Battle Creek Process Servers
Process Service Area - Battle Creek
Battle Creek is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan, in northwest Calhoun County, at the confluence of the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek rivers. It is the principal city of the Battle Creek, Michigan Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which encompasses all of Calhoun County. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 52,347, while the MSA's population was 136,146.
History and name origin
In about 1774, the Potawatomi and the Ottawa Native American tribes formed a joint village near the future Battle Creek, Michigan.
Battle Creek was named for a minor encounter on March 14, 1825, between a federal government land survey party led by Colonel John Mullett and two Potawatomi Indians, who had approached the survey camp asking for food. They were hungry because the Army was late in delivering the supplies promised them by the treaty of 1820. After a protracted discussion, the Native Americans allegedly tried to steal food. One of the surveyors grabbed his rifle and shot one of the Potawatomies, seriously wounding him. Following the encounter, the surveyors retreated to Detroit.
Surveyors would not return to the area until June 1824, after Governor Lewis Cass had settled the issues with the Native Americans. Early white settlers called the nearby stream the Battle Creek River, and the town took its name from that.
Native Americans had called the river Waupakisco, to which some attribute a folk etymology. By this account, the name Waupakisco or Waupokisco was a reference to an earlier battle fought between Native American tribes before the arrival of white settlers. However, Virgil J. Vogel establishes that this native term had "nothing to do with blood or battle".
Following removal of the Potawatomi to a reservation, the first permanent white settlements in Battle Creek Township began about 1831. Migration had increased to Michigan from New York and New England following the completion of the Erie Canal in New York in 1824. Most settlers chose to locate on the Goguac prairie, which was fertile and easily cultivated. A post office was opened in Battle Creek in 1832 under Postmaster Pollodore Hudson. The first school was taught in a small log house about 1833 or 1834. Asa Langley built the first sawmill in 1837. A brick manufacturing plant, called the oldest enterprise in the township, was established in 1840 by Simon Carr, and operated until 1903. The township was established by act of the legislature in 1839.
In the antebellum era, the city was a major stop on the Underground Railroad, used by fugitive slaves to escape to freedom in Michigan and Canada. It was the chosen home of noted abolitionist Sojourner Truth after her escape from slavery.
Battle Creek figured prominently in the early history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It was the site of a Protestant church founding convention in 1863. The denomination's first hospital, college and publishing office would also constructed in the city. When the hospital and publishing office burned down in 1902, the church elected to decentralize, and most of its institutions were relocated. The first Adventist church (rebuilt in the 1920s) is still in operation.
World Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson was once arrested here for marrying his White wife and transporting her across state lines.
The city was noted for its focus on health reform during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Battle Creek Sanitarium was founded by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. In addition to some of his sometimes bizarre treatments that were featured in the movie The Road to Wellville, Kellogg also funded organizations that promoted eugenics theories at the core of their philosophical agenda. The Better Race Institute was one of these organizations. He also supported the "separate but equal" philosophy and invited Booker T. Washington to speak at the Battle Creek Sanitarium in order to raise money. Washington was the author of the speech "The Atlanta Compromise", which solidified his position of being an accommodationist while providing a mechanism for southern Whites (and their sympathizers), to fund his school (the Tuskegee Institute).
W.K. Kellogg had worked for his brother in a variety of capacities at the B.C. Sanitarium. Tired of living in his brother's shadow, he struck out on his own, going to the boom-towns surrounding the oilfields in Oklahoma as a broom salesman. Having failed, he returned to work as an assistant to his brother (John Harvey). While working at the sanitariums' laboratory, W.K. spilled liquefied corn meal on a heating device that cooked the product and rendered it to flakes. He tasted the flakes and added milk to them. He was able to get his brother to allow him to give some of the product to some of the patients at the sanitarium, and the patients' demand for the product exceeded his expectations to the point that W.K made the decision to leave the sanitarium. Along with some investors, he built a factory to satisfy the demand for his "corn flakes".
As Kellogg's wealth began to exceed his brother's, he funded some of his projects that were at the sanitarium. One of these was the Better Race Institute, a eugenics-based organization. During this time, Kellogg became a Free Mason. One of the tenets of the fraternity is that "Masonry recognizes the internal character of a man, not the external". Kellogg stopped funding his brother's projects and established equal pay policies in his company. He also he led desegregation efforts by allowing black children to swim in his home pool. He funded many school and philanthropic projects throughout the city, and founded Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
It was during this time of going their separate ways for good that Dr. John Harvey Kellogg sued his brother for copyright infringement. The U.S. Supreme court ruled in W.K. Kellogg's favor.
Inspired by Kellogg's innovation, C. W. Post invented Grape-Nuts and founded his own cereal company in the town. Battle Creek has been nicknamed "the Cereal City."
In the turbulent 1960s, Battle Creek was not immune to the racial issues of the day. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke here, as did Sen. Hubert Humphrey, President L.B. Johnson, and Heavyweight Champion of the world Muhammad Ali. African Americans were subjected to "stop and frisk" procedures while walking, and housing covenants were in full force. No Blacks worked in the school systems, and only a few Blacks held mid-level manager posts in the local corporate sector. The Federal government sector was better at the Federal Center, and less so at the local Veterans' Administration Hospital.
The Black Recondos, a group formed from the local young adult council of the NAACP, forced the local board of education to hire Black teachers and administrative personnel, under the threat of removing every black student from their public schools. They also forced the chief of police to allow Black Recondos to intervene in arrests and gave them the authority to take black law breakers into their custody instead of the local police. This caused the first and only strike of a police force in U.S. history. The officers were fired and the strike was ended.
Fort Custer Army National Guard Base
Founded in 1917, Camp Custer, as it was then known, served over the next decades as a training ground, from World War I until the present. Parts of the base were spun off and developed as the Battle Creek Veteran's Hospital, Fort Custer National Cemetery, Fort Custer Recreation Area and Fort Custer Industrial Park. This industrial park contains more than 90 different companies.
The United States Government still owns the land, under an arrangement by which the state of Michigan administers and manages the property. The base, which is still mostly undeveloped, wooded land, takes up a sizable portion of Battle Creek's land area. The part of the base in Battle Creek that is now the industrial park measures 4.69 square miles (12.15 km2) in area, which is approximately 10.6% of the city's area. A much larger part of the base lies in Kalamazoo County. The adjoining W.K. Kellogg Airport is a joint civilian-Air National Guard facility.
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