2009-02-18 / County Lifestyles

Twins celebrate 95th birthday

KERRVILLE, Texas (AP) - Erma Wenzel and Erna Adams aren't your typical twin sisters.

Oh, they may argue, bicker and talk over one another like typical siblings, but after 95 years, they've earned that right.

The two sisters celebrated their 95th birthday recently on the Kerrville property where Erma has lived on for the past 60 years.

Born on a farm in Bates County, Mo., the twins moved to Kansas with their family that included seven children when they were 5 years old.

They lived through the Great Depression, making do on their 160-acre farm in the dustbowl of Kansas.

"It hit everybody," Wenzel said. "Just like it's hitting now. Except back then, it wasn't because of the sharks (on Wall Street) that caused this one."

The proud Lutheran sisters never lived in the same town after Erma moved from Kansas to Houston with her husband more than 70 years ago.

"We've always lived apart since we were grown," Adams said. "We try to get together every birthday, especially the last three years."

Adams has spent the last 55 years living in Seattle. She still lives alone and is known around the neighborhood for pruning plants in her neighbor's yard, whether they want her to or not.

Wenzel moved to Kerrville around 1950 and has been here ever since.

"I thought Sisterdale and Comfort were too small," she recalls. "I did like Kerrville, though. The men would come to Kerrville to hunt, and the summer camps had kids going to them so I knew there was something special about this town."

Her husband went into the real estate business, buying a good chunk of land on the west side of town.

"Kerrville changes everyday. I could write a book," Wenzel said. "All of the people coming south these days hardly a native lives here anymore."

Erna feels the same way about her home in Seattle.

"It's grown like mad," she said. "They're even tearing down perfectly good houses and putting up million dollar mansions it's all just boomed."

When asked what the secret to a long and happy life is, Wenzel replied, "first, you have to have God in your life. I've been a Christian since I was an infant. I do a lot of things to stay active, never smoked or drank hard liquor, and I get eight hours of sleep every night. Also, don't go to junky places and stay up half the night. The climate in Kerrville has been great, as well."

Wenzel wasn't shy about how young people today can get ahead in the world, either.

"Work hard when you're young, save your money and invest it in land," she said. "That's what we did."

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2009-02-18 digital edition