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RD #20, 1 st District
Cape Girardeau County, MO

(Est. 1892)


Information on this distillery comes courtesy of Charles Hoots (2007-2008).

The 1914 anniversary edition of the Cape Girardeau Republican carried an article on the origins of this distillery (reproduced below). It notes that it was established by J. D. Dameron in 1892, but Dameron sold it to John A Withers in 1906.  Withers was a jeweler by profession but his father was a working distiller in N Carolina. John A Withers died in Cape Girardeau, MO. in 1925. At the time, he was part owner in the local Chevrolet dealership.

The following is a transcript of the article mentioned above:

J. A. Withers' Distillery
Allenville, Mo.


One of Allenville's most distinguished citizens and a man of considerable influence is J. A. Withers, owner of the distillery and vice president of the State Bank of Allenville.  He was born in Alexander county, Illinois, on the third day of May, 1873, his parents being J. M. and Ellen E. (Moore) Withers.  Having received his education in the public schools near his parental home, he served his apprenticeship as a jeweler, and worked in that trade until 1892, when he came to Allenville.  Here he followed the same business until 1906, and then bought the present business from J. D. Dameron.  He at once prospered, bought the real estate on which the plant is located, and a 160-acre farm in Arkansas, also residence property near Allenville.  In 1911 he assisted in organizing the Allenville State Bank, and was later made its vice-president.

His father conducted a liquor factory in North Carolina, and all his forefathers followed the same business, so it was natural that John A. continue in that vocation.  He manufactures only one kind of whiskey, and calls it "Withers." He makes a specialty of his three-year-old corn whiskey, which has a reputation for its purity.

The business was organized when there were eight distilleries in Cape Girardeau county, but his is the only one left in the county at the present time. It was constructed by his father, J. M. Withers.  While Mr. Withers makes whiskey and sells it, he himself uses the same very sparingly.  He has never permitted any rough house tactics around his place, and there are never any fights or disturbances near his establishment.  No accidents nor mishaps, resulting from the use if liquor, have ever happened in this distillery.

Mr. Withers was married to Helen E. Adams on the 26 th day of March, 1903, and the happy family consists of the two, and four sons, Roy, Edward E., Adam R., and Waldo, also two daughters, Myrtle E. and Opal A.  Mr. Withers has been president of the village board two years, and a member of the board of education.

In politics he is a Democrat, and socially a Mason.  He owns stock in the Allenville State Bank, and, as aforesaid, is one of its officers.

The family takes delight in taking a spin in the high-power car that Mr. Withers owns and operates.  He also enjoys a hunting and fishing trip occasionally, and is regarded as a good fellow by his friends and acquaintances.

Withers' Distillery

This business was established in 1892 by J. D. Dameron, and was continued in his name until 1906, when he retired from business and sold out to J. A. Withers, who has been conducting the same since that time, and with signal success.

The plant contains the latest improved machinery, and is one of the most up-to-date distilleries in the state. Annually there are from four to five thousand bushels of corn and rye converted into whiskey, the capacity being about two barrels per day.  The product of the "still" find a ready market locally, and in ten states throughout the southern country.  A large percentage of his output is disposed of through the mail order route.  Nearly every train that pulls out of Allenville carries with it some of the liquor manufactured by J. A. Withers, in jugs or barrels.  The business has been very profitable, and has made its owner financially comfortable.

 

Many artifacts from the old distillery have survived.  Shown at right are two jugs from the collection of Charles Hoots and Richard & Janet Pender.  The scratch-labeled jug at right is the older of the pair and the bears the inscription "J. D. Dameron / Prop'r. / Allenville Mo / Disty"  The gallon jug on the left once contained liquor distilled during John Withers' tenure.

The Charles Hoots and Richard & Janet Pender collection also includes three shots glasses from the Withers distillery, and a barrel head branded with the Withers name and RD#  (below left)

 

All images copyright Charles Hoots, 2007-2008.  Reproduced here with kind permission.
For more information, visit Charles Hoots' website on the history of Allenville, MO.

Review bonded warehouse transactions for this distillery

Internal Revenue recorded warehouse transactions for this distillery as follows:
( explain: origin of these records, letter codes )

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