Rebecca Emma Headley was born June 15, 1849, in Bureau county, Illinois, the daughter of John and Anna (Johnson) Headley. John died about 1854. In 1860 Rebecca is living with her mother in Ohio township, Bureau county, where they are also found in 1865.
Rebecca was married at age 21, to Francis Marion Wight, on the 18th of April 1870, in Red Oak, Montgomery County, Iowa. She was listed on the marriage documents as Rebecca Morrison, implying that she was married previously. Also, in the 1870 census of Francis and Rebecca’s household, there is a baby girl named Minnie Morrison, born Feb 1870. No evidence has been found of a marriage to Morrison, nor any trace of Minnie after 1870.
Rebecca and Francis had a daughter, Mary, born in October 1875, and a son, Roy, born about 1881. She was divorced from Wight March 12, 1885 in Lee County, Illinois.
Rebecca was married to James McBrearty, 11 July 1885 in Dixon, Lee County, Illinois. James worked for the C. B. & Q. railroad. His job took them to La Grange and Western Springs before moving to Dayton in May 1899.
Mary was 10 and Roy 4 when their mother married James. Both children then used their stepfather’s surname.
In the 1900 census, Rebecca and James are living with her daughter Mary, now Mrs. Edward Emmons, in Dayton. In 1910 she and James are in their own household. Grandson Edward Emmmons lives with them.
Rebecca died January 18, 1917 in Joliet and was buried January 21 in the Dayton cemetery.
Her obituary may be seen here.