Here’s an article from the Toronto Daily Star about a 24-year-old woman who had given birth to ten children:
The contest being referred to here is the Great Stork Derby, which lasted from 1926 to 1936. Charles Vance Millar was a wealthy lawyer, financier, racehorse owner, and part-owner of O’Keefe Brewery. When he passed away in 1926, he did not have any immediate heirs, so he decided to be capricious with his will. Among other things:
- He left a vacation property in Kingston, Jamaica, to three men that he knew couldn’t stand one another. (The property had been sold before he passed away, so the men didn’t have to endure each other’s company.)
- Every practicing Protestant ministry and Orange Lodge in Toronto was left a share of O’Keefe stock. O’Keefe was primarily owned by Catholics.
- A number of Christian ministries in the Windsor and other areas were left a share of racetrack stock.
But the most capricious clause in his will left a considerable share of his fortune to the woman who bore the most babies during the next ten years. Thus, the Great Stork Derby was on.
The Historicist web site has a long article on the Great Stork Derby. The $500,000 prize money offered to the winner was eventually shared by four women: two of them, Lucy Timleck and Kathleen Nagle, were on the list above. $125,000 in 1936 is equivalent to over $2.6 million in today’s money, so this was quite a haul.
The mysterious Mrs. X mentioned in the Daily Star article was actually named Pauline Mae Clarke. She and one mother mentioned in the article, Lillian Kenny, settled out of court when at least one of their children was ruled ineligible for the contest.