Alabama Distilling Company

From Bhamwiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is about the historic distillery on Five Mile Creek. For the Tuscaloosa company, see Alabama Distilling Co. (Tuscaloosa).

The Alabama Distilling and Feeding Company or Alabama Distilling and Stock Company was a distillery incorporated by J. L. Lockwood, Edley Oden and his son James in March 1898, describing its business as "the distillation of spirits from grain and fruit and preparing stock for market." The company's $11,000 distilling plant was constructed on the banks of Five Mile Creek north of East Lake. It kept cattle and hogs in pends, which were "fed from the refuse of the still."

On October 4, 1898 the company's plant and livestock were confiscated by U.S. Revenue Collector Julian Bingham on behalf of the United States for selling liquor without paying revenue taxes. The Odoms were taken into custody along with the government-appointed store keeper and gauger O. F. Myer, who was alleged to have aided the owners in evading taxes. The civil procedure was concluded by November 1 with the plant returned to the custodianship of its owners while criminal cases proceeded. The still was put back into operation on December 28 with J. J. Donegan appointed as gauger in place of Myer.

In 1901 Lynchburg, Tennessee distiller Frank "Spoon" Motlow became an investor in the Alabama Distilling Company.

In November 1901 the Jefferson County Sanitary Commission accused the distillery of polluting the creek by letting the waste from its hog pens to flow into the stream.

In December of the same year, Edley Oden filed a suit alleging that Lockwood had promised the ownership of the still and the land on which it was constructed as security against his thousands of dollars of debts to Oden. The dispute had previously come to blows, resulting on Oden nearly losing an eye.

In March 1905 the People's Savings Bank and Trust successfully sued the Distilling Company for $302.


  • "New Corporation" (March 9, 1898) The Birmingham News, p. 3
  • "Operators of the Big Distillery Near East Lake in Uncle Sam's Custody." (October 5, 1898) The Birmingham News, p. 7
  • "Uncle Sam Refused to Compromise Case With the Alabama Distilling Company" (October 25, 1898) The Birmingham Age-Herald, p. 2
  • "The Government Releases the Whiskey Distillery at East Lake to the Owners." {November 1, 1898) The Birmingham News, p. 2
  • "Claim Still Pollutes Water" (November 17, 1901) The Birmingham Age-Herald, p. 5
  • "Oden Wants the Still" (December 25, 1901) The Montgomery Advertiser, p. 3