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Another Master Distiller?


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#1 MikeandJack

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 10:32 PM

The Distillery contacted us recently to see if they could view some of our historical documents they heard we had. Of course we said yes.
They sent their full time historian to our house with a camera & he took some pictures & we talked quiet a while.
We had no idea what they were looking for, but we soon found out they were seeking information about John Tolley.
John Tolley was married to Lillie Motlow Tolley who was Lem Motlow's younger sister. Lillie was born in 1872 and died in 1945.
John & Lillie Tolley were Lem Tolley's grandparents. As you know, Lem Tolley was Jack Daniel's Master Distiller #3.
Here is a picture of Lillie with Lem Tolley's uncle Thurman.

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#2 MikeandJack

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 10:38 PM

Here is the reason the Distillery is interested in John Tolley.
It started with the Nearest Green fiasco. Now they are taking it further.

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#3 MikeandJack

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 10:47 PM

Here is a letter from Lillie Tolley to her brother Frank on December 7, 1905.
She writes "John is still drinking some and always will. Hasn't had any more wild spells. He is starting up Lem's new still house now. Wish Lem would give him work all the time but don't guess he will".

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#4 MikeandJack

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 11:02 PM

Here is the next letter from May 27, 1906.
She writes "John has gone back to work at Uncle Jack's still house. He is paying him $110 per month"

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#5 MikeandJack

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 11:05 PM

She also has a p.s. at the end of the letter.
It says "John has not drank any since he had his last spell about 2 months ago".

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#6 MikeandJack

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 11:10 PM

Unlike the Nearest Green fiasco, which was based on folklore, these letters prove John Tolley made whiskey and worked at the Distillery

The Jack Daniel Historian told us the Distillery was considering making John Tolley another Master Distiller #2. He would not say whether they were going to dedicate a bottle to him.

We will just have to wait and see. 


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#7 southrock

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 12:03 AM

Thanks once again Mike !!!  Love that Fantastic history lesson !!    I hope they never stop !!!!!!!!


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#8 Max

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 12:28 AM

Oh wow .... I’ve had this booklet sat on my shelf for many years but never picked up on this - looking at it right now

Thanks for the info Mike, interesting stuff indeed, had anyone discussed this with Frank ?


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#9 Jim0707

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 03:37 AM

Thanks for the info Mike. I wish the historian would have been brought in to investigate the Uncle Nearest story a little more carefully before they gave credibility to the story.
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#10 Achim

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 06:33 AM

Awesome information Mike - 🥃


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#11 JD.Maniac

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 07:02 AM

Awesome information Mike

 

:yeah  (thumbup)


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#12 polish_jd_collector

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 07:49 AM

Another fantastic history lesson. Thanks Mike for these info and sharing the pics


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#13 Belgianjack

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 08:23 AM

Cheers Mike, but I ask myself why do they need a historian at B&F when they have you?

 

But I prefere it this way anyway so we have you here, and that is much better then anyone else.......................................


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#14 southrock

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 12:04 PM

Cheers Mike, but I ask myself why do they need a historian at B&F when they have you?

 

But I prefere it this way anyway so we have you here, and that is much better then anyone else.......................................

Completely agree  !!!!


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#15 JimmyandJen

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 11:50 AM

Amazing story Mike.  Thanks for sharing.  I loved seeing these in person.

 

To take you completely off topic though, why are there corrections written in the margins of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly you have there?  Editor's copy?


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#16 MikeandJack

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 12:19 PM

I'm not sure Jimmy?

I don't know where I got this Tennessee Quarterly.

I've had it a long time.

I don't know who's handwriting that is.


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#17 MikeandJack

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 04:29 PM

To answer your question Max...…. yes, I have talked to Frank about this.

I was told these quotes in the Quarterly were from Frank in 1972.

I asked him about it & he was fine with Nearest Green being the 1st Master Distiller.

Haven't discussed John Tolley with him yet.


Edited by MikeandJack, 06 August 2018 - 04:30 PM.

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#18 polish_jd_collector

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 04:40 PM

I asked him about it & he was fine with Nearest Green being the 1st Master Distiller.

 

He really mean that????


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#19 southrock

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 05:16 PM

He really mean that????

I would imagine as he probably just going along, trying not to rock the boat !!!  BF might be funny about someone going against what they have decided ...


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#20 MikeandJack

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 05:20 PM

Yes he did Tomek.

I was totally shocked.


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