An early history of Kentucky (Kentucky: A History of the State, by Battle, Perrin, & Kniffin, 1880-90) suggests that the Crigler family was descended from a colony of German immigrants who settled in Madison County, Virginia. The first Crigler to try his hand at the liquor business was Llewellyn N. Crigler, son of Ephraim Dutton Crigler and Elizabeth J. (Tanner) Crigler. Ephraim had moved from Virginia to Burlington, Boone County, KY. with his father, Nicholas Crigler, about 1828. Llewellyn N. Crigler was reared on the family farm and educated at White Haven Seminary, near Union, Boone County. He was first employed in an unidentified mercantile business in Lawrenceburg and Lexington (1862-1872), then moved to Covington, and joined forces with A. R. Mullins, supposedly until 1880. He then formed partnership with his uncle, Robert L. Crigler, to form the familiar "Crigler & Crigler".
The pair were noted to be "sole proprietors of Woodland Distillery, at Lexington, KY., and also of the Buffalo Springs Distillery, Scott County, and manufacture nothing but the finest sour mash whisky, their sales amounting to $300,000 worth annually. They employ three traveling salesmen and eighteen hands in their buildings. Their store room is situated on Pike Street, Covington. Mr. Crigler owns considerable real estate in Covington and a hotel in Burlington, KY., and is director of the Dayton Syrup Refining Company, of Dayton, Ohio".
Cecil suggests that the Crigler family were based in Cincinnati and circa 1868 purchased the Buffalo Springs distillery located in Scott County, KY. Their business operated under the name "Mullins, Crigler & Co.", which could be the A R Mullins, later Mullins & Crigler, found in Covington directories. Cecil suggests that the distillery was later (1890) purchased by Morrin-Powers of Kansas City, who continued producing "Buffalo Springs" whiskey using the Criglers' original recipe until Prohibition.
Crigler & Crigler are also known for the "Woodland" brand that was being produced for them by Headley & Peck at the Woodland Distillery (RD #54, 7th Dist.). They did own the distillery and brand briefly after acquiring it in an estate sale in 1899, but sold the property two years later while retaining the brand. Note that Robert Crigler owned the land that Headley & Peck leased for their distillery.
In 1902, they were running the Silas Jones distillery at Hunters Station, Nelson Co.
The Wilsons give dates 1881-1917 for the company, Snyder says established 1874 (to 1919), based on the fact one of the Criglers was previously with Mullins. Their company stationary adds to the confusion, with one citing 1874 at the date established, while another suggests 1871 was the first year of business. The latter also shows a store at 13-17 E 6th St?
Crigler & Crigler had offices in Covington, KY., Cincinnati, OH., Kansas City, MO., and Jacksonville, FL. (1912-1914).
The company used the brand names:
"Brier Rabbit", "Buffalo Springs", "Col. Bob Corn", "Crigler", "Crigler 's Favorite", "Forsythe", "John Barley Corn", "Kentucky Senator", "Meadowthorpe Dry Gin", "Old 100 Corn", "Old Special Stock", "Sweet Sixteen", "Woodland", and "Woodland ."
Business name timeline:
Crigler & Crigler (1882-1908), The Crigler & Crigler Co. Inc. (1910-1916)
office 7 Pike (1882-1898), 23 Pike (1900), 12 E Pike (1902-1904), 515-517 Scott (1908-1916)
Business category timeline (abbreviations decoded below):
Years that company appeared in directories
Years directories were consulted
Covington directory notes
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Click on the thumbnails for more information.
1882, 1886, 1888, 1890, 1898, 1900, 1902, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1916
1867, 1874, 1878, 1880, 1882, 1886, 1888, 1890, 1892, 1895, 1897, 1898, 1900, 1902, 1904, 1906, 1908, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1916, 1918
V= Wine & Liquor (Wholesale), V-R = Wine & Liquor (Retail), W = Whiskey (Wholesale), L = Liquors (Wholesale) D = Distiller, DA = distiller's agent
Copies of listings for distillers limited to 1867, 1874, 1878, 1880, 1882, 1886, 1888, 1890, 1892, 1895, 1897, 1898.
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