William J. Smith was born in Lexington about 1870 and operated W. J. Smith & Company, retail liquor and wholesale whiskey dealer, from the 1890s to Prohibition. He also operated a saloon at the corner of Vine and Limestone. He purchased two thousand barrels of whiskey in February 1903 from W. K. Saffell of Anderson County.[i]
In March 1905, he is recorded as having sold eight hundred barrels of Old Joe Whiskey.[ii] His brand names included High Top Whiskey, Old Brook Bourbon Whiskey, True Heart Whiskey, Old Brookie Whiskey and Zeno Whiskey.[iii]
[i] Lexington Herald, February 22, 1903, page 2, column 4.
[ii] Lexington Herald, March 12, 1905, page 1, column 3.
[iii] Lexington City Directory for 1893, 1895, 1902, 1906-07, 1908, 1911, 1912-13, 1914-15, 1916-17 and 1919.