Charles William Post, commonly known as "C. W.", was born October 26, 1854 in Springfield, Illinois. He was the son of Charles Rollin Post and the former Caroline Lathrop.
Post graduated from the public schools of Springfield and enrolled at Illinois Industrial University (known today as the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign), where he remained two years before leaving without a degree.
After a brief stay in Independence, Kansas, Post returned to Springfield, where he remained for over a decade working as a salesman and manufacturer of agricultural machinery. During this interval Post invented and patented several farm implements, including a plow, a harrow, and a hay-stacking machine.
In November 1874, Post married Ella Letitia Merriweather; they had one daughter. The couple were later divorced. Post married his second wife, Leila Young, in November 1904
Post suffered a mental breakdown in November 1885, the result of the stress and overwork which accompanied his job as a farm implement manufacturer. Post made a break with his previous life, moving to the state of Texas in 1886, where he came into association with a group of real estate developers in Fort Worth, who were attempting to establish a new community on the eastern outskirts of a town called Riverside. In 1888, Post began a real estate development of his own in Fort Worth on 200 acres (81 ha) that he had obtained, platting the land for streets and homes and constructing two mills.
The stress of this work again proved too much for Post's constitution, and a second breakdown followed in 1891. Post began a period of extensive travels in search of a cure, coming to take particular interest in the chemistry of digestion. After a period traversing Europe, Post visited the Battle Creek Sanitarium of Battle Creek, Michigan, a facility operated by John Harvey Kellogg. He was inspired to start his own company based upon the dietary products used there.
In 1895, Post 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 fruity aroma noticed during the manufacturing process and the nutty crunch of the finished product. In 1904, he followed up the Grape Nuts label with a brand of corn flakes, which was first called Elijah's Manna before being renamed Post Toasties in 1908.
In 1906, Post invested some of his substantial earnings from his food products manufacturing into Texas real estate, purchasing a massive 225,000-acre (91,000 ha) tract in Garza and Lynn Counties. Post platted a new town, which he called Post City. Shade trees were planted, farm parcels laid out, and a hotel, school, churches, and a department store were constructed for the new Garza County seat.
In 1907 Collier's Weekly published an article questioning the claim made in advertisements for Grape Nuts that it could cure appendicitis. Post responded with advertisements questioning the mental capacity of the article's author, and Collier's Weekly sued for libel. The case was heard in 1910, and Post was fined $50,000. The decision was overturned on appeal, but advertisements for Postum products stopped making such claims.
Post was a staunch opponent of the trade union movement and was remembered by the National Association of Manufacturers as one who "opposed bitterly boycotts, strikes, lockouts, picketing and other forms of coercion in the relations between employer and employee." Post was also a leading public advocate of the open shop system.
Post Mausoleum In Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, MI
|Battle Creek Daily Journal, May 9, 1914, Page 1 - Battle Creek Is Startled By News Of C.W. Post Death|
|The Evening News, May 9, 1914 , Page 1 & 2 - Chas. W. Post Died By His Own Hand|
|Battle Creek Daily Journal, May 10, 1914, Page 1 - Details of Shocking Tragedy/News Has Affect Here/Had Mania For Suicide/Post Funeral & Internment/Hundreds Send Their Regrets|
|Battle Creek Enquirer, May 10, 1914, Page 1 - Nervously ILL C.W. Post Ends His Life (with picture of C. W. Post)|
|Battle Creek Enquirer, May 10, 1914, Page 4 - Nervously ILL C.W. Post Ends His Life cont.|
|The Evening News, May 11, 1914, Page 1 - Post Funeral Party Now Enroute|
|The Evening News, May 11, 1914 Page 1 - Minister Pays A Beautiful Tribute/Body Of CW Post Will Reach City Thursday Afternoon|
|Battle Creek Daily Journal, May 12, 1914, Page 1 - Local Business Men Plan For Final Tribute To C.W. Post|
|The Evening Newsl, May 12, 1914, Page 1 - Awaiting Final Word On C. W. Post Funeral|
|Battle Creek Enquirer, May 13, 1914, Page 1 - C. W. Post Funeral To Be Held Thursday|
|Battle Creek Daily Journal 13, 1914, Page 1 & 4 - Details Complete For Last Rites|
|The Evening News, May 13, 1914, Page 1 - C. W. Post Funeral Tomorrow|
|Battle Creek Daily Journal, May 14, 1914 Page 1- The King Is Dead/Multitude In Mute Grief/An Appreciation|
|Battle Creek Daily Journal, May 14, 1914, Page 4 - Multitude In Mute Grief cont.(with pictures)|
|Battle Creek Daily Journal, May 14, 1914, Page 7 - Multitude In Mute Grief cont.(with pictures)|
|Battle Creek Enquirer, May 14, 1914, Page 1 & 2 - Another Big Order Of Pictures/Entire City Will Do Honor To C.W. Post|
|Battle Creek Daily Journal, May 15, 1914, Page 1 & 4 - Funeral Sermon|
|Battle Creek Enquirer, May 15, 1914, Page 1 - Mute Thousands Pay Tribute To C. W. Post (with picture of C.W, Post)|
|Battle Creek Enquirer, May 15, 1914, Page 2 - Mute Thousands Pay Tribute To C. W. Post cont.|
|Battle Creek Enquirer, May 15, 1914, Page 7 - James Emory Discusses C. W. Post's Attitude Towards Labor Organizations|
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