Mildred Riley - "Illinois Corn Queen" Biography-4

Mildred Riley -- A "Green Thumb" Lifetime 

 

Mildred married Neal Williams -- hometown sweethearts -- in 1937, and they farmed 4 1/2 acres near Maroa. They had five children -- three daughters and two sons. She and Neal opened the Williams Florist & Nursery in the 1960s; it grew to be a huge retail and wholesale success, with over 30,000 square feet of greenhouses supplying flowers to over 80 florists.

Mildred never stopped using her "green thumb"; she continued to win prizes for growing corn, vegetables, and displaying flowers.

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Mildred died on January 27, 2006, and is buried with husband Neal in Maroa. She was survived by four of her children, 17 grandchildren, and 36 great-grandchildren.

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