Interview with E. H. Taylor Hay, Jr., October 20, 2009

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries


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00:00:00 - Family background and land at Scotland Farm

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Partial Transcript: My name is Tom Troland. Today we're interviewing E. H. Taylor Hay, Jr.

Segment Synopsis: E. H. Taylor Hay, Jr. was born in San Diego, California in 1930 and moved around the country many times during his childhood before eventually settling in Kentucky. He talks about his family background, and traces the line of inheritance of his family's land outside of Frankfort, Kentucky back many generations. He describes the family's home, Thistleton.

Keywords: Air Force; Al Capone; Ancestry; Brothers; C. W. Hay; Chicago (Ill.); Cincinnati (Ohio); Colonel E. H. Taylor; Estates; Family history; Frankfort (Ky.); Furniture; Grandfathers; Grandmothers; Greek revival; Horses; Inheritance; Lineage; Los Angeles (Calif.); Louisville (Ky.); Manor houses; Mary Belle Taylor Hay; Private schools; Racetracks; San Diego (Calif.); Scotland Farm; Stories; Swigert Taylor; Thistleton; Virginia Military Institute

Subjects: Childhood; Distilleries--Kentucky; Families.; Genealogy.; Inheritance and succession.; Taylor, E. H. (Edmund Haynes), Jr., 1830-1923

00:11:24 - Relation to Commodore Richard Taylor

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Partial Transcript: Let's trace your lineage from E. H. Taylor, Jr.

Segment Synopsis: Hay traces his family lineage back to Commodore Richard Taylor, and gives a brief history of Commodore Taylor. He talks about the Commodore's role in the Revolutionary War, the land he received from a land grant after the war, and how the land was passed down to his sons, both named Richard.

Keywords: "Black Dick"; "Hopping Dick"; Ancestry; Colonel E. H. Taylor; Colonel Taylor; Commodore Richard Taylor; Family background; Family history; Land grants; Lineage; Louisville (Ky.); Revolutionary War; Richard Taylor, Jr.; Sons

Subjects: Families.; Genealogy; Inheritance and succession.; United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.

00:16:27 - Relation to Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr.

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Partial Transcript: Now "Hopping Dick"--or, uh, "Black Dick," uh, 'cause of the dark complexion--and, uh, they were both very powerful men--uh, became, uh, uh, very influential in Virginia and places like that.

Segment Synopsis: Hay discusses Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr.'s relation to Commodore Richard Taylor's legitimate son Richard (also called "Black Dick"). Hay describes the continuation of his family's lineage from Colonel Taylor to his own generation. He describes Colonel Taylor's homes, and talks about how he preserved artifacts from Taylor's home to use in his own. He talks about Colonel Taylor's personality and his interest in fashion.

Keywords: Ancestry; Artifacts; Canes; Clothes; Clothing; Colonel E. H. Taylor; Colonel Taylor; Commodore Richard Taylor; E. H. Taylor Hay; Family history; Fathers; George Rogers Clark; Grandmothers; Houses; Lineage; Locust Grove; Mantles; Mary Belle Taylor Hay; President Zachary Taylor; Privileges; Richard Taylor; Scotland Farm; Swigert Taylor; Thistleton; Virginia

Subjects: Distilleries--Kentucky; Distillers.; Fashion.; Genealogy; Inheritance and succession.; Taylor, E. H. (Edmund Haynes), Jr., 1830-1923

00:25:26 - Colonel Taylor's role in keeping Frankfort as Kentucky's state capital

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Partial Transcript: Let's, uh--(clears throat)--let's discuss a little bit where these stories came from.

Segment Synopsis: Hay talks about the stories he heard from his grandmother and other relatives about Colonel Taylor. He talks about Colonel Taylor's entrepreneurship and his ownership of distilleries. He describes the story of how Colonel Taylor worked to keep Frankfort as the capital city of Kentucky.

Keywords: Amendments; Bulls; Cattle; Death; E. H. Taylor; Entrepreneurs; Eugenia Hay Blackburn; Fathers; Fortunes; Grandmothers; James Pepper; Labrot & Graham; Legislation; Mary Belle Taylor Hay; Mayors; Resources; Senators; State capitals; Stories; Whiskey; Woodford Distillery

Subjects: Distilleries--Kentucky; Distillers.; Economic conditions.; Families.; Frankfort (Ky.); Kentucky--Politics and government; Taylor, E. H. (Edmund Haynes), Jr., 1830-1923; Whiskey industry--Kentucky

00:34:37 - Stories about Colonel Taylor and his children

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Partial Transcript: But this is another story and this one was told by my Aunt Eugenia when I was five and when I was eight.

Segment Synopsis: Hay tells several stories that illustrate the relationship between Colonel Taylor and his sons and daughters, including his criticism of a daughter for giving her dog a human name.

Keywords: Aunts; Chewing tobacco; Children; Colonel E. H. Taylor; Colonel Taylor; Criticism; Daughters; Dogs; Edmund Taylor; Frankfort (Ky.); Letters; Naming; Personality; Poetry; Sons; Stories; Uncles; Wife

Subjects: Families.; Inheritance and succession.; Taylor, E. H. (Edmund Haynes), Jr., 1830-1923

00:41:22 - Colonel Taylor's personality and marketing skills

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Partial Transcript: From what you know and what you've heard about Edmund Taylor, Jr., how would you summarize who he was?

Segment Synopsis: Hay describes Colonel Taylor's personality and his reputation as an entertainer. He talks about his marketing plan for increasing his whiskey's popularity in three major cities by putting empty bottles in trash cans. He talks about the original labels on Colonel Taylor's whiskey bottles.

Keywords: Buffalo Trace Distillery; Church; Drinking; Empty bottles; Entertaining; Fathers; Garbage barrels; Labels; Mark Brown; Marketing skills; Old Taylor bourbon whiskey; Personality

Subjects: Advertising.; Distilleries--Kentucky; Distillers.; Marketing.; Sales promotion.; Taylor, E. H. (Edmund Haynes), Jr., 1830-1923; Whiskey industry--Kentucky

00:51:09 - Colonel Taylor's finances and his role in the creation of the Bottled-in-Bond Act

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Partial Transcript: Tell us about the vest you're wearing.

Segment Synopsis: Hay talks more about Colonel Taylor's fashion sense. He talks about Colonel Taylor's personality, and how he earned and lost several fortunes throughout his lifetime. He talks about how Colonel Taylor had the first whiskey to earn the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, and his role in the creation of the Bottled-in-Bond Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act.

Keywords: Bottled-in-Bond Act; Broke; Clothes; Clothing; Colonel E. H. Taylor; Colonel Taylor; Creditors; Equipment; Europe; Finances; Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval; Government control; Indefatigable; Lobbying; Money; Poor; Powerhouse; Proof; Pure Food and Drug Act; Purity; Scotland Farm; Suits; Swigert Taylor; Taxes; Vests; Warehouse receipts; Well-dressed

Subjects: Alcohol--Law and legislation; Alcohol--Taxation--United States.; Bourbon whiskey; Distilleries--Kentucky; Distillers.; Economic conditions.; Fashion.; Kentucky--Politics and government; Quality control.; Quality of products.; Taylor, E. H. (Edmund Haynes), Jr., 1830-1923; Whiskey industry--Kentucky

00:58:59 - Colonel Taylor's legacy

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Partial Transcript: How would you summarize, in your view, E. H. Taylor's greatest legacy to the bourbon industry?

Segment Synopsis: Hay talks about Colonel Taylor's legacy as the "father of the bourbon industry." He talks about how Taylor's legacy continues through the generations of his family because of artifacts that have been preserved. He compares Colonel Taylor's legacy to Colonel Sander's legacy. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: "Father of the bourbon industry"; Architecture; Artifacts; Awards; Brands; Buildings; Colonel E. H. Taylor; Colonel Harland Sanders; Colonel Taylor; Cousins; Family; History; Houses; Kentucky Fried Chicken; Labels; Legacies; Mark Brown; Mint juleps; Misspelling; Old Taylor bourbon whiskey; Sazerac; Standards

Subjects: Bourbon whiskey; Buffalo Trace Distillery.; Distilleries--Kentucky; Distillers.; Families.; Frankfort (Ky.); Quality of products.; Sanders, Harland, 1890-1980; Taylor, E. H. (Edmund Haynes), Jr., 1830-1923; Whiskey industry--Kentucky