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  1. #91
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    Re: I Need Help with T.W. Samuels Post Pro History.

    It looks like the name "Country Distillers" was started by Mr. Samuels and his partners before my uncle and his partners purchased it as the article stated that Country Distillers sold the property to Foster's Trading Co. in 1943. Either the reporting in the paper was wrong, or Mr. Cecil was confused on the names when it was transfered. Not sure which it is but will find out if possible.

    Mark

  2. #92
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: I Need Help with T.W. Samuels Post Pro History.

    Quote Originally Posted by chefmel View Post
    It looks like the name "Country Distillers" was started by Mr. Samuels and his partners before my uncle and his partners purchased it as the article stated that Country Distillers sold the property to Foster's Trading Co. in 1943. Either the reporting in the paper was wrong, or Mr. Cecil was confused on the names when it was transfered. Not sure which it is but will find out if possible.

    Mark
    To what article are you referring?

  3. #93
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    Re: I Need Help with T.W. Samuels Post Pro History.

    Mark,

    I just discovered this site and may be able to fill in some blanks for you.

    My dad, Hubert D. Snider, was general manager of TW Samuels from about 1946 until 1952. He was hired by and worked for Samuel Westerman, the man I came to know as "Uncle Sam." Dad graduated from Western State Teachers College in about 1934 went to work for the government in the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Unit in Louisville. He was a storekeeper gauger. He went to night school and received his law degree from University of Louisville in 1940. He was then made chief prosecutor for the Unit in Kentucky. I think it was in 1943 that he was transferred to Washington, DC. After the war we returned to Louisville as Mr. Westerman had hired him to run the distillery.

    Dad told me the story of how Westerman got the distillery, but I don't recall now exactly how it worked. I remember that Westerman was working for a Canadian Distiller as a whiskey broker, as I recall. He somehow or other worked a deal where he (and perhaps some partners) bought TW Samuels distillery for a very small price per barrel.

    We lived in Louisville and my dad drove to the distillery every day and then on many Saturdays met with Uncle Sam in downtown Louisville to discuss business operations. Uncle Sam lived in a downtown hotel, it was either the Brown Hotel or the Seelbach (sp?), I don't remember which. Uncle Sam sent me a beautiful Christmas present every year. In, fact I was still receiving Christmas presents from him after I graduated from college. He had a woman who was his personal secretary and I think he forgot to tell her that I had grown up, because the last present I got from him was a chemistry set!

    I recall that Dad was upset with Uncle Sam because Dad didn't think the business resumed operations soon enough after WWII. The distillery has two brands that were very important before the war (T.W. Samuels and Old Jordan) and Dad thought they waited too long to re-enter the market and lost the share they had before the war.

    There was a major fire at the distillery the night of September 15, 1949. It was also the night that my sister was born. One of the warehouses was totally destroyed and I have pictures taken during the fire and the next day. As I remember, it was a 50,000-barrel warehouse that they thought was started by an elevator motor. I remember that my Dad later brought home a big check that he had received from the insurance company.

    Another thing I recall about the distillery is that during WWII when the government controlled all the distilleries, they completely refitted the plumbing from copper to stainless steel. Dad said it was a major investment.

    I remember that Dad kept cattle on the property and fed them the mash from the distilling process. It was supposed to be really good for fattening cattle. There was also a great bar and lounge in the basement of the office. Several times my Dad let me use it for parities with my high school friends (chaperoned, of course.)

    As I remember, Dad left the distillery in 1952 and in 1953 was hired by the Distilled Spirits Institute in Washington. He headed up a project to rewrite the federal laws controlling the manufacture and taxation of distilled spirits. The law that went through the legislative process was called the Snider Law, or at least so I was told. After it passed and my Dad was made head of the DSI's legal department. He remained with the DSI until he died in 1970.

    My Dad also knew Bill Samuels, but I think they had more contact when Dad was with the DSI. I also remember the name Foster Trading Company, but I don't remember in what connection.

    I'll keep trying to recall information about the distillery and will let you know more as I do.

    Bart Snider

  4. #94
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    Re: I Need Help with T.W. Samuels Post Pro History.

    This is a followup to my earlier post to include some pictures of the 1949 warehouse fire. It started in the afternoon of September 15 and burned through the night. My Dad told me that there was a river of burning whiskey running down to the pond. There are also several pictures the day after. All that was left was the metal siding and a bunch of barrel hoops. The man in one of the day after pictures might be Samuel Westerman, but I'm not sure.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #95
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    Re: I Need Help with T.W. Samuels Post Pro History.

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    To what article are you referring?
    Hi all,

    Been a long time! I had a lot of problems earlier in the year as far as logging in and posting. Hopefully, those problems are over.

    Chuck, the article I was refering to was an article out of the Kentucky standard from 1943 announcing the sale of the distillery.

    Mark

  6. #96
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    Re: I Need Help with T.W. Samuels Post Pro History.

    Thanks Bart for filling in some of the details about your dad's time at the distillery and for the great photo's of the fire. I've heard all about it including the fact that the locals headed down to the pond with buckets to try and scoop up some of the whiskey! I've only seen one "day after" picture of the fire so these photo's will help me greatly.

    On my last visit to Bardstown, I headed over to the property records room downtown and found some interesting information. My uncle filed a quick claim deed for the distillery on December 3rd, 1974 transferring ownership of the distillery to Commonwealth Distillers, Inc. from Louisville. The property was held in escrow for 6 months and transferred to the new owners at that time. The company representative that signed it was Douglas Scott or Scois - I can't read the signature all that well. So now I know when he sold the property. Now, I need to find the deed from when the Samuels family sold the distillery to my Uncle and his partners so I can double check the names of the company's at the time.

    I'm working on tracing some history on the Old Jordan label also as I don't think it originated with the Samuels family. Is anyone going to be in Bardstown for the Bourbon sampler next weekend??

    Mark

  7. #97
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    Re: I Need Help with T.W. Samuels Post Pro History.

    Quote Originally Posted by chefmel View Post
    I'm working on tracing some history on the Old Jordan label also as I don't think it originated with the Samuels family. Is anyone going to be in Bardstown for the Bourbon sampler next weekend??

    Mark
    I will but I don't know how much help I'll be.

    Anyway, glad to see you posting again, Mark! I love reading your posts on this topic. Have you ever thought of putting it all together in narrative form?
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

  8. #98
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    Re: I Need Help with T.W. Samuels Post Pro History.

    Hi Josh! Haven't talked to you in a while! Thanks for the comments. No need to help with my research - just looking for someonne to drink some bourbon with this weekend! Someday soon (I hope) I'll put all the information together where it hopefully makes some kind of sense, though my research isn't over with yet. I'm bringing some items with me this weekend from the distillery - Look me up on Friday or Sat. if you'd like to look through them. I'll be at the GN on Saturday, Bardstown Inn on Weds. - Friday. Looking forward to seeing you again!

    Mark

  9. #99
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    Re: I Need Help with T.W. Samuels Post Pro History.

    Just wanted to say thanks for this thread - the 12,000+ views prove I'm not alone in appreciating it.

  10. #100
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    Re: I Need Help with T.W. Samuels Post Pro History.

    Saw Mark at the Sampler this last week. Had a nice chat with him. I also took the time to take yet another person out to see the old distillery.
    " I never met a Weller I didn't like"

 

 

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