The company was established by George Benz, who had emmigrated from Osthofen, Germany in 1853. After spending three years acclimating in Chicago, he moved to St. Paul in Minnesota territory and established a restaurant (United States Billiard Hall & Restaurant).
The liquor wholesale business was established by Benz in 1865 in partnership with Major C J Becht. Becht died in 1878 leaving Benz as sole owner.
George Benz and wife Rose Voehringer bore five sons, many of whom entered the business. In 1887, the name was changed to George Benz & Sons to reflect their role in the business. They continued the enterprise following Benz' death in 1908 at age 69, switching to real estate upon the advent of Prohibition in 1918. (Feldhaus, 1987).
Benz & Sons also had offices in Duluth and Minneapolis and operated as the Eminence Distillery Co. with offices in Louisville. The Blue Ribbon distillery was located near Eminence, KY. Benz had acquired the distillery in 1900 from Fible & Crabb: see the distillery listing for more details. A letterhead from 1907 also claims part ownership in the Spring Garden and Federal distilleries in Baltimore, the Meadville distillery in Meadville, PA., amd Merchants distillery in Terre Haute, IN.
The company used the brand names:
"Aurora Rock & Rye", "Dellwood", "Doctor's Special", "Hiawatha", "Jack Silver", "Maltese Gin", "Minnehaha", "N. P.", "Old Blue Ribbon", "Oldays", "Oldays", "Pickwick", "Pickwick", "Pickwick Club", "Royal Scot", "Sundown Gin", "Uncle Sam Monogram", "Uncle Sam's Monogram", "Uncle Sam's Monogram", and "Wenonah."
Business name timeline:
Geo Benz (?-1886), George Benz & Sons (1887-1918)
110 E 3 rd St.
The images below are thumbnails linked to listing pages containing larger, more detailed images and links to related material.
Click on the thumbnails for more information.
Please report any errors, glitches or typos in this vendor listing page using the
comment box below. New information on the history of this business is particularly welcome!
NOTE - we don't have any additional information on this business other than what you see here. New information is added as it is received or discovered, so check back here occasionally. If you have questions about a bottle, you need to consult the experts: we do not have an answer for you, sorry!
IMPORTANT: if you wish to receive a reply, you MUST include your e-mail address!