Reviewed by T Joe Willey

The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek
by Howard Markel, MD PhD. Published by Pantheon Book, New York, 2017 $35 (506pp) ISBN # 978030790271

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina.


This account of the battling Kellogg brothers, John Harvey (1852-1943) and Will Keith (1860-1951), by medical historian Howard Markel, is a page turner. The high drama “dual biography” is likely to create wonder, and you may even ask; “Is this real?” The book is comprehensive and generous with details. Both brothers are well-known in the Adventist idiolect because of earlier historical references.[1]

John Harvey Kellogg built up the once world-famous medical center, spa and grand hotel known as the Battle Creek Sanitarium (San). Will, the younger brother, took the cereal inventions created in the kitchen at the San and developed the Kellogg Company to become one of the world’s most successful industrialists, and in the process―a very wealthy man. Money (and perhaps greed and ego) was the contested surface where problems developed between the two brothers. The book is about the vigorous animosity between the brothers where the warring parties entered the court room to settle who should gain claim over the name “Kellogg” on the boxes of breakfast cereal. The court case turned out to be a ten-year legal battle.

There is another “battle” in the book involving the powerful pulpit of the prophetess Ellen White and the Church fathers directed against Dr. Kellogg’s control over an establishment founded on a vision that morphed into a scientific/medical self-controlled institution. Kellogg argued that a medical institution did not have any right to be conducted with an “ulterior denominational movement behind it.” He claimed to have a testimony from Ellen White to that effect. When the San was destroyed by fire in 1902 and Kellogg needed capital to rebuild, the church leaders adopted a financial policy that no Adventist institution should go into debt and refused to print advertisements for sanitarium bonds in church publications.

After Kellogg’s clever legal maneuvers, the San was required by law to operate as a nonprofit and benevolent corporation in Michigan. When the charter expired the court legally assigned Dr. Kellogg as the medical director, superintendent and receiver. Under the new state-sanctioned charter a public auction was held to sell the “old corporation’s” physical plant. Since there were no other bidders, Dr. Kellogg purchased the entire place for the exact amount of the San’s outstanding bank loans. The “new” Sanitarium would be conducted as a non-profit medical institution where the business was to be carried on as a non-denomination institution―it could direct its earnings to any work it supported within the State of Michigan.

Ellen White became angry and soured on Battle Creek. After “spending hours in agonizing with God” she publicly denounced Dr. Kellogg during an annual Adventist General Conference in March 1901. Outwitted, she offered apocalyptic predictions about the headstrong inhabitants in Battle Creek. Apparently, a few months later an “angel” ( or perhaps someone in Battle Creek) took Ellen White seriously about fire being sent down from heaven to smite the community. Both the San and Review and Herald were destroyed by fire in 1902.[2]

The book begins by presenting the migration of the Kellogg’s from Massachusetts over the Erie Canal, then by steamship across Lake Erie to the Michigan pine forests in 1833. The father, John Preston purchased eighty acres of land near Flint. There he planted corn, oats, wheat, rye, barley and buckwheat to feed his family. The frontier living conditions were full of hardships and tragedies. Everyone in the backwoods of Michigan was at peril for disease including malaria, pneumonia, dropsy, gastrointestinal disorders of one kind or another, and tuberculosis. Medical science and modern hygiene were non-existent.

John Preston’s first wife, after giving birth to five children, passed away on the frontier. He then married Ann Janette Stanley who gave birth to eleven children. About this time the Kelloggs converted to a new religious movement that unfolded from upstate New York. Dissatisfied with his practice of Christianity John Preston was attracted to this new exciting message given by a former sea captain traveling through Michigan. After conversion, John Preston sold the farm and moved the family to Battle Creek.

In the line-up of children born of Ann Janette, John Harvey was the fifth son and eight years older than Willie Keith who was the ninth. [3] Will or W. K. lived in the deep shadows of his dominating elder brother. Both were extremely competitive. Will described his relationship with his older brother, after working at the San more than twenty years, as having lost his individuality. He thought of himself as a “lackey” to his brother. John Harvey had his own psychological issues. Throughout his career he interpreted criticism as an insult or a plot to undermine his work.

Like other Adventists, the family believed in the imminent end of the world and the soon return of Jesus Christ. Consequently, believers maintained a resistance to educating their offspring. However, John Harvey from an early age did not follow this pattern, and became a voracious consumer of history, chemistry, medicine, mathematics, and along the way mastered shorthand and German.

Their father, John Preston Kellogg, discouraged Will’s mother from teaching Will to read. Later, it was discovered that Will was nearsighted. Will toiled much of his life in obscurity and maintained an expressionless face that rarely revealed his feelings. John Harvey is a house of fire, extremely productive, and Will is portrayed as a taciturn genius in business with shrewdness and determination to build a cereal empire.

It was in Battle Creek that the Kelloggs met the prophetess Ellen White who claimed to have visions dealing with physical health, diet, sexual purity, temperance, and hygiene. “Health reform” became a large part of the religious convictions of this new religious fellowship in preparation for Christ’s second coming. Throughout the book Markel writes about the development of modern medicine, public health, eugenic theory and the industrialization of breakfast cereals. But also flowing through Markel’s narrative is the worry by the prophetess and leadership that the church’s enterprises, the Review and Herald, and the Sanitarium, are sacrilegious or sequestering the profits.

The father, John Preston Kellogg, ran a struggling broom manufacturing business. He was a religious enthusiastic, and an early financial supporter of the emerging Adventist denomination eventually helping financially to relocate the publishing arm of the church (the Review and Herald), and establishing Ellen and James White from New York to Battle Creek.

After a flare-up of pulmonary tuberculosis while teaching school in Hastings, Michigan, John Harvey, dropped out of teaching. He then completed high school and worked occasionally at the Review and Herald and sold brooms for his father. His brother Will in 1878 went off to Texas for a year to manage a broom factory for James White. A year later he returned to Battle Creek and enrolled in Parson’s Business College for a few months.

James and Ellen White established the Western Health Reform Institute at Battle Creek in 1866. It was to be nonsectarian in character. This bothered some of the faithful. The institute was little more than a boarding house offering water cure and teaching Adventist health regimen. John Harvey was a frequent guest of the Whites, helping to edit the church’s monthly health magazine and became a vegetarian. His father, John Preston spearheaded a call for contributions and gave a gift of $500 ($7,690 in 2016)[4] to seed the beginning of the institution, “sink or swim.”

The Western Health Reform Institute can trace its beginnings after a visit by Ellen and James White to James Jackson’s famous hydropathic resort in Dansville, New York, called Our Home on the Hillside. Since the institute was originally funded by donors from the church, the White’s view was that the donations were charitable gifts to the church.

The “doctors” at the new health institute emphasized the healing powers of water. But from the beginning, there were troubles. Ellen White publicly described one of the doctors as rude, easily discouraged, overly sensitive and prone to displaying a quick impulsive temper.” Visitors rarely returned and after a lapse of a few years the institute’s debts were more than $13,000 (about $233,000 in 2016).

John Harvey entered Bellevue Hospital Medical College during the winter term in 1874, after what he considered a poor-quality education at the University of Michigan, and Trall Hygeio Therapeutic College. At first, the White’s opposed young John “going out into the world,” for his medical training at Bellevue. But John Harvey pledged that he would avoid the wicked ways of the world. The White’s loaned him $1000 (or $21,400 in 2016 dollars). John Harvey returned to Battle Creek in June of 1875, as Dr. Kellogg.

John Harvey’s medical training in New York City at Bellevue in the late 1800s, when that institution was indisputably the premier teaching hospital in North America, is eye-opening. It was there that budding Dr. Kellogg was exposed to an assortment of diseases including truly sickening opium abuse, mania, depression and sufferers of syphilis and gonorrhea. He began to formulate his ideas of preventive medicine as the direction of his ambitions as compared to just the treatment of disease.

James White asked business-minded John Preston to take control of the Institute and turn things around. John Preston accepted the challenge on condition that his son John Harvey, now a newly-minted doctor, serve as his deputy. James White promised Dr. Kellogg a free-hand at the helm and at this point onward Dr. Kellogg determined to incorporate “rational medicine” that he had learned at Bellevue. While expanding the San, Dr. Kellogg reassured Ellen White and the Elders of the church that the San would be responsible for its own debts. But within a few years Ellen White and her son Willie and the Elders groused over the control of the San and expenditures for growth. To Dr. Kellogg it was inconceivable that church ministers dare tell him how to run his hospital.

There are colorful threads throughout the book of Adventist history while weaving a complex narrative, particularly in the control of the San as a subsidiary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In the process of expanding the health institution, John Harvey borrowed money on the pretext that Christ’s imminent return to the earth would occur before the bank loan would come due. Leveraged debt allowed Kellogg to expand the San more rapidly than otherwise.

Dr. Kellogg’s first move was to change the name of the institute to the Battle Creek Sanitarium. He did not “want the institution to be looked upon as a health resort but something different―a place where people would cultivate health in every possible way by every means afforded by medical science and by modern hygiene.” After borrowing more money to expand the structure, Ellen White chastised Dr. Kellogg for having converted her beloved health institute into a “grand hotel.” Her insistence on “scaling down” and abiding her wishes was a signal for troubles ahead.

By 1880 Dr. Kellogg hired his brother Will as his assistant, cashier, errand boy and general utility man. Will had finished basic management training from Parson’s Business College in Kalamazoo. The earliest assignment was for Will to manage Dr. Kellogg’s publishing house, called the Modern Medicine Publishing Company. Two of Dr. Kellogg’s most popular books were Plain Facts About Sexual Life and the Proper Diet of Man. (Dr. Kellogg published over fifty books and numerous articles.)

Dr. Kellogg was the undisputed star attraction and insisted on reaping the economic rewards and making decisions without interference. He outwitted the church Elders with the 1897 re-incorporation of the San as a nondenominational hospital. Much of the revenues generated by the San and Dr. Kellogg, including charges for surgical procedures, went to improve the San. Dr. Kellogg was not paid out of the revenues from the San. Wages at the San for nurses and others were what we call “denominational wages,” or little at all. Will managed the San’s payroll and was also forced to shine his brother’s shoes, trim and shape his beard, and “follow Dr. Kellogg into the bathroom to take ever more dictation while the doctor unloaded one of his four to five daily bowel movements into the toilet.” Dr. Kellogg’s fixation on enemas probably stemmed from a painful fistula of the rectum (extremely painful) and chronic constipation at an earlier age

Over time more than fifty Sanitarium “branches” sprouted up, mostly in the Midwest, but extending all the way to Japan and New Zealand. By this time, the church was able to transfer the medical institutions to conference organizations (where they are today). Ellen White approved of Dr. Kellogg at first, even declaring that she had a vision where “heavenly beings” guided Dr. Kellogg as he surgically treated patients in the operating room (God’s doctor).

But after several years, she grew increasingly concerned about Kellogg’s imperial ways, reminding the Doctor that “God had given him success.” As time went by, she offered apocalyptic predictions about Battle Creek and its headstrong inhabitants unless things changed. Her son Willie White, along with other church leaders, including the General Conference president, also stirred up antagonism against Kellogg. Part of the problem with them was that Kellogg was trying to harmonize science with religions. He seemed to have a doubting, skeptical nature. Also, Kellogg was alarmed that church leadership was not abiding healthful living by eating meat.

There was a major fire in 1902 that burned down the San with the loss of one invalid patient who remained behind to pray at his bedside or perhaps returned to his room to retrieve his purse. Markel discusses the incendiary testimonies from Ellen White who claimed she had a message that God was going to set fire to the San because of wickedness. It was never determined how the San caught fire. An Adventist bellboy confessed to setting the fire―only later to recant.

After the fire and during reconstruction patients were moved to a smaller building across the street, which would later house Battle Creek College and then the American Missionary Medical College and finally the eugenic-based enterprise, the Race Betterment Foundation.

The new San was built to rival “the greatest hospitals of Europe and North America.” Extra construction went into making it fire proof. The new building cost more than a million dollars (or $28.4 million in 2016). Most of the financing was carried by the Kellogg brothers through book royalties, lectures, medical and surgical fees and the food business, along with more leveraged borrowing.

The Living Temple by Dr. Kellogg was written to be sold to help create building funds for the new Sam. The most serious allegations by the church leadership were raised against The Living Temple. On several points, the book appeared to emphasize how the human body was a divine creation but the church leadership claimed it went too far by espousing pantheism. Dr. Kellogg was “emotionally devastated by the Church’s attempt to contain his genius and belittle his industry.”

Ellen White continued to be explicit in her warnings about how Battle Creek dishonored God. She said in a meeting in Oakland in April 1903 that “The Lord is not very well pleased with Battle Creek” . . . and after the Sanitarium was destroyed by fire she wrote; “our people should have studied the messages of reproof and warning sent them in former years and taken heed.” Making plans to rebuild the San she insisted that no more than $250,000 would go into the new construction. This amount should only come out of the insurance money, as opposed to borrowing money from the bank or asking for financial support from the church.

The naked ambition of Kellogg during the rebuilding of the San resulted in increasing tensions with Ellen White and the General Conference. By then she claimed the “good” angels had parted from Dr. Kellogg; “Evil angels had taken captive of the mind of Dr. Kellogg and he was under the spell of spiritualistic education.” And she warned parents on no account where they to send their children to Battle Creek to receive an education. That council would fundamentally disappoint students, both nursing and medicine, from attending the American Medical Missionary College under the guidance of Dr. Kellogg. The American Medical Missionary College operated from 1895 until 1910. Later, twelve graduates formed the teaching core for the Adventist run College of Medical Evangelists in Loma Linda.

After Ellen White and her son escalated the contretemps to isolate Dr. Kellogg in Battle Creek the church leaders moved headquarters to Takoma Park, near Washinton DC. They also chartered an Adventist owned Sanitarium in 1904 which opened in 1907, the year Dr. Kellogg was disfellowshipped. This San would be the foundation of today’s Adventist healthcare system involving over 80 hospitals in North America. According to Markel even to this day suspicions still linger that the Elders were behind the blazes of these two buildings in Battle Creek, if not directly, but by inciting one of the faithful to carry out the destruction. Markel allows the reader to follow what evidence there is.

In trying to raise the capital to rebuild the San, Dr. Kellogg according to church fathers, became dangerously heretical while trying to publish The Living Temple. Dr. Kellogg protested the charge. This part of the story will be most interesting to readers who want to know why Ellen White referred to this conflict with Dr. Kellogg as the beginning of the Alpha apostacy and the Omega that was soon to follow. All were her part of “the time of the end” messages.

Both brothers were unanimously “disfellowshipped” from the Adventist church in November 1907; but for different reasons. They were not present during the proceedings. Afterwards Dr. Kellogg remained a “Christian” in outlook. His true religion continued into “biologic living.”

Will was never a devout Adventist, even in the early part of his life. He rarely went to church, although after marriage he and his wife kept the Saturday Sabbath. Later in life, Will made financial donations to Adventist institutions, including Loma Linda and Azusa Sanitariums, White Memorial Hospital and a hospital in Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Will’s passion and “true religion,” was in business and philanthropy. He donated the majority of his stock to create the W. K. Foundation which is one of the wealthiest foundations in America today. Markel tells how this got started.

Clarence W. Barron, president of the Dow Jones Company and guiding light of the Wall Street Journal, and as a patient at the San, could not lose weight despite Dr. Kellogg’s lecturing. While watching the cereal boom in Battle Creek, Barron observed that he thought Dr. Kellogg and Will were letting millions slip through their fingers.

Will took the hint and purchased a ramshackle factory behind the San and launched his own business in the breakfast cereal business. Needing money to pay off loans Dr. Kellogg sold his rights to a company that the two brothers jointly owned. This was in 1906. The price was $170,000 (about $4.62 million in 2016). Will told his brother he believed the food company would develop into a larger enterprise than the San. To raise this much money Will obtained a pledge from a former San patient for $35,000 (about $950,000 in 2016) to increase production and pay off his brother.

From the beginning Will Keith presented himself to the American public with a facsimile of his signature on every box of the “original” Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. He worked hard to get this product to the grocery stores across the nation through clever advertising. Will’s signature was a “solemn promise” that the contents were crisp, fresh, nutritious and tasty.

There were many competitors participating in the breakfast cereal boon in Battle Creek (perhaps a 100, including C. W. Post). Will continued to build on his reputation as the original breakfast corn flakes. Within a few years W. K. Kellogg was America’s undisputed “Corn Flake King.” W. K. Kellogg understood with clarity that advertising was the key to his success. Between 1906 and 1939 he spent nearly $100 million (more than $1.7 billion in 2016) for advertising. He needed to do everything in his power to protect the name of Kellogg’s Toasted Corn Flakes. He paid good wages to his employees. Today the Kellogg Company, a public company, has a market value between $25 to $30 billion.

On July 4, 1907, the original corn flake factory burned to the ground. Will worried that a “fire bug was at work” like the two fires that burned down the San and the Review and Herald.

The legal grudge between the two brothers was the result of Dr. Kellogg aggressively marketing two of his own new cereals, rice flakes and sterilized wheat bran flake under the Kellogg name. Instead of using the old “Santas” or “Sanitarium Foods” label which he had used for twenty-five years to avoid charges of self-promotion from the medical profession he began using “The Kellogg’s Food Company of Battle Creek.” W.K. Kellogg charged his brother with infringing on his brand name to deliberately confuse the public and take advantage of his advertising, and all the hard work he put into his company.

Dr. Kellogg, in his day, was by far the more famous brother and one of America’s most beloved physicians, who popularized and advanced preventive medicine, health food and the wellness movement. He filed a countersuit against his brother, claiming that he was the “real” Kellogg known throughout the world as the great healer, dietary expert, and the creator of flaked cereals.

Dr. Kellogg filed a countersuit claiming that he was the “real” Kellogg known throughout the world as the great healer, dietary expert, and the creator of flaked cereals. The legal contest lasted more than a decade and eventually went all the way to the Michigan State Supreme Court. The story of how these two brothers were unable to get along is the theme of this book.

Dr. Kellogg, in his day, was by far the more famous brother and one of America’s most beloved physicians, who popularized and advanced preventive medicine, health food and the wellness movement. Until old age, Kellogg never stopped improving the San and its core “biologic living” values. Leveraged debt would eventually bring about the San’s ruin.

Dr. Kellogg also promoted some strange ideas, including the Race Betterment Foundation which he financially sponsored. This was a eugenics effort to compel better physical and intellectual fitness in humans. It borders on offensive opinions regarding race and questionable inferiority of certain races. Markel is at his best in the chapter on Dr. Kellogg’s crusade against race degeneracy. Although he is not aware where some of these ideas came out of early Adventist concerns that if Jesus did not come soon there would be no humans to take to heaven because degeneration had such far-reaching consequences in society since the creation. Dr. Kellogg cautioned that “degeneracy and ultimate extinction of the human race is a catastrophe too appalling to consider calmly.”

A recurring issue in Will’s corporate life was the difficulty in finding and training successors. At the Kellogg Company, we learn that “for almost all of the 1930s, Will interviewed and appointed a string of executives to steer his breakfast cereal company, only to become exasperated with each one’s failings and, finally, demanding their resignation.” The only family member he considered as a successor committed suicide at 27 years old. Will had a sense of stewardship and gave the majority of his stock to create the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. The foundation funds a variety of activities related to health, education and agriculture.

“Markel correctly points out that “Will’s success at selling so many boxes of cornflakes was directly tied to the vast changes simultaneously occurring in the United States in the early 20th century;” including refrigeration and pasteurization of milk. The creation of the railroads for distribution and self-serving grocery stores also were a factor.

The history of the bankruptcy of the San brings a sad end to the career of Dr. Kellogg when it became awash in red ink during the depression. The daily census dropped from 1,300 patients in 1930 to around 300. The San’s debt rose to over $3 million (about $41.5 million in 2016). Dr. Kellogg tried to get his now wealthy brother to loan him money, then he appealed to Henry Ford. By 1938 all of Dr. Kellogg’s options faded away. The San went into bankruptcy and became a military and veteran’s hospital during and after the Second World War. Then it was purchased by the federal government for $2.25 million (roughly $32.7 million in 2016).

During the final 1943 financial breakup of the San, Elder W. H. Branson (North American Division president), was able to legally reclaim what was at one time considered to be the Church’s most valuable asset. The Church was helped in this endeavor by W. K. Kellogg who subsidized their mounting legal bills and also offered strategic advice on how to humiliate Dr. Kellogg. During the ensuing legal fight John Harvey Kellogg was stricken with Bell’s palsy. He closeted himself in his home lest anyone “see him in such a debilitation state.” Dr. Kellogg passed away in December, 1943. He was ninety-one.

Days after the Dr. Kellogg funeral the Circuit Court of Calhoun County awarded the Church $550,000 ($7.53 million in 2016) and three farms worth $75,000 ($1.03 million in 2016) in return for relinquishing any claim on the San. The San finally closed its doors in 1957.

The “battling brothers”expands on the historical perspectives of dysfunctional Kellogg brothers produced by two monumentally personalities. Both brothers made a great deal of money during their careers, “but only one had much to show for it by the time he died.” The two brothers lived into their 90s, and never reconciled, or fully recovered, from the breach.

Markel failed to present the long-term impact of the Kellogg’s on the future history of Adventist’s development of medical education and unusual growth of affiliated hospitals. Also, the food industry found in Loma Linda and Worthington Foods. These faith-based institutions can be traced back to both Kellogg’s. John Harvey also pioneered medical education in the church by creating the American Medical Missionary Medical College in 1895. Markel only mentions this AMMMC as a medical training institution in passing. There is no mention of Loma Linda Medical School or the vast medical industrial complex affiliated with the church today.

Not all of the church leadership shared Dr. Kellogg’s zeal in creating a medical school and devoting his energy in serving the poor in Chicago. After Ellen White repudiated, Battle Creek, she and her son Willie moved to California, and church headquarters transferred to a surburb of Washinton, D,C, Takoma Park. Along with the faithful this resulted in the transfer of controlling interest in developing a medical industrial complex away from Kellogg and the San.

At the time, Kellogg was in the process of creating a center for the training of professional “medical missionaries.” He was enthusiastic about this concept and established a clinical outreach program in Chicago to improve the environment and biologic living for the downtrodden in the worst neighborhoods. In church conversations, this idea became known as the “right arm of the message.” In Kellogg’s day hundreds of medical students attending the Chicago-based center in Chicago. For the next fifteen years Dr. Kellogg worked hard to expand this concept.

Unfortunately, Dr. Kellogg alienated the Adventist leadership, partly by asserting that doctors were more respected than the clergy. He thought Christian physicians and nurses might do more to elevate the morals of man than all the preachers and evangelists. And most admit that the Adventist hospitals are responsible for improving the public view of Adventism.

Today, in the United States there are over 80 Adventist hospitals (not including urgent care facilities) divided into five divisions. Similar to the San, these hospitals are all governed by non-profit federal statutes found in tax code 501 (c)(3). The five divisions have separate boards composes of directors who are all Seventh-day Adventists. The charters automatically place Adventist leaders as directors. Together these five divisions have 16,462 physicians and employee 139,081 employees. The workforce, including doctors and nurses are composed of both Adventists and non-Adventists personnel. All of these hospitals maintain a marketing mantra as “extending the healing ministry of Christ.”

They create somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 billion in revenue annually. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 73 percent of the revenues comes from Government funding. Debt in the form of revenue bonds represents about 63% of overall equity of these hospitals, or for every dollar of disposable income there are two dollars of debt. Dr. Kellogg did not obtain a salary from the San. All of the Adventist hospitals serve meat if requested.

There are 52 Adventist hospital administrators in the five-division system who average $1,346,679 (1913) annually including compensation and indirect wages. That same year the General Conference president was paid $87,008. [5] In this light, the Adventist ministers/directors on the board of these hospitals are willing to pay competitively for the expertise of hospital administrators in a complex world of government regulations. Under conditions of non-profit operations, these hospitals do not pay local, state or federal income taxes. But they are expected to offset this tax benefit by providing charitable care for the poor and vulnerable in the communities.

One of the biggest fears in the future is that the government will repeal and replace Affordable Care Act. According to the bond rating bureau Loma Linda Medical Center, owned by the General Conference, the hospital shows a weak liquidity and has an obligation of $889 million in revenue bonds for construction and improvements.

It is indisputable, the church and its members are a much wealthier lot because of the modern health care industrial and breakfast cereal complex which originated from the Battle Creek Sanitarium. This wealth was not foreseen by the prophetess. She wanted to keep these hospitals small and rural. Today, the wealth appears as billions in salaries, and church income derived from tithe, and financial support of education, all the way down to the smallest churches with only a few members. It is interesting to trace this historical maelstrom to the story of the amazing battling Kellogg brothers.


  1. See: Horace B. Powell. The Original Has This Signature. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, N. J. 1956.; Gerald Carson Cornflake Crusade: From Pulpit to the Breakfast Table; Richard W. Schwarz. John Harvey Kellogg, MD. Southern Publishing. Nashville, Tn. 1970; George W. Reid. A Sound of Trumpets. Review & Herald Publ. Assoc. Washington, DC. 1982.Charles E. Rosenberg (ed). Right Living. Johns Hopkins Univ. Press. Baltimore, MD. 2003. Ruth C. Engs. Clean Living Movements. Praeger. Westport, CN. 2000; Ronald L. Numbers. Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publ. Grand Rapids, MI. 1992; Brian C. Wilson. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and the Religion of Biologic Living. Indiana Univ. Press. Bloomington, In. 2014.
  2. “I have seen an angel standing with a sword as of fire stretched over Battle Creek. Once, in the daytime, I lost consciousness, and it seemed as if this sword of flame were turning first in one direction and then another. Disaster seemed to follow disaster because God was dishonored by the devising of men to exalt and glorify themselves.” Ellen G. White. Testimonies. Volume 8. p. 97. Written after the fact in January 1903.
  3. Will was born as William, but he changed his name at twenty-five to Will and later he went by W. K. Kellogg.
  4. Markel converts money to recent inflation and he also discusses diseases in the modern context of medicine.
  5. T Joe Willey. Million-Dollar Salaries in Adventist Healthcare. Adventist Today. Spring, 2013. p. 8.

T. Joe Willey graduated from Walla Walla University, received a PhD in Neuroscience from University of California, Berkeley, and taught at Loma Linda Medical School, as well as University of California, Riverside, La Sierra University, and Walla Walla University. He was a fellow with Sir John Eccles, a Nobel Prize winner at New York University Buffalo. T Joe is retired, enjoying reading and traveling and exploring and writing on Adventist historical interests.

You can purchase The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek on Amazon. If you use the links in this article, Adventist Today receives a small commission from Amazon.

To comment, click here.