Wacky Wednesday: Wills That Make You Go “Hmmm…” – Charles Millar

by Rania Combs

NB: This post is part of a series highlighting wills that contain some interesting, and sometimes bizarre, bequests and stipulations. You can see all these posts here.

Charles Millar, a successful lawyer in Toronto, Canada was well known for his practical jokes. And when he died on October 31, 1925, having never married and without any close relatives, he left a will that reflected his wry sense of humor.

For example, he left joint lifetime tenancy in a vacation home to three friends who despised each other. He also left stock in brewery to some Protestant ministers who supported prohibition.

But it was his final bequest that drew the most attention. It required that the balance of his estate be converted to cash ten years after he died and given to the woman who could produce the most children during that time period.

The Great Stork Derby, as the resulting contest became known, lasted until October 31, 1936. Four women, Anna Katherine Smith, Kathleen Ellen Nagle, Lucy Alice Timleck, and Isabel Mary Macclean, each had 9 children and were awarded $125,000, the equivalent of about $1.5 million today.

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