Bill Breedlove, co-owner of Breedlove’s Sporting Goods in Kewanee, brought out some pages of a photo album. Under the plastic sleeve were old clippings from the Kewanee Star Courier newspaper, dated all the way back to March 1952, and a photo of two nurses holding two twin baby boys born on leap year day, Feb. 29.

Robert (Bob) and William (Bill) Breedlove were born at Kewanee Public Hospital, with Bill Breedlove born just 16 minutes after his slightly older brother.

“That’s my mother-in-law in the photo,” Breedlove said, pointing to a newspaper photo of the nurse holding a newborn. “She held me for this photo.”

At the time the photo was taken, his future mother-in-law, Louise Fowler, was an obstetrics nurse at the KPH. She married a little while after the photo was taken, Breedlove said, and became Louise Tharp, the mother of Breedlove’s wife, LaJean.

Other clippings and photos on the album pages include another Star Courier photo of the twin boys on their official leap year birthday when they were 4 years old, and a newspaper photo of their second leap year birthday, when they were 8. He believes the newspaper continued to track their birthdays until they turned 12, and would send a photographer to their school every four years to take their photo. He doesn’t have the later articles; instead, included among the clippings is a family snapshot of the two men on their sixth leap year birthday when the pair were 24 years old.

Bill Breedlove started working for his father at Breedlove’s Sporting Goods when he was 16. The store has been a fixture in downtown Kewanee since his father opened the business in 1949. Bill Breedlove is now the co-owner with his siblings.

BIKEIOWA NOTE: It has been 15 years since Bob Breedlove passed away on RAAM. He would have been 68 years old on Feb 29th 2020.






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