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. It is best known as the home of the Kellogg Company.
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, 1824, 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 Potawatomi, seriously wounding him. Following the encounter, the surveyors retreated to Detroit.
Surveyors would not return to the area until June 1825, 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.