Graves of the Kellogg Brothers in Battle Creek, Michigan

Born in Battle Creek, Michigan, in April 1860, William Keith Kellogg would become the visionary founder of the Kellogg Company, a global leader in breakfast cereals, including Fruit Loops and Frosted Flakes.

In December 1878, Kellogg got his humble start in business by selling brooms in his hometown. In November 1879, Kellogg redirected his efforts to aid his brother, John Harvey Kellogg, in managing the Battle Creek Sanitarium, which focused on health through “biological living,” a set of rules and ethics based in Seventh-day Adventist theology. Biological living included a bland diet that would help keep man from the greatest sin: masturbation. 

During Will’s tenure at the sanitarium, he accidentally discovered the process for creating rolled, oven-baked corn, and thus invented cornflakes, which became a popular health food and a staple of John Harvey’s prescribed diet. 

Will was the one to mass produce, copyright, and market the corn flake product under the Kellogg name, establishing the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company in 1906.

Despite initial success, conflicts between the brothers led to a split, prompting Will to acquire his brother’s share of the company. Under his leadership, the Kellogg Company expanded rapidly, introducing new cereal varieties and pioneering innovative marketing strategies.

In 1930, Will established the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, contributing a total of $66 million to philanthropic causes. Will passed away at the age of 91 in Battle Creek, Michigan, on October 6th 1951, while his brother passed on December 14, 1943. The brothers were reunited after death, buried side by side in the Oak Hill Cemetery, where their family gravesite can still be found today.

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