Sleepy Eye quads celebrate 65th birthday

Published 10:10 am Monday, May 4, 2015

SLEEPY EYE. — The Sleepy Eye quads have returned to their childhood home in southern Minnesota to celebrate their 65th birthday.

On Saturday the Seifert quads — Marie, Martha, Michael and Monica — celebrated at the 300-acre farm about seven miles southeast of Sleepy Eye.

The quadruplets were a sensation when they were born in 1950, before the advent of fertility treatments, The Free Press of Mankato reported. Strangers would drive to the farm, hop on a bench and gawk at the four cribs lined up in the open porch.

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At the Minnesota State Fair, visitors would pay a quarter just to watch the three girls and boy play and sleep.

The quads had six siblings. When the quads were born, their siblings ranged from Teresa, 3, to Marvin, 17, and included a pair of twins, then 15. All but one of the siblings — the oldest, an 82-year-old — made it out to the farm for Saturday’s celebration, a rare coming together.

Their farm upbringing dominated the Seifert quads’life much as it did their siblings. After dinner, the children would call out the chores they wanted, with doing the dishes generally ranking above going outside to feed the animals, said sibling Teresa Wenisch.

Gerald Seifert, who was 10 when the quads were born, remembers volunteering to watch his siblings as a way to get out of going to church. When the family returned, the girls’hair would be braided up.

When family members are back together they share old jokes, like how Monica, called “D’’at birth, turned the expected triplets into quadruplets.

There was the time the toddlers got lost, and their mother asked the entire family to be quiet for a moment. They followed the wails to the quads, who were stuck in the mud on the way to visit their grandparents, who lived nearby.