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GREAT WESTERN DISTILLING CO.
Peoria, IL.
1882-1919
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Est. 1881.
The Great Western Distillery was established by Joseph B Greenhut, the President of the Whiskey Trust, John H Francis, and Nelson Morris. Morris was a Chicago based meat packer for whom Greenhut had worked, and who had sent Greenhut to Peoria to oversee cattle-feeding operations.

The Great Western held the title of "world's largest" for most of its operational years and became one of the more important distilleries in the Whiskey Trust. After the Trust was torn apart in 1895, it continued under the control of the American Spirits Manufacturing Co. It closed in 1921.

The company used the brand names:
"Alabaster Spirits", and "Sunbeam Spirits."

Business name timeline:
Great Western Distilling Co. (1882-1888), Great Western Distillery (1890-1919)

Address timeline:
River bank, foot of Edmund

Business category timeline (abbreviations decoded below):
D


Years that company appeared in directories
Years directories were consulted
Peoria directory notes

Appearance in directories:
1882, 1883, 1884, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919

Directories consulted:
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

Peoria directory notes:
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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