was a contest held from 1926 to 1936, in which women residing inToronto, Ontario, Canada, competed to produce the most babies in order to qualify for an unusual bequest in a will.The race was the product of a scheme byCharles Vance Millar(18531926), a Toronto lawyer, financier, and practical joker, who bequeathed the residue of his significant estate to the woman in Toronto who could produce the most children in the decade following his death.

It is one of many unusual bequests listed in the will, along with giving a vacation home in Jamaica to a group of three men who detested each other under the condition thatthey live in the estate together indefinitely, brewery stocks to a group of prominentteetotalProtestant ministers if they participated in its operations and collected its dividends, and jockey club stocks to a group of anti-horse-racing advocates. Litigation over the validity of the will was resolved when theSupreme Court of Canadaheld that the clause was valid.3The Court further held that the clause did not include children born out of wedlock, or stillborn.3

Eleven families competed in the baby race.4Seven of them were disqualified,4but eventually Judge William Edward Middleton ruled in favour of four mothers45(Annie Katherine Smith, Kathleen Ellen Nagle, Lucy Alice Timleck6and Isabel Mary Maclean) who each received $110,000 for their nine children ($1.91million in 2018 dollars)7. Three of the four had to pay back relief money given to them by theCity of Toronto government.8Two others each received $12,500 out of court in exchange for abandoning pending appeals:5Lillian Kenny and Pauline Mae Clarke, whose children were ruled illegitimate.

The Canadian 2002 TV movieThe Stork Derby, depicted the stories of Lillian Kenny, Pauline Mae Clarke and Grace Bagnato and starredMegan Follows. The film was based uponElizabeth Wiltons bookBearing The Burden: The Great Toronto Stork Derby 19261938.

In February 2019, the radio programThis American Lifecovered the story in some detail.9

In 2016, Torontos Muddy York Brewing Company produced aStork DerbyStoutas a nod to the unusual event.

Goldenberg, David (December 11, 2015).How A Dead Millionaire Convinced Dozens of Women To Have As Many Babies As Possible. FiveThirtyEight Science

Orkin, Mark M.Millar, Charles Vance, The Canadian Encyclopedia online. Retrieved April 17, 2009;

(1937), [1938]1D.L.R.65(Supreme Court of Canada)

Schwartz, Susan (December 9, 1981).Prim Toronto was site of baby race.

BIG FAMILY, BIG PRIZE. Reuters. January 17, 2002 via Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada tables 18-10-0005-01 (formerly CANSIM 326-0021)

Consumer Price Index, annual average, not seasonally adjusted. Statistics Canada. January 18, 2019

Consumer Price Index by product group, monthly, percentage change, not seasonally adjusted, Canada, provinces, Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit.


Foo, Stephanie (February 15, 2019).Babies Got Bank

This page was last edited on 25 September 2019, at 05:47

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