rutledge family has been answered by the forwarding of portraits of Mrs. Prewitt and her mother, but there is none of the father. These portraits will probably appear in the January number, with many incidents concerning Lincoln and his first love. Mrs. Prewitt in very much pleased with this "Life of Lincoln," and is able to vouch for the truthfulness of many of the incidents. She thinks it improbable that any history dealing so fully with the early life of the martyred president has ever appeared, and that the pains which the editors of the matter are taking, the attention which they are paying to details, will develop many new and interesting events in the earlier life of this great man.


Note: son Will S. Prewitt died October 23, 1936 at Los Angeles, California. He had moved to California about in 1894, and became a court reporter. Where he was buried needs documentation so that a proper memorial can be made for him.

Family Members






  • Created by: Richard K Thompson
  • Added: 17 Apr 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 35966869
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Nancy Cameron Rutledge Prewitt (10 Feb 1821–16 Jan 1901), Find A Grave Memorial no. 35966869, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Fairfield, Jefferson County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by Richard K Thompson (contributor 46900770) .