It is my hope that the property that kind Providence has brought me may be helpful to many others, and that I may be found a faithful steward.
Will Keith Kellogg, generally referred to as W.K. Kellogg (April 7, 1860 – October 6, 1951), was an American industrialist in food Manufacturing, best known as the founder of the Kellogg Company, which to this day produces a wide variety of popular breakfast cereals. He was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and practiced vegetarianism as a dietary principle taught by his church. Later, he founded the Kellogg Arabian Ranch and made it into a renowned establishment for the breeding of Arabian horses. Kellogg started the Kellogg Foundation in 1934 with $66 million in Kellogg company stock and Investments, a donation that would be worth over a billion dollars in today's economy. Kellogg continued to be a major philanthropist throughout his life.
With the help of his brother John, Will Kellogg promoted cereals, especially corn flakes, as a healthy breakfast food. They started the Sanitas Food Company around 1897, focusing on the production of their whole grain cereals. At the time, the standard breakfast for the well-off was eggs and meat, while the poor ate porridge, farina, gruel and other boiled grains. The brothers eventually argued over the addition of sugar to their product. In 1906, Will founded the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company, later becoming the Kellogg Company.
Kellogg had a longtime interest in Arabian horses. In 1925, he purchased 377 acres (1.5 km) for $250,000 in Pomona, California, to establish an Arabian horse ranch. Starting with breeding stock descended from the imports of Homer Davenport and W.R. Brown, Kellogg then looked to England, where he purchased a significant number of horses from the Crabbet Arabian Stud, making multiple importations during the 1920s. The Kellogg ranch became well known in southern California not only for its horse breeding program but also for its entertaining, weekly horse exhibitions, open to the public and frequently visited by assorted Hollywood celebrities. Among many other connections to Hollywood, the actor Rudolph Valentino borrowed the Kellogg stallion, "Jadaan," for use in his 1926 movie, Son of the Sheik, along with a Kellogg employee, Carl Raswan, who rode in certain scenes as Valentino's stunt double.
The ranch was also the location of the W.K. Kellogg Airport (not to be confused with the W. K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek, Michigan). It operated from 1928 to 1932, and was then the largest privately owned airport in the country.
In 1930, he established the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, ultimately donating $66 million to it. His company was one of the first to put nutrition labels on foods. He also offered the first inside-the-box prize for children. Kellogg said, "I will invest my money in people."
In 1932, Kellogg donated the ranch, which had grown to 750 acres (3 km²), to the University of California. During World War II, the ranch was taken over by the U.S. War Department and was known as the Pomona Quartermaster Depot (Remount). In 1933, the ranch obtained some of the horses sold in the dispersal of Brown's Maynesboro stud.
In 1948, the ranch was transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and in 1949, the land was deeded to the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Later in 1949, title to the then 813-acre (3.3 km) ranch and horses was passed to the State of California, with the provision that the herd of Arabian horses must be maintained. The ranch became part of the Voorhis unit of what was then known as the California Polytechnic State College in San Luis Obispo. This became known as the Kellogg Campus, and in 1966, it was separated to form California State Polytechnic College Pomona (now California State Polytechnic University, Pomona).
Will Keith Kellogg died at the age of 91 in Battle Creek, Michigan, on October 6, 1951, of heart failure.
Kellogg outlived most of his children, but was survived by two of them, Karl Hugh (d. 1955) and Elizabeth Ann (d. 1966), as well as grandson Norman Williamson, Jr. (d. 2001).