From Jim Gilliam's blog archivesBaby Derby
March 24, 2002 8:44 AM
Charles Vance Millar died early Halloween morning in 1926. He was a Toronto lawyer with no family, and a practical joker who loved to poke fun at people's love of money. In his will, he left:
The majority of the Baby Derby took place during the Great Depression. It was quite a sensation, with Newsweek publishing box scores and highlighting women who had twins or triplets.
There were even a few scandals. One woman was disqualified for having babies with a new man before the divorce to her old husband had been completed. Another was disqualified because she was unable to provide death certificates for several of her dead babies.
There ended up being 4 winners, each with 9 children. They split the money, each receiving $125,000. That's roughly $1.5 million in today's money, quite a prize, especially in the middle of the Great Depression.
In the end, the childless Millar ended up posthumously fathering 36 children.
More from the archive in Sociology.
Baby Derby (03.24.2002)