Frank Jonas Kellogg

Frank Jonas Kellogg

Lapeer, Lapeer County, Michigan, USA
Death 17 Jan 1916 (aged 70)
Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan, USA
Burial Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan, USA
Plot Section P, Lot 40, Rt 2
Memorial ID 16500662 · View Source
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A colorful character known as "Professor" Kellogg, Frank J. Kellogg became a millionaire as the manufacturer and promoter of "Professor Kellogg's Brown Tablets" (Rengo, Malto-Fructo, and Sanitone Wafers) which he advertised nationally as weight reduction "anti-fat" tablets. In later years, his patent medicines were among the first investigated by the precursor of the Food and Drug Administration; the active ingredient was found to be poke (Phytolacca americana), a traditional Indian folk remedy for weight loss that is also highly toxic.

Frank J. Kellogg was born in Lapeer, Michigan (sometimes listed as Ohio) in 1845, and served in the Civil War in the 8th Michigan Calvary, Company G. He enlisted in 1862 and became a sergeant. Described as an illustrator and sign painter, he moved to Battle Creek, MI, with his parents in 1874.

His brother Russel M. Kellogg, the "Strawberry King" (Find A Grave Memorial# 20491948), became well known in the midwest as an expert on fruit cultivation, and settled in nearby Three Rivers.

An older brother, James, also served in the Civil War. James later became a "medicine maker" in Battle Creek and may have given Frank the idea to sell patent medicines. Their family was unrelated to the more famous W.K. Kellogg and John Harvey Kellogg, also of Battle Creek.

Frank J. Kellogg was on the board of directors of Battle Creek's City Bank, the geological society, Battle Creek's Nature Club, the Knights of Pythias, and the Elks Club. He is also remembered for publicly demonstrating an early version of the phonograph at the Hamblin Opera House in 1878. He was married four times and left no children. For the last four years of his life he lived in Detroit with his last wife, Violetta, although they maintained an address in Battle Creek.

Frank J. Kellogg died on January 17, 1916 at age 70 and was buried at Oak Hill cemetery in Battle Creek on January 20, 1916. His large monument is the tallest in the cemetery.

Russell Kellogg, born 1812 in New York, died 1891 in Battle Creek, MI
Sophia Tewksbury Kellogg, born 1821 in Vermont, died 1906 in Battle Creek, MI

1. Martha Kennie Kellogg, dressmaker and promoter of "Madam Kellogg's French Taylor System of Dress Cutting" (to 1893)
2. Minnie Hebb Kellogg, actress, m. July 7, 1894, in Marshall, MI, divorced March 9, 1909, died February 9, 1925 in California
3. Vivian Oliver Kellogg, m. June 8, 1909 in Milwaukee, divorced April 19, 1911, in a very public court event. Due to the media circus created by the lawyers, press, and public, the MI Supreme Court reversed the divorce in July 1912. After another turn through the courts and press, the divorce was finally granted with the stipulation that neither party could remarry for two years (he was already living with Violetta, who became his last wife.)
4. Violetta Kellogg, m. 1914, in Detroit.

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  • Maintained by: C. Hartzell
  • Originally Created by: Debra Stanley
  • Added: 6 Nov 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 16500662
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Frank Jonas Kellogg (4 Aug 1845–17 Jan 1916), Find a Grave Memorial no. 16500662, citing Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by C. Hartzell (contributor 46848468) .