Rebecca Heagan Jewett

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Rebecca Heagan Jewett Garland was born April 18, 1831, in Westport, Maine, the third child of the ten children born to Moses Jewett and Mary Nye Heagan Jewett. She contracted scarlet fever at the age of three, which caused her to be almost totally deaf for the rest of her life. Her deafness didn't seem to hamper her intellectual development, for her letters are written with a fine hand, and she looks out of her photographs with a piercing and intelligent gaze, and a wry smile.

Four of her siblings were to die as babies, and her closest brother, Andrew, died at the age of 15 in 1847. Her two other brothers, James and George, married Emeline and Anna Greenleaf and moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Bristol, Rhode Island respectively; and her two sisters, Louisa (called Louise) and Jane Mary (called Jennie) moved to Chicago.

Rebecca, who signed herself Becca, was to marry the Methodist minister, Jonathan May Garland, at the age of 30. He was a circuit riding minister, who would board with his parishioners, while on his circuit. It mustn't have been an easy life for a young bride. Since her children were all born in Westport, it is possible that she moved back in with her family while her husband made his rounds. He was in Virginia City, Nevada, when her second son, Willie was born in 1866.

The family lived in two houses in Waterville, the first at 14 Front Street, the second at the corner of Sumner and Sherwin Streets, while the children went to school. Jonathan's brother, Thomas, lived on the family farm in Winslow, across the Kennebec River from Waterville, and there were many other Garland cousins in the two adjoining farms on Garland Road. Willie ran away from his life as a farmer to go to Boston to work as a clerk.

Rebecca must have been a decisive force in urging her children, George Erastus and Rose, to pursue college careers. I have a letter from Rastie to his Aunt Louise (Aunty) in Chicago, urging her to come to his graduation from the Albany Law School in June of 1884. What a blow his death from typhoid fever later that year must have been to his parents.

Rebecca is mentioned in the newspaper account of her son, William's marriage to Blanche Hinman in Dunkirk, New York, October 12, 1898. She is identified as wearing a gown of black lace and black silk. Rose Garland was a bridesmaid in the wedding as well as Jennie Jewett Mitchell's daughter, Marguerite (later Mrs. Rothwell Sherriff) from Chicago.

The young Mr. and Mrs. Garland made a visit to Daytona Beach with their first child, William Marshall Garland in 1901, and Rebecca is pictured with a parasol and a voluminous skirt. There are no pictures of later visits, and the senior Garlands never seemed to have made the trip to visit their grandsons in California.

After her husband's death in 1907, Becca moved to her daughter Rose's apartment at 34 Gramercy Park, New York, and died there two years later on March 10, 1909 of pneumonia and Bright's disease. She is buried with her husband and daughter at Pinewood Cemetery in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Rebecca Heagan (Jewett) Garland (1831-1909) in 1901 Rebecca Heagan (Jewett) Garland (1831-1909)
Rebecca Heagan (Jewett) Garland (1831-1909) - left taken in 1901
Jonathan May Garland tombstone Gravestones in Pinewood Cemetery, Daytona Beach, Florida Rebecca Heagan (Jewett) Garland tombstone
Jonathan May Garland Gravestones in Pinewood Cemetery, Daytona Beach, Florida Rebecca Heagan (Jewett) Garland