Battle Creek is located in southwestern Michigan, 162 miles northeast of Chicago and 114 miles west of Detroit. It is the headquarters of Kellogg's foods and the Post Division of the General Foods Corporation.
A skirmish fought here between two US surveyors and two native Americans in 1825 gave the site its name. A community was established in 1831 which grew into a trading and industrial center. In 1866, the Seventh Day Adventists established the Western Health Reform Institute, which later became the Battle Creek Santarium. John Harvey Kellog became director in 1876. His brother, W. K. Kellogg, developed his interest in health and nutrution into the Kellogg Company. C.W. Post, a patient at the Sanitarium in 1891, took an interest in the commercial possibilities of the foods served there and started manufacturing Postum and Post Toasties cereals.
During World War II, the US federal government bought the Sanitarium and turned it into the Percy Jones General Hospital. Today it is known as the Federal Center and houses several defense-related agencies. Another larger federal installation, Fort Custer, lay to the west before it was deactivated.