Born in Lynchburg, Tennessee
in September of 1850, Jasper Newton Daniel was one of thirteen children. Often mistakenly referred to as "Jack Daniels", his exact birthdate is unknown, due to a fire that destroyed courthouse records. He was raised by a family friend until taking his first job with Dan Call, a Lutheran
minister who also owned a whiskey still on the Louise River. In September of 1863, Call decided to focus solely on his congregation
, so he sold his still to Jack.
Jack Daniel's distillery is the oldest registered distillery in the United States, having been registered in 1866. Jack Daniel's whiskey making process takes much longer than the standard process. Every drop of whiskey is made with iron-free 56 degree Lynchburg cave spring water and drips through ten feet of sugar maple charcoal before being aged in oak barrels.
He first shipped his whiskey in large earthenware jugs, stenciling his own name on them. In the late 1870s, he switched to the familiar glass bottles that are still in use today. His Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey was entered in an exhibition at the World's Fair in St. Louis in 1904, where it won the gold medal as the world's best whiskey, and has won four more medals since that time.
In 1905, Jack Daniel arrived at work and couldn't remember the combination to the safe. Angrily, he kicked it, and broke his toe. An infection resulted, and he eventually died in 1911 of blood poisoning. Jack Daniel never married or had any children, but instead passed on the distillery to his nephew Lem Motlow, who tended to the still during Prohibition.
Strangely enough, for almost the entire 20th century, no one in Moore County, where Jack Daniel's distillery is located, could buy his whiskey. The entire county has been dry since 1909, meaning no alcohol can be purchased or sold. Special legislation was passed allowing the citizens of Moore County to enjoy Jack Daniel's, but only if they buy special commemorative bottles at the distillery itself.