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Margaret and Violet Sills

Margaret and Violet were born eleven months apart. Mother was in her mid-thirties and father ten years older. Although of the ultra conservative Mennonite culture, they chose to live in the modern village of Newcombe. Mother wore a mid-calf dark print floral dress, a white bib apron, dark woolen stockings, white mesh cap and sturdy black oxfords. Father wore a white long sleeved shirt, black pants and suspenders. Only in hot weather did he roll up the sleeves of his shirt. Margaret and Violet knew to never ask why they lived away from the Mennonite community.

Margaret was a tall, slender woman with brown eyes and thick dark brown hair which she wore in a bun on the nape of her neck. Violet was a petite woman with reddish hair, fair skin and blue eyes. They dressed like their mother, a style they wore their entire lives.

Every morning, father would drive the black family sedan into the city for work. Although the villagers went often into the city, no one ever saw him there. On Sundays, the little family attended the church in Newcombe.

Margaret and Violet attended the two room school in Newcombe and then rode the bus into the city for secondary school. Both girls were intelligent and received high marks. University, however, was never an option. Father told them, “Education is wasted on women. They get married, have children and stay home. It is a waste of money to educate women.”

The girls were quiet and not at all out-spoken. They were friendly but had no friends. They had no interest in things that interested other young women. There were no men in their lives. Violet once confided to Margaret, “Poor mother. Father is such a difficult man. Spare me men. Some girl can have mine, if it comes to that!”

Father died when the girls were in their mid-forties. They took care of their mother until she died ten years later. After the reading of the will, the girls found themselves to be very wealthy women. There was no explanation as to the source of the money. They continued to live comfortably in Newcombe in their childhood home until their deaths at the age of one hundred years.



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