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Charles Vance Millar
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Attorney
    (1853-October 31, 1926)
    Born in Aylmer, Ontario, Canada
    Owner of the British Columbia Express Company
    Known for his eccentric last will and testament
    Left the bulk of his estate to the Toronto woman who gave birth to the most children during the ten years after his death
    The competition to win the estate was dubbed the 'Great Stork Derby' by Canadian newspapers
    Four women who had nine children in the period received $125,000 each
    He himself called his will 'capricious.'
    He apparently did not keep the will up to date, since several bequests were of property he no longer owned.
    Ontario tried to invalidate the will on the grounds that it contributed to 'public immorality.'
    The challenge and other legal questions kept the estate from being settled until two years after the Derby had ended.
    Two women who had ten children during the Derby were shafted out of the main prize on technicalities: one because two of her children were stillborn and the other because several of her children were born out of wedlock.
    He was a good enough lawyer that his will survived all legal challenges.
    The two mothers of ten got consolation payoffs of $12,500 each.
    Much of his will tested people's willingness to compromise their principles for money.
    For instance, he left shares in the Ontario Jockey Club to two vocal opponents of racetrack gambling and left shares in a brewery to several ministers who preached temperance.
    His will began by noting, 'I have no dependents or near relations and no duty rests upon me to leave any property at my death, and what I do leave is proof of my folly in gathering and retaining more than I required in my lifetime.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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