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.
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.