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First Distillery Opens February 1 1934

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We have been partying all day.........Iffni ya can't read it......well hell, sh*t happens..

I will do it slowly to try to make it right........

This was published in the Kentucky Standard (Nelson County Newspaper) on Jan. 18 1934.

First Distillery Opens February 1

Prospective Date Set For Start Of Operations At H. McKenna

Plans are now being made at the H. McKenna distillery at Fairfield to begin the manufacture of whiskey about February 1. The STANDARD learned this week.

Construction work is now going foward at the plant, which is being enlarged to handle two hundred bushels of grain a day, exactly double its capacity before prohibition. The early start has been facilitated by the care which has been given to the distillery buildings since the plant closed. All have been kept in good repair, and no dismantling per mitted except the conversion of the storage warehouses.

If plans for the beginning of work February 1 are put into effect, McKenna's will probably be the first distillery in the county to reopen. Clear Springs Distillery will be in shape to begin manufacturing this week or next, but it is understood that actual operation will be delayed until arrangements for feeding cattle are complete.

CAPITAL IS $225,000

The reopened distillery will be operated by a corporation, H. McKenna Inc., capitalized at $225,000.Stock has been issued in shares of one dollar par value. Seventy-five thousand shares of stock will be issued to James S. McKenna and Stafford McKenna in wxchange for the ground, plant, trade name, and brands and twenty-five thousand shares will be retained in the treasury of the company to raise additional capital if necessary.

The remaining hundred and twenty-five thousand shares will be marketed. It is estimated that about $35,000 will be required to install the new equipment needed and put the plant in operation. The McKenna brand has not been allowed (can't tell what it says-maybe two words) during prohibition, its manfacture being continued by arrangement with a distillery in Louisville, which made and marked it for medicinal purposes.


Coleman Bixler, who was in chaarge of distillation at the McKenna plant for sixteen years befor prohibition, has been re-employed as distiller. In an interview with The STANDARD this week, Mr. Bixler said that distillation would be carried on with the same yeast that was used before the distillery's close. It has been kept in perfect condition, in the usual copper jug, during all tha time.

I took samples of it the other day he declared. I put them under the microscope, tested them, made some home grew with them. The yeast is just as good as it used to be.

Most of the equipment formerly used in distilling at McKenna's is still set up, and will be used again. New equipment and fittings are in charge of the Vendome Copper and Brass Works.


The officers and directors of H. McKenna Inc., will be James E. McKenna, president, Stafford E. McKenna, vice-president, and William P. Kelly, Louisville, secretary-treasurer, Mr. Kelly is connected with Clarence R. Smith & Co., Louisville.

The same label formerly used, red and gold, with a harp on a green background, is to be retqined. Most of the whiskey made will be put into bond for four years, to be sold laterfor medicinal use. If part of the shiskey is sold after a shorter aging period, it will not be placed on the market under the H. McKenna label.

Heaven Hill Distilleries owns the label Henry Mckenna......They also have a bond single barrel bottling.........

Ya learn something every day! I have lots of documents on the early days of bourbon..........When I get time I will post them here.........and for you lazy ones who are writing a book.........I will not post where my documented facts came from......Only Chuck Cowdery will know that info !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ya see he probably knows all about it any way.......He's our BOURBONIAN OF THE YEAR 2002-------Yeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaaaaa! Wri tttttttttttttttttttttttt Whir llllllllllllllllllllll !!!!

---------For you folks who don't know what a writ whirl is-------------------It's a boy ya lookin good whistle.

Bettye Jo

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As you know, Bettye Jo, I can't get enough of this stuff. Wouldn't it be great if the Standard would publish a book of all its old articles on bourbon subjects, with Bettye Jo Boone as the (highly paid) editor? Wouldn't that be cool? I'd buy a copy or two.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

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