Twins share 90 years of life stories
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Hettie Wilke, left, and her twin sister, Hattie Melahn, sit together in a chair when the twins were about 6 months old, in the summer of 1920.
DELAVAN — After 90 years, they’ve shared a lot, including the space inside a shoebox.
Born a month prematurely on a winter’s day in 1920, Hattie Melahn was all of 4 1/2 pounds, barely lighter than her twin sister, Hettie Wilke, who weighed in at 5 pounds.
The two were tiny enough to fit in a shoebox, which was perched on the flat, open door of an oven that held just enough heat to keep them warm.
A black and white photo taken six months later shows two slightly larger babies, backs against a plump pillow, nestled in the roomier confines of a rocking chair.
These days, petite as they are, Hattie and Hettie each take up their own chair, as they did last weekend at the Village Supper Club, greeting about 50 family members and friends joining them for an early birthday celebration.
Dozens of photographs of the sisters posing with siblings, parents, children and various relatives through the years were laid out on a restaurant table, testament to their long lives. Between them, the two sisters have 14 children, 31 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren, with one more on the way.
They turned 90 last week Wednesday (Feb. 10, 2010) — Hattie minutes earlier than her sister.
“She kicked me out,” Hattie said, joking about her twin’s later arrival the day they
Read the full story in the e-edition of Walworth County Sunday, HERE.