Charles William Post (1854 - 1914)

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Charles William Post's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois
Death: Died in Santa Barbara, California
Cause of death: self-inflicted gunshot wound
Occupation: creator of Post Toasties (1904), Grape Nuts (1897) and Postum (1895), founder of Postum Cereal Company (1895), which was renamed General Foods Corp. (1922) and later became part of Kraft Foods, Inc
Managed by: Walter G. Ashworth
Last Updated:

About Charles William Post

C.W. Post was the son of Charles Rollins Post and his wife Caroline Lathrop.

He visited the Battle Creek Sanitarium operated by John Harvey Kellogg for his failing health. He was inspired to start his own cereal company based on the products used there.

(NOTE: According to Will K. Kellogg, Post stole his formula for making cereal). WGA

In 1895, he founded Postum Cereal Co., with his first product, Postum cereal beverage. He was in the vanguard of print advertising and is said to have invented the cents-off coupon. Post's first breakfast cereal premiered in 1897, and he named the product Grape Nuts cereal because of the grape-like aroma noticed during the manufacturing process and the nutty crunch of the finished product.

In 1908, he followed up the Grape Nuts label with a brand of corn flakes first called Elijah's Manna that was later renamed Post Toasties.

C.W. Post's business produced one of the largest fortunes of the early 20th century. He married Ella Letitia Merriweather. Their only child, Marjorie Merriweather Post, married Edward F. Hutton and owned a 177-acre (0.72 km2) estate on Long Island's North Shore called "Hillwood." Marjorie sold the estate in 1951 for two-hundred-thousand dollars to Long Island University, which founded C.W. Post College in 1954 on the 100th anniversary of C. W. Post's birth. Currently the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University has about 8,500 full- and part-time students with an alumni of over 100-thousand students.

Post also attempted to develop a Utopian community on 200,000 acres (810 km2) in Texas at the Double U Ranch, later named Post, Texas in his honor. It became the county seat of Garza County, Texas.

In late 1913 and early 1914, Post's health deteriorated to the point that he canceled public appearances, which prompted speculation in the press regarding his well-being. In early March, the president of the Santa Fe Railroad arranged for Post to be rushed via a nonstop train ride in a private car from California to Rochester, Minnesota, where he was operated on for acute appendicitis on March 10. The operation was a success and he was allowed to return to his home in Santa Barbara, California to recuperate. Post died in Santa Barbara on May 9, 1914, apparently by suicide.

His 27-year-old daughter, Marjorie Merriweather Post, inherited his company along with most of his vast fortune.

Added by Walter G. Ashworth, 8th cousin

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Charles William Post (October 26, 1854 – May 9, 1914), also known as C.W. Post, was an American breakfast cereal and foods manufacturer and a pioneer in the prepared-food industry.

C.W. Post was the son of Charles Rollins Post and his wife Caroline Lathrop.

He visited the Battle Creek Sanitarium operated by John Harvey Kellogg for his failing health. He was inspired to start his own cereal company based on the products used there.

In 1895, he founded Postum Cereal Co., with his first product, Postum cereal beverage. Post's first breakfast cereal premiered in 1897, and he named the product Grape Nuts cereal because of the grape-like aroma noticed during the manufacturing process and the nutty crunch of the finished product.

In 1908, he followed up the Grape Nuts label with a brand of corn flakes first called Elijah's Manna that was later renamed Post Toasties.

C.W. Post's business produced one of the largest fortunes of the early 20th century. He married Ella Letitia Merriweather. Their only child, Marjorie Merriweather Post, married Edward F. Hutton and owned a 177-acre (0.72 km2) estate on Long Island's North Shore called "Hillwood." Marjorie sold the estate in 1951 for $200,000 to Long Island University, which founded C.W. Post College in 1954 on the 100th anniversary of C. W. Post's birth. Currently the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University has about 8,500 full- and part-time students with an alumni of over 100-thousand students.

Post also attempted to develop a Utopian community on 200,000 acres (810 km2) in Texas at the Double U Ranch, later named Post, Texas in his honor. It became the county seat of Garza County, Texas.

In late 1913 and early 1914, Post's health deteriorated to the point that he canceled public appearances, which prompted speculation in the press regarding his well-being. In early March, the president of the Santa Fe Railroad arranged for Post to be rushed via a nonstop train ride in a private car from California to Rochester, Minnesota, where he was operated on for acute appendicitis on March 10. The operation was a success and he was allowed to return to his home in Santa Barbara, California to recuperate. Post died in Santa Barbara on May 9, 1914, apparently by suicide. His 27-year-old daughter, Marjorie Merriweather Post, inherited his company along with most of his vast fortune.

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Charles William Post's Timeline

1854
October 26, 1854
Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois
1883
1883
Age 28
1887
March 15, 1887
Age 32
Springfield, IL, USA
1914
May 9, 1914
Age 59
Santa Barbara, California
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