Named after her grandmother, Rebecca Power was the first child born to Nicholas and Anna Power in September of 1800. She was the oldest sister of Sarah Helen and Susan Anna Power. In 1821, she married William Staples and moved into a home on Benefit Street to start a family.
In 1822, she gave birth to a daughter, naming her Rebecca, but unfortunately the baby died only two short years later in 1824. William and Rebecca tried again, having another child that same year. A son was born and appropriately named William Staples Junior. Sadly, on September 14, 1825, Rebecca Power died from an unknown illness and her last surviving child, William Jr., died a few years later in 1829. In an 1830 letter, her husband William laments their passing: “A loss that the world cannot fill—how death has deprived me of the last remaining pledge of my Rebecca’s affection and took the only son she bore me from this world of trouble.” It’s very likely that the affliction or disease that took Rebecca was also responsible for taking her children.
William Staples Sr. did not waste any time moving on with a new family. He married Evelina Eaton the same year Rebecca died, and they had their first of eight children together in 1828. Many of these children, including Rebecca and William Jr., are buried together in the same plot with their parents, William Staples Sr., Rebecca Power Staples, and Evelina Eaton Staples, at the North Burial Ground.
No photo (that I know of) exists of Rebecca, but she was said to be one of the most beautiful girls in Providence!
Today you can find the red brick house of Judge William R. Staples at 73 Benefit Street, just a few down from the Whitman residence at 88 Benefit Street on the opposite side of the road.