Omaha's rapid growth from 30,000 to 140,000 (more than a 350% increase) during the 1880s resulted in geographical expansion, notably to the south in the latter quarter of the 19th century. The Gallagher building is located 16 blocks south of downtown where horse railway lines had been extended along South 13th in the mid-1880s; the street became a major transportation route. The area also developed into a Czech enclave.
The Gallagher Building represents the beginning of the second generation of construction activity along 13th Street where masonry replaced old-style framing methods.
In addition to the butcher shop, the building also hosted such businesses as a grocery store, barber shop, art restorer, and neckwear manufacturer,