History

Share This Page

Jasper “Jack” Newton Daniel was born in Lynchburg, Tennessee, as one of 13 children.

This much is known, however, much like the mystery surrounding many other details of his life the exact date of his birth has never been confirmed. The Jack Daniel Distillery celebrates his birthday as September of 1850, but Peter Kraas writes in his book Blood & Whiskey that Jack Daniel was born in January of 1849. Neither of these is the most commonly believed date as September 5, 1846, is when many collectors and Jack Daniel’s fans around the world celebrate instead. This date also seems to make the most sense considering the age at which he purchased and ran the Distillery and additionally supports the believed date of his mother’s death in 1847.

Regardless of the exact date, Jack’s work in the whiskey business began at a young age. At 7 years old he moved in with the Reverend Dan Call and his wife Mary Jane. Dan owned a general store at the time where he sold his home-made whiskey. Jack helped around the store as much as possible and eventually began to help make the whiskey as well. Having always dreamed of being a successful businessman, young Jack eventually used the money he earned working at the store to buy whiskey from Dan and sell it to other country stores for a profit…

…Sadly, on October 9, 1911, Jack Daniel passed away due to complications from blood poisoning as a result of a broken toe suffered several years earlier at the Distillery. A few years before his death, with fear of rising health problems, he had signed over the Distillery to his nephews Lem Motlow and Richard Daniel. Lem had already worked with Jack for nearly 25 years and bought Richard’s interest in the Distillery shortly after Jack’s death…

…In 1947 Lem Motlow passed away leaving the Jack Daniel Distillery to his sons. Before his death, he was lucky enough to see the Internal Revenue Service recognize Tennessee Whiskey as different from Bourbon. Jack Daniel and Lem Motlow always knew their whiskey was special but they had never received official recognition of this…The Motlow sons did not own the Distillery long before deciding to sell it in 1956 to the company Brown-Forman, out of Louisville, Kentucky…

Jack Daniel’s Bottle Collector's Guide

The Ultimate Guide for Jack Daniel’s collectors and enthusiasts, this book provides an overview and history of Jack Daniel’s family of whiskeys and the many commemorative bottles released by the Distillery over the last 40 years.

Get The Book