Family tree of C. W. POST

Industrialist, Businessman

AmericanBorn Charles William POST

American breakfast cereal and foods manufacturer and a pioneer in the prepared-food industry

Born on October 26, 1854 in Springfield, Illinois, USA , United States

Died on May 09, 1914 in Santa Barbara, California, USA

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C.W. Post was the son of Charles Rollins Post and the former 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 1904, he followed up the Grape Nuts label with a brand of corn flakes, which was first called Elijah's Manna and later (1908) 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 over 100,000 alumni.

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, by a self-inflicted gun wound. It is believed that his suicide was committed due to frustration over continued health problems (thinking he had stomach cancer). His 27-year-old daughter, Marjorie Merriweather Post, inherited his company along with most of his vast fortune.

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Geographical origins

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