Stoll, Hamilton & Company

In 1881, Richard P. Stoll and Robert B. Hamilton established a partnership to wholesale whiskey.  The firm’s offices and warehouse were located on Vine and Spring Streets.  The firm traded in bulk whiskies from several distilleries around Lexington.  Its primary distillery was the Stoll’s Commonwealth Distillery in Sandersville.  The company advertised, “these whiskies are distilled near Lexington, the center of the great Blue Grass Region of Kentucky, from the choicest grains, grown on limestone soil, and the purest limestone spring water” and “Pure Malt Barley Whiskey A Specialty.”

Stoll & Hamilton Bottle, circa 1880s

The firm purchased bulk whiskey in barrels and then bottled the whiskey under Elkhorn Whiskey, a proprietary trade name.  Stoll, Hamilton & Company used glass bottles and jugs.  The company also distributed Owl Club as Ireland & Vannatta Distillers and Owl Club Distillery in the 1880s.  In the 1890s, the firm produced Small Grain Whiskey.  A large portion of its trade was with Cincinnati dealers.

Invoice, 1906

Hamilton died in 1888, and Stoll purchased his interest.  Stoll died in 1903.  In 1907, the firm was consolidated into Stoll & Company and in 1908 was purchased by Samuel C. Stofer, who operated until Prohibition as a wholesale wine and liquor merchant.  Stofer was a long-time employee of the company. [i]

Letterhead, 1889

Whiskey Jugs, circa 1890s

Advertising, 1906


[i] Lexington City Directory for 1881-82, 1883-84, 1887, 1888, 1890, 1893, 1895, 1902 and 1906-07.

William M. Ambrose, Bottled In Bond under U. S. Government Supervision, Limestone Press, Lexington, 2008.