Mildred Ellen Orton

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Mildred Ellen Orton (February 9, 1911 – May 6, 2010) was an American businesswoman and author who co-founded the Vermont Country Store with her husband, Vrest Orton, in Weston, Vermont, in 1946.[1]

Orton was born Mildred Ellen Wilcox at a farm near Manchester, Vermont, on February 9, 1911.[1] She was the youngest of three siblings born to her parents, Erwin and Maria Hamilton Wilcox.[1] Wilcox graduated in 1930 from Rutland Business College.[1]

She married her husband, Vrest Orton, in 1936.[1] The Ortons launched the original Vermont Country Store catalog business in Fall 1945.[1] The couple opened the Vermont Country Store in 1946.[1] The store was a replica of an original store that Vrest Orton's father had owned and operated in North Calais, Vermont.[1] Mildred Orton co-ran the business until her retirement in 1978.[1]

In 1947, Mildred Ellen Orton authored a cookbook, Cooking with Wholegrains, featuring whole grains instead of white flour.[1] Orton developed her recipes utilizing stone ground grains from a gristmill in Weston, Vermont.[1] Stone-ground grains were then introduced as a prominent product at the Vermont Country Store and catalog.[1]

Mildred Ellen Orton died at her home in Weston, Vermont, on May 6, 2010, at the age of 99.[1] She was survived by her son, Lyman Orton, who now runs Vermont Country Store; stepson, Geoffrey; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Her husband, Vrest, died in 1986.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Hevesi, Dennis (2010-05-15). "Mildred E. Orton, a Founder of Vermont Country Store, Is Dead at 99". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-30.