Established by former Kentuckian Ben Holladay in 1856, McCormick began making whiskey for the expanding number of people moving west. Entrepreneurial Holladay knew that thirsty settlers were a natural market for whiskey, and with the large available water source, he opened his distillery in Weston, north of Kansas City, with his brother. Over the next several decades, Holladay helped to start the Pony Express, was nicknamed the âStagecoach Kingâ due to his Overland Stage Line and even owned steamships and railroad lines. The distillery stayed in the Holladay family until 1895, when it was sold to George Shawhan. After going through a series of owners, it has been privately held by a group of investors since 1993.