The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

April 19, 2013

Former Elnora twins closing in on century mark

WASHINGTON — Claudine Bowman Gross and Pauline Bowman Chaney were born in a farmhouse near Elnora in 1918.

“Our mother didn’t know she was going to have twins,” said Claudine. “She just thought she was having a big boy.”

Now, 95 years later, the two identical twin sisters, are the only members of their family still alive but that doesn't mean longevity didn’t bless the other eight siblings of the Bowman family.

“We had other siblings that lived to be in their upper 90s but some of our siblings passed before their 90s too,” said Pauline.

Remarkably, both women, neither of which looks 95, are still very active.

Claudine, who lives on the farm she and her late husband Clarence purchased more than 50 years ago, stays very busy.

“I like to sew a lot and I’ve made over 200 bridesmaid dresses and some wedding dresses and I make the costumes for the madrigals at North Daviess,” said Claudine. “I also love to cook.”

Pauline also likes to cook and bake pies, sew, make quilts and exercise. She has also founded a bridge club in Mooresville where she now lives close to one of her daughters.

The two both have their own ideas on what the secret of life may be.

“I think the secret to living so long is to live a good, clean, moral life,” Pauline said.

Claudine said she believes eating right, working, being happy and having the frame of mind have led to her long life.

Claudine has two sons, Tom and Kendall who now operate the family farm.

Pauline has three children, Roy and Claudia who live in California and Donna who lives in Mooresville.

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