The web site has a fair amount of history on it. Here is a synopsis:
M. W. Heron was born in Ireland on July 4, 1850. His family immigrated to America, settling in St. Louis, Missouri. As a young man, he moved to New Orleans, where he worked as a bartender and rectifier.
In 1874, while working at McCauley’s Saloon on St. Peter Street, in order to make more palatable “the rough-tasting barrel whiskey coming down the Mississippi from Kentucky and Tennessee,” he created a recipe of peach, orange, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon. He called his new liqueur “Cuffs and Buttons,” a reference to a competitive product called “White Tie and Tales.”
In 1885, in anticipation of the New Orleans Cotton and Industrial Exposition, he re-launched his product with a new name and slogan: “Southern Comfort, the Grand Old Drink of the South.”
In 1889, Heron relocated upriver to Memphis, Tennessee, where he opened a bar on Beale Street. There he began to bottle Southern Comfort. It was expensive, at $2.50 a bottle.
In 1904, Heron moved back to St. Louis, in time for the World’s Fair.
In 1907, Grant Peoples joined the company and was named Heron’s successor and heir. Heron died in 1920. Peoples owned the rights to Southern Comfort but he couldn’t make or sell it, due to Prohibition. In 1934, with Prohibition repealed, Peoples sold Southern Comfort to the Fowler family of St. Louis, who produced it for the next 40+ years. They introduced the first recipe books for the product, which they delivered as magazine inserts.
In 1979, the brand was sold to Brown-Forman, which gradually relocated production and marketing to its headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.