will keith kellog

Will Keith Kellogg

[kel-awg, -og]

Will Keith Kellogg, usually referred to as W. K. Kellogg (April 7, 1860October 6, 1951) was a U.S. industrialist in food manufacturing.

Early career

As a young businessman Kellogg started out selling brooms, before moving to Battle Creek, Michigan to help his brother John Harvey Kellogg run the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Together they pioneered the process of making flaked cereal. Because of the commercial potential of the discovery, Will wanted it kept a secret. John, however, allowed anyone in the sanitarium to observe the flaking process and one sanitarium guest, C. W. Post, copied the process to start his own company. The company became Post Cereals and later General Foods, the source of Post's first million dollars. This upset Kellogg to the extent that he left the sanitarium to create his own company.

Kellogg cereals

With the help of his brother John, Will Kellogg promoted cereals, especially corn flakes, as a healthy breakfast food. They started the Sanitas Food Company around 1897, focusing on the production of their whole grain cereals. At the time the standard breakfast for the well off was eggs and meat, and porridge, farina, gruel and other boiled grains, for the poor. The brothers eventually argued over the addition of sugar to their product. In 1906 Will founded the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company, later becoming the Kellogg Company.

In 1930 he established the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, ultimately donating sixty million dollars to it. His company was one of the first to put nutrition labels on foods. He also offered the first premium for kids to send in for. Kellog said "I will invest my money in people".

During the Great Depression, Kellogg directed his cereal plant to work three shifts, each lasting 6 hours. This gave more people in Battle Creek the opportunity to work during that time.

Arabian horse breeder

Kellogg had a long interest in Arabian horses. In 1925, he purchased for $250,000 in Pomona, California to establish an Arabian Horse Ranch. Starting with breeding stock descended from the imports of Homer Davenport and W.R. Brown, he then looked to England, where he purchased a significant number of horses from the Crabbet Arabian Stud, making multiple importations during the 1920s. The Kellogg ranch became well-known in southern California not only for its horse breeding program, but also for its entertaining weekly horse exhibitions, open to the public, and frequent visits by assorted Hollywood celebrities. Among many other connections to Hollywood, the actor Rudolph Valentino borrowed the Kellogg stallion Jadaan for use in the 1926 movie Son of the Sheik.

In 1932, Kellogg donated the ranch, which had grown to 750 acres (3 km²), to the University of California system. During World War II, the ranch was taken over by the U.S. War Department and was known as the Pomona Quartermaster Depot (Remount).

In 1948 the ranch was transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and in 1949 it was deeded to the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Later in 1949, title to the then ranch and horses was passed to the State of California with the provision that the herd of Arabian horses must be maintained. The ranch became part of the Voorhis unit of what was then known as the California State Polytechnic College in San Luis Obispo. This became known as the Kellogg campus, and in 1966, it separated to form California State Polytechnic College Pomona (now California State Polytechnic University, Pomona).

Some of Kellogg's property near Battle Creek, Michigan was donated to Michigan State College and is now the Kellogg Biological Station.


Will Keith Kellogg died in Battle Creek, MI at 3:00pm on October 6 1951 by heart failure.


W. K. Kellogg is recognized as the founder of Kellogg College, Oxford.



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