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Kellogg, John Harvey (26 February 1852–14 December 1943), physician, surgeon, and health reformer, was born in rural Livingston County, Michigan, the son of John Preston Kellogg and Anne Stanley, farmers. In 1852 Kellogg’s parents accepted the religious teachings that led to the organization of the Seventh-day Adventist church in 1863. This decision had a marked influence on their son’s life. By 1856 the family had resettled in Battle Creek, Michigan. Part of the proceeds from the sale of their farm was used to relocate the infant Adventist publishing plant from Rochester, New York, to Battle Creek, where Kellogg’s father now operated a small store and broom shop....

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Walgreen, Charles Rudolph (09 October 1873–11 December 1939), pharmacist and chain store executive, was born near Galesburg, Illinois, the son of Charles Walgreen, a successful farmer and real estate broker, and Ellen Olson. Walgreen’s parents were Swedish immigrants. The family moved to Dixon, Illinois, in 1887. Walgreen’s start in the drugstore business came by accident. While working in a shoe factory in Dixon he cut off the top joint of a middle finger. His doctor—frustrated that the physically active Walgreen would not let his hand heal properly—arranged for him to apprentice at a local drugstore in hopes of keeping him off the baseball diamond. Walgreen stayed with the job for a year and a half, when he was fired or quit during a disagreement with the owner....

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Wells, Samuel Roberts (04 April 1820–13 April 1875), publisher, was born in West Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Russell Wells, a farmer (mother’s name unknown). Shortly after his birth the family moved to a farm near Little Sodus Bay on Lake Ontario in Wayne County, New York. Samuel was apprenticed to a tanner and currier, but, planning to study medicine at Yale, he pursued some preliminary work by reading medical texts....