Nebraska Memories: The Paxton & Gallagher Legacy

P&G CookbookThis week we received, as a gift, a copy of the Paxton & Gallagher 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Cookbook, 1864-1939.  It has been wonderful to leaf through the recipes and handwritten notes, and wonder about the company who produced them, as well as the many cooks who used them. As it turns out, there are several pictures related to Paxton & Gallagher in Nebraska Memories, so here is a brief history of the company and its’ founders: Paxton & Gallagher Wholesale Grocery was founded in 1879 by two Omaha businessmen: Ben Gallagher and William A. Paxton, and in a few short years became one of the largest grocery companies in the West.   Paxton started out as a cattleman, then became a banker who had his hand in many different businesses in Omaha and Nebraska.  Examples of Nebraska Memories pictures of some of his ventures are, from left to right: The Paxton Hotel, the Paxton & Vierling Iron Works, and the Nebraska Telephone Company (in which Paxton was a principal stockholder). Paxton HotelP&VNETelephone         Gallagher, on the other hand, was a grocery man only, and previously operated a series of general stores all along the Union Pacific railroad route. The original Paxton & Gallagher store was located at 15th and P&GFarnam Street in downtown Omaha, but later moved to a four story complex at 701-711 S. 10th Street. Paxton & Gallagher hit it big when they launched their Butter-Nut line of foods, and especially after 1913 when they began selling Butter-Nut brand coffee, a name that many people remember, and is still around today. Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials. Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see Participating in Nebraska Memories for more information, or contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.  
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25 Responses to Nebraska Memories: The Paxton & Gallagher Legacy

  1. J. Harris says:

    is there a Paxton and Gallagher Museum or Historical website ? I have a vintage 3 pound coffee tin, dark red in color with stenciled lettering in silver paint. It reads: PAXTON’S GAS POASTED COFFEE. THE ONLY GAS ROASTERS”. I have been unable to find a similar image anywhere. This tin came from a “tie hacker’ camp in northern Utah where workers felled trees and made rough cut ties for the Transcontinental R/R.Any help would be appreciated.

  2. Heath Honeywell says:

    I have a paxton and Gallagher wood burning stove. Labeled pagoma no. 161. Anyone know anything about it? I’m not having a bunch of luck….

  3. Bob McCoy says:

    There is a sculpture of a P-G salesman on the east end of the ticket counter in the Durham Museum (Union Station, Omaha). The following is an excerpt from the docent’s guide:

    1930s Salesman
    A Paxton-Gallagher salesman who sells canned food, standing at the arrivals/departures board checking the track number of his train. The trunk next to him contains samples of the products he sells. … The year 1931 was the depth of the depression. For some, the station was a building that represented traveling to happier places and better times.

  4. Clarice Kinzer says:

    I just found a beautiful Butter-Nut 1 qt Salad Dressing jar. I beautiful lines Art Deco. I wish I could post a photo. It’s complete with the label and lid.

  5. Kurtis Jay Johnson says:

    Thank you for the info!

    I collected a Pagoma Bit Brace tool made for Paxton & Gallagher Co. of Omaha by Peck, Stowe and Wilcox. It is top tier in quality. I’m still researching it’s manufacture date range.

    A fun fact: the brand “Pagoma” is derived from (PA)xton & (G)allagher Co. of (OMA)ha. There are a wide variety other tools and household appliances with this branding, although this is the first I’ve come across in 7 years of tool collecting.

    Here is a link to an identical bit brace without the PAGOMA branding:

  6. Shirley Pabla says:

    Do you know when Paxton and Gallagher distributed 2lb jars of peanut butter I have a jar and a label but I can’t find any information about it thank you

  7. Georgia Martin says:

    I have a can of Pure Mustard ButterNut Foods Brand but cannot find anything about it on the web. Can you direct meto a site where I can find this item?

    • Mary Sauers says:

      Good afternoon Georgia,

      I have not been able to locate anyone who sells Butter-Nut mustard, and I’m pretty sure Butter-Nut as a company does not exist anymore. Butter-Nut Coffee is the only product that survives, and it is owned by Procter & Gamble.

      Thank you!

      Mary Sauers
      Nebraska Library Commission

  8. Charlene L Walsh says:

    Do you have any idea where I can find a Paxton and Gallagher cookbook? I have one about in shreds and absolutely love it. I would so appreciate it if you could possibly help me. Thank you.

  9. Peggy says:

    My grandfather, James A. Milne worked for the company for over 20 years in the 1900s as a salesman out in the Wyoming Nebraska area.

  10. Jeff Hachmeister says:

    Is there any information on a Paxton and Gallagher Monitor car horn. I have one and would like to know how old it might be.

  11. Cameron says:

    I am a knife collector and I just picked up a Paxton and Gallagher Omaha two blade Office Knife. Its an amazing piece and I’m having trouble getting an accurate date of manufacturer. Or even finding out who made the knives for P and G . I also believe the handles are Ivory . Please any help would be appreciated.

  12. Richard Howells says:

    I recently received from Colt Firearms Archives a report on a .25 caliber Colt pistol that I own. They indicated that it was originally shipped (as part of a shipment of 24 pistols) to Paxton & Gallagher Company in Omaha, Neb on November 4th, 1916. So it appears that they sold more than groceries and knives.

    • Paul Harlow says:

      I also have a letter from Colt for a Colt SAA shipped to Paxton & Gallagher 10th & Farnam on October 11th 1956. This Colt was part of a shipment of 5.

  13. Jodi Zaura says:

    We have a Butter Nut coffee can, and the lid is embossed with the statement…
    “Save Strip for Christmas Club”. Can you tell me where I can find out about this feature.
    The key to open the metal can is still attached to the can’s bottom.

    • Mary Sauers says:

      Perhaps the largest Christmas gift list in the world, Butter-Nut begins its charity program, delivering gifts to around 40,000 children each year. By 1973, an estimated 1 million gifts had been donated to underprivileged children. Butter-Nut coffee drinkers mailed in their tin strips or jar labels from cans of Butter-Nut Coffee, and for each received, Butter-Nut donated gifts to homeless children, including wagons, sleds, dolls, books, games, marbles, jump ropes, balls, jacks, skates, and tons of candy and nuts!”
      To read the whole history of Butter-Nut Coffee, please visit
      Thank you!

  14. Scott B says:

    We just found a copy of this in a cabinet in the kitchen. The cover is missing, but so many handwritten recipes. Most from my grandmother and great grandmother. In addition to their friends. So awesome to find out how old this is!!!

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