1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Battle Creek

BATTLE CREEK, a city of Calhoun county, Michigan, U.S.A., at the confluence of the Kalamazoo river with Battle Creek, about 48 m. S. of Grand Rapids. Pop. (1890) 13,197; (1900) 18,563, of whom 1844 were foreign-born; (1910, census) 25,267. It is served by the Michigan Central and the Grand Trunk railways, and by interurban electric lines. Here are the hospital and laboratories of the American Medical Missionary College (of Chicago) and the Battle Creek Sanitarium, established in 1866, which was a pioneer in dietetic reform, and did much to make Battle Creek important in the manufacture of health foods, and in the publication of diet-reform literature. Among the principal buildings, besides the hospital and the sanitarium, are several fine churches, the central high school, the Post tavern and the Post theatre. The city is a trading centre for the rich agricultural and fruit-growing district by which it is surrounded, has good water-power, and is an important manufacturing centre, its chief manufactured products being cereal health foods, for which it has a wide reputation, and the manufacture of which grew out of the dietetic experiments made in the laboratories of the sanitarium; and threshing machines and other agricultural implements, paper cartons and boxes, flour, boilers, engines and pumps. Extensive locomotive and car shops of the Grand Trunk railway are here. In 1904 the total factory product of Battle Creek was valued at $12,298,244, an increase of 95% over that for 1900; and of the total in 1904 $5,191,655 was the value of food preparations, which was 8·5% of the value of food preparations manufactured in the United States, Battle Creek thus ranking first among American cities in this industry. The water-works are owned and operated by the municipality, the water being obtained from Lake Goguac, a summer pleasure resort about 2 m. from the city. Battle Creek, said to have been named from hostilities here between some surveyors and Indians, was settled in 1831, incorporated as a village in 1850, and chartered as a city in 1859, the charter of that year being revised in 1900.