The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Charles William Post was born at Springfield, Illinois, on October
26, 1854. His father was a minister and his mother a composer
of sacred song. At the age of seventeen, young Post attended for
a time the University of Illinois, but soon abandoned his studies
to become a traveling salesman for an implement house. With
headquarters at Kansas City, his duties brought him into contact
with various sections of the great new west. Meanwhile, he grew
into a splendid physical specimen, six feet two inches tall, one
hundred and eight pounds in weight.' Following his western
experience, he became manager of a plow factory in his home
town of Springfield. But in 1884, at the age of thirty, his health
failed. For several years, he sought relief from a stomach ailment.?
Then he came to Texas, to roam as a cowboy the western plains
with the hope that the freedom and solitude might offer a healing
touch. For a time he shared in the promotion of a woolen factory
at Fort Worth. Illness coming upon him again, his next search
for health brought him to Battle Creek, Michigan, then a mere
village built around a sanitarium sponsored by the Seventh Day
Adventist Church. Again, he found no relief.3
In desperation, he began the study of dietetics and diseases
of the digestive tract as well as books on mental suggestion and
healing. Despite the ravage of disease, he suddenly arose from
his bed one day, as he related, "like a man who has business to
do." Steadily improving in health, he bought a dilapidated estate
in the outskirts of Battle Creek, and named this house La Vita
Inn. Here he invited other sufferers to come and try the healing
methods by which his own health was being restored. In the
carriage house, he began to experiment with cereal foods. He
liked coffee, but found it detrimental to his health. He next
began to experiment with caffein-less grain coffee. At last he
developed his famous Postum cereal. By skillful advertising-
ICharles William Post, A Memorial, pp. 15, et seq.
2Dictionary of National Biography, (Scribners, 1912) Vol. IV. p. 112.
3Charles William Post, A Memorial, p. 8.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 12, 2014.