Jesse Moore (Moore – Hunt)
Jesse Moore & Co.
Trade Mark (Antlers)
G. H. Moore
Old Bourbon & Rye
Moore Hunt & Co.
Jesse and George H. Moore, Louisville, Kentucky
Moore Hunt Co. Louisville & San Francisco
Yellow Olive Fifth
Provenance: Stephen Hubbell Collection
This is our second Jesse Moore bottle in the museum. The first being the earlier J. Moore Old Bourbon Elia Chielovich & Co. bottle. The Jesse Moore (Moore-Hunt) bottles occur from 1876 to 1885 according to Thomas. The early examples are quite crude, strongly embossed, and come in a wide range of colors. Our example in a yellow-olive glass is quite special.
In 1833, George J. Moore, Jesse Moore’s older brother, arrived in Louisville, Kentucky from New England, and became a private banker at the age of 23 or so. Meanwhile, Jesse was in Worcester, Massachusetts where he married Hanna Cloff in 1830 who bore one daughter who died in 1843. Jesse re-married Lucy Cloff who died, childless, in 1846. It is believed that George invited Jesse to Kentucky after the death of his second wife. George J. Moore had since gone into the grocery business in Louisville as Moore, Fonda & Co.
George J. and Catherine had a son, George H. Moore who was schooled in Shelbyville and then worked in his father’s wholesale grocery business until 1858 when he went to work in Jackson, Mississippi as a bookkeeper in another large wholesale house. When the Civil War broke out, George H. volunteered for the Confederate army, was captured at Altoona, Georgia, and was a prisoner of war until 1865 when he returned to Kentucky.
Meanwhile, Jesse spent a missing 12 years, probably in Louisville. He returned to Worcester and married Frances Payne Melcher of Brunswick, Maine in 1858 and immediately took his bride to Louisville. A son, Edward H. Moore was born in 1859 and a second son, George, in June 1862. Jesse Moore appears in the 1861 Louisville directory as a wholesale liquor dealer listed as Jesse Moore, Liquors, 212 Second St. bet. Gray and Broadway. Apparently, Kentuckians did not take well to a Yankee whiskey dealer during the war, as Jesse and Frances were next found back in Worcester with the birth of a third son, Frank, in March 1865, a daughter, Jessie Louise, in 1867 and a second daughter, Mabel, in 1872.
George Henry Moore seems to have become a partner in Jesse’s business in 1868 as “Jesse Moore & Co., whiskies, 223 and 225 W. Main” in the 1890 Louisville directory. George H. Moore was involved in the distilleries of Moore & Selliger and as a partner with Jesse in Moore, Hunt & Co., wholesalers in San Francisco, and elsewhere. George H. is also described as a banker and philanthropist. In 1892, with Jesse 70 years old, George H. Moore bought out his uncle’s interests and Jesse retired. In Jesse’s obituary in Worcester in July 1898, he is described as “one of the largest whiskey distillers” and “has amassed a large fortune.” He had a net worth of $140,000 when he died.
Elia Chielovich was a native of the Kingdom of Dalmatia and was born about 1825. He was in California at least as early as 1856 and was simply listed as a merchant in San Francisco in the 1860 United States Federal Census. By 1867, he formed E. Chielovich & Co. in San Francisco in the business of wholesale wine and liquor sales. Among other ventures, he was an early investor in Sitka gold mines, which was not a successful venture for him.
Chielovich first introduced Jesse Moore whiskey into the western states in January 1872, at the time when Henry Brown Hunt was admitted to the firm. The partnership continued until August 18, 1875, when Henry B. Hunt withdrew from E. Chielovich & Co. and formed a partnership with George H. Moore in the style of Moore, Hunt & Co. In doing so, Hunt took the Jesse Moore brand with him.
The Jesse Moore-Hunt Co. is a consolidation which was formed in 1896 by two old and well-known firms—Jesse Moore & Co., and Moore, Hunt & Co., —into a corporation under the present name and including the business of both the old-time firms. One of the firms, Jesse Moore & Co began business in Louisville as long ago as 1853, and after building up and maintaining for many years, a business, of the first class, sold, in 1890 to Mr. G. H. Moore, who was also a partner of Moore, Hunt & Co., also an old and well-known firm, and the consolidation of the business later became a matter of course, and the business thus aggregated placed the new company among the largest controllers of trade in the city of Louisville.1905 Wine and Spirit bulletin of San Francisco
The distillery of the Jesse Moore-Hunt Co. is in Marion County, and the product turned out is among the finest of the many very fine Kentucky whiskeys. It is distilled after the old-style method, put up in high-class cooperage and stored in the most approved kind of warehouses, where the maturity brought about by the aging process makes as fine of whiskey anyone may wish to drink.
This company has an extensive bottling plant and distillery, where goods are bottled in bond under the eyes of the Government, and their trade is widespread as is the reputation of the Jesse Moore Whisky.
Primary Image: The Jesse Moore – Moore & Hunt bottle imaged on location by the FOHBC Virtual Museum midwest studio led by Alan DeMaison.
Support: Jesse Moore family archives by Gordon Eliot White, Deltaville, Virginia
Support: Whiskey Bottles of the Old West by John L. Thomas, 2002
Support: Secondary example images from the Westfall collection, Western Bitters News, Western Whiskies.com and American Bottle Auctions.