Still Toasting Jack Daniel

by M-Rebeiro

Jack Daniel’s grave in the Lynchburg Cemetery. The chairs are for the ladies.

Jasper Newton “Jack” Daniel was a famous distiller known to this day for his company’s whiskey. He was born in 1850 in Lynchburg, Tennessee, a small town in a county that is, ironically, dry despite the location of the distillery. In a cautionary tale about early morning frustration, Jack Daniel died from complications from a broken toe after kicking his safe when he couldn’t remember the combination.

Shortly after the incident, he developed gangrene and lost his leg. Over the years, his health got worse and he trained his nephew, Lem Motlow, in the ways of the distillery before eventually succumbing to complications from the surgery in 1911. He was 56. His last words were, “One last drink, please”.

The Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee offers regular tours and an oft told joke during tours is that Daniel should have just dipped his toe in a glass of his own whiskey to clean it.

Daniel is interred at the Lynchburg town cemetery, with two chairs adorning his memorial. According to rumor, the long-time childless bachelor placed the chairs there for local ladies to sit and mourn his passing. Additionally, there is a statue of him adorning the entrance to the cave that leads to the spring which has been providing water for the distillery for over 130 years.

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Tennessee history, preservation and artifacts

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