Major Ernest Meyers Bernalillo County, New Mexico

The first wholesale liquor business established in Albuquerque was that of Dougher & Baca, founded in April. 1880. They built the first two story business house in the old town. Santiago Baca purchased the business in September, 1880, and Ernest Meyers became manager. The business was removed to the new town in 1881, and on January 6, 1885, was purchased by Lowenthal & Meyers. They were succeeded by Meyers, Abel & Company, and the latter firm, of which Ernest Meyers was the senior member, continued the business until January. 1905, when Mr. Meyers established the firm of Ernest Meyers & Company, on Silver Avenue.

Major Meyers enjoys the distinction in commercial circles of having been the first man to travel for a local liquor house of any kind in New Mexico, engaging in that work before the advent of the railroad. Born in Woodville, Wilkinson County, Mississippi, on July 6, 1857, he came to Las Vegas, New Mexico, by rail late in the year 1879, and proceeded from that point to Albuquerque by stage. In March, 1881, he made a trip on horseback from Albuquerque to Needles, California, about the same time the railroad surveying party started out under Klingman. This was the first trip ever made by a traveling salesman for any house through that part of the country. Major Meyers also shipped the first carload of beer to Prescott, Arizona. The majority of the men who engaged in the liquor business in the region west of Albuquerque in those early days, some of whom have since become millionaires, owe their start to him. Before the business was established in Albuquerque, Santa Fe dealers received from eighteen to twenty dollars per gallon for brandy that cost them not to exceed two dollars and a half per gallon, with a tax of but ninety cents. Major Meyers is authority for the statement that the first beer sent to this territory was that brewed by Dick Brothers, of Quincy, Illinois, and that the first cigars sold in Albuquerque, that is, sold by a jobbing house in any quantities, were known as the Red and Black. Whiskey was originally sold only by the barrel, but about the time the railroad came those buying in quantities purchased at a gallon rate instead of so much per barrel. Double Anchor and Pike's Magnolia, both rectified ninety proof goods, were the popular brands in those days. The second man to establish a wholesale liquor house was William E. Talbot. In a short time afterwards Charles Zeiger started the other liquor house.

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Source: History of New Mexico, Its Resources and People, Volume II, Pacific States Publishing Co., 1907.

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