James S. Stoll and Sanford K. Vannatta formed Stoll, Vannatta & Company in 1891. The company’s proprietary brand was Old Elk Rye, bottled from whiskey produced under lease at the Commonwealth Distillery. This whiskey was sold primarily in Chicago. Vannatta was from Bloomington, Illinois.
Back Bar Bottle, circa 1890s
The firm’s offices were located at 43/45 West Main Street. The company also distributed Owl Club as Ireland & Vannatta Distillers and Owl Club Distillery in the 1890s. The company also distilled Elk Whiskey, Acme Whiskey, Old Buck Horn Whiskey, and Commonwealth Whiskey. In January 1895, Stoll and Vannatta incorporated Stoll, Vannatta & Company. Each contributed half of the $50,000 capital.[i] By 1899, Stoll was the sole proprietor and operated as Stoll & Company.[ii]
Whiskey Jugs, circa 1890s to 1900s
[i] Incorporation Book 2, page 196, Fayette County Clerk Office.
[ii] Lexington City Directory for 1893 and 1895.