The Great Stork Derby

by K-Dean

With his unusual will, Charles Vance Millar was indirectly responsible for the births of 36 children in what was known as The Great Stork Derby.

Charles Vance Millar was a lawyer from Toronto with quite the reputation of being a practical joker. Millar who died on October 31, 1926 was never married and didn’t have any close relatives. He was forced to get creative with his last will and testament, and that he did. Distant relatives fought his will in court for ten years but Millar had prepared carefully and they lost. In the meantime, his estate had increased substantially in the ten years and was liquidated at $750,000.

His unusual bequests included these beneficiaries.

* Three men who were known to despise each other were granted joint lifetime tenancy in Millar’s vacation home in Jamaica.

* Seven prominent Toronto Protestant ministers and temperance advocates were to receive $700,000 worth of O’Keefe Brewery stock, a Catholic business, if they participated in its management and drew on its dividends.

* Three fervid anti-horse-racing advocates were to receive $25,000 worth of Ontario Jockey Club stock.

Along with these and several other conditions he left in his will, one in particular stood out. Millar left his entire estate to the woman in Toronto who could give birth to the greatest number of children by the end of ten years from his death. News spread quickly and the Great Stork Derby was created. On October 31, 1936 the race came to end, when four women tied, each with nine children. Each woman was rewarded with $125,000. Two woman came in second place because their tallies were somewhat bubious. They were each given a consolation prize of $12,500.00

Read more:

Toronto’s Great Stork Derby

©2019, All rights reserved.