Almiran S Cole is a famous figure in the history of the Peoria liquor industry because he established the first for-profit distillery around 1843, two years before the city proper was incorporated. But two years later, he sold his operation to Richard Gregg, Charles Carroll and Sylvanus Thompson. Gregg also features prominently in early Peoria history.
In 1850, Cole decide he wanted to return to the industry and built a new, 1600 bushel facility at the location shown here. His partners in the enterprise were (according to Ogg), Benjamin Bourland, Tobias Bradley, and William Moss, none of whom had experience in the liquor industry. Cole retired in 1962 and the distillery continued under control of Moss, Bradley & Co.. The company name continued to evolve, first to Bradley, Jack & Co. (1867), then Zell, Jack & Co. (1868), Zell, Francis & Co. (1877-1879), and ultimately the Zell-Schwabacher Distillery. The latter closed in 1888 but later became a part of the Great Western Distillery.
Business name timeline:
Almiran S Cole (1856-1860), A S Cole & Co. (1861)
lower extension of Grove (1856-1857), River, below Cedar (1859), nd (1860-1861)
Business category timeline (abbreviations decoded below):
Years that company appeared in directories
Years directories were consulted
Peoria directory notes
1856, 1857, 1859, 1860, 1861
1844, 1856, 1857, 1859, 1860, 1861, 1863, 1865, 1867, 1868, 1870, 1871, 1872, 1873, 1875, 1877, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919
D = Distilleries, L = Liquor Merchants (1856), W = Liquors, Wholesale, S = Saloons (1881). In the early years (ca 1863-1867) , addresses were often omitted (indicated by "nd"). There was a street renumbering, perhaps city-wide but evident in Washington addresses, in 1872/1873, with both old and new numbers indicated in the 1873 directories. The 1881 directory shows that Water St. has been renumbered. Directires are missing Liquor wholesalers for 1901, no distillers for 1904 or 1905. Several years are missing copies. There are no liquor-related entries for 1920. My directory copies include partial listings for Saloons for 1881-1886: they were not included here.
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