This is from Tom Fitzmorris' New Orleans Menu Daily:
Food In History: Cream of Wheat was introduced today in 1893. It was a desperate effort to save a near-bankrupt flour mill in Grand Forks, North Dakota, during the financial panic of that year. Thomas Amidon, the head miller, used the "middlings"--the prime part of wheat grains, also called farina--to make a hot cereal that could be packaged dry and sold in stores. The owners of the mill sent a sample of it to their broker in New York. The broker famously responded, "Never mind shipping us any more of your flour, but send a car of your 'Cream of Wheat'." The original logo, cartoonish black cook, was used because the printer of the label found it in a pile of old plates in his plant. Cream of Wheat is a bigger deal elsewhere than in New Orleans, where we're more likely to fill that space on the menu with grits.