View Full Version : Jesse Moore Bourbon

03-29-2003, 18:01
My great-grandfather was Jesse Moore (1813-1898) who married Frances Melcher in 1858. The family's oral history indicates that Jesse (or maybe his father, Johnn Moore, (1782-1859) moved from Massachusetts to Kentucky and opened a distillery making Moore's Kentucky Bourbon. At the time of the Civil War Jesse and Frances sold the distillery and returned to Worcester, Massachusetts, with enough cash from the transaction that, prudently invested, it sustained the family for two generations. (Unfortunately, it ran out before it got to me.) Who among you has a history of the Moore's Distillery, C. 1840-1865 that will confirm this or can add details? - Gordon Eliot White, Virginia

03-29-2003, 18:22
In the book "The Evolution of the Bourbon Whiskey Industry in Kentucky" by Sam K. Cecil, there is no "Moore Distillery" in the index. However, there's a Moore & Grigsby Distillery, RD #270, mentioned in the book (on p. 112, not on p. 109 as the index indicates). The book says "Moore and Grigsby operated this plant just outside the city limits of Lebanon prior 1875. In 1875 J.B. Wathen and R.N. (Nace) bought this plant and increased the capacity to 100 bushels. The book goes on to say that the distillery was renamed Mueller, Wathen, and Company in 1879. The Moore & Grigsby brands were dropped in 1905.

Could this be what you are looking for?

There is a Jesse Moore in the index, but the page it references refers to a Jesse Moore Hunt that built a warehouse for J.W. Dant Distillery, though no date is given. The context around that sentence puts the timeframe between 1891 and 1897.

There's no Johnn Moore in the index.

I hope this helps.

P.S. Welcome to Bourbonia!

03-29-2003, 20:49
I found the same information that you did in Sam's books...I also looked it up in the Nelson County Record...There is no Jesse Moore listed...That does not mean that it did not exsist...There are many, many webs to uncover...Sometimes, it takes a while, but without any more information than the name, I cannot find a thing on Jesse Moore...It's probably there somewhere...but findind it is another story...In the early days of Bourbon distillery names changed as often as the weather does in the Springtime in our beautiful "Bluegrass State".

I did run across this article...It's about the Tom Moore Distillery...I was hoping to find Jesse Moore's name in there...but no luck...

It was published in the book of Classic American Whiskey...

Barton Distilling is not flashy. It is not gimmicky. It is not famous. Jerry Dalton(----boone personal note----Jerry Dalton is now, Jim Beam's Master Distiller---) the chief chemist, says We're a low profile company. A lot of people don't even know that Barton exists, even though we are the eigth largest producer of spirits in the country. Barton eschews the cult of personality. The Barton philosophy is not to focus on the person who makes the whiskey; rather, it is to focus on the whiskey.

Judging from our experience with Barton's Bourbons this philosophy serves Barton well. The distillery and its product deserve more recognition that they have received.

As Barton Distilling, the company dates to around 1944, when a firm of that name created by the Oscar Getz family in the post-prohibition 1930's acquired the present distillery. Distilling at this site, just more than a mile from the heart of Bardstown, goes back to at least the 1880's. We know that in 1876 Tom Moore and Ben Mattingly bought a distillery in this vicinity, changing its name to the Mattingly and Moore Distillery. Then, apparently having sold the Mattingly and Moore Distillery to John Simms and R.H. Edelen, Moore along with Mattingly, opened the Tom Moore Diseillery in 1889, just a stone's throw away from the present site of Barton's

In the Nelson County Record of 1896, the Tom Moore Distillelry is described as having a capacity of 200 bushels a day, using a formula of 60 percent corn and 40 percent small grains. No "branch water" is used--the distillery being supplied entirely from limestone rich springs. In an accolade that could be applied to the current management, it states that Moore tries to obtain quality more than quantity".

Prohibition closed the Tom Moore Distillery as well as the Mattingly and Moore facility. But in 1934, following repeal, the Tom Moore Distillery was acquired and modernized by Harry Teur. Much of the machinery was replaced; and many of the old wood-frame buiildings were rebuilt in brick and concrete.

The Oscar Getz family, having been in the whiskey industry since shortly after the repeal of Prohibition, but not owning a bourbon production facility, purchased the distilley in 1944. At first they retained the Tom Moore name, but eventually changed the plant's name to the Barton Distilling Company. It is unclear where the name Barton came from. According to one account it hearkens back to a Barton Distillery, long since defunct, in Cynthiana, Kentucky. Another, equally plausible story is that the Getz family put a bunch of names in a hat, and Barton was picked out.

As well as supplying the world with a high-quality Bourbon. Oscar Getz also endowed the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey Histoy, in downtown Bardstown a Mecca for anyone interested in whiskey and it's place in American History...

As a lot of you already know...The Getz is a special place for me...I am proud and honored to be a volunteer for them http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

03-29-2003, 21:17
The Tom Moore Distillery...