Nathan Gallinger (d.1886) immigrated to the United States from Bavaria in the 1840s. He settled in Somerset, Ohio, before moving to Pittsburgh in 1850 to open a dry goods store downtown. By 1854, Gallinger also owned a jewelry and brokerage business.
The young Jewish community of Pittsburgh was beginning to establish basic institutions at that time. Gallinger was among the first officers of the Bes Almon Society, a burial society considered to be the first Jewish communal organization in the city. Along with the Franks, the Strassburgers and other families, he also helped found the first congregation.
Nathan married Sarah Katzenstein Gallinger (1822-1886) of Aschenhausen, Saxe-Weimer, Germany. She was one of the first officers of the Hebrew Ladies’ Aid Society. They had eight children, Samuel, Joseph, Caroline, Abraham, Jacob, Ella, Rachel and Meyer.
Their oldest child, Samuel Gallinger, was about 16 when the Civil War began, and he joined the Union Army. His brother Joseph Gallinger, who was only 14 at the time, apparently lied about his age to join the 123rd Infantry, B Company.
Upon their return after the war, the brothers opened Gallinger & Company, a “glassware and lamp goods” store downtown. Samuel Gallinger (1845-1910) married Sarah Kraus (1852-1938). They had six children, Meyer, Frank, Horace, Blanche, Millie and Nathan.
After courting for months at social events in Pittsburgh, Horace Greely Gallinger (1874-1942) and Antoinette Ohlman (1878-1957) were married by Rodef Shalom Rabbi Reverend Lippman Meyer in 1901 at the Commercial Hotel in Meadville. “The wedding occurred in the large main parlor, which was banked at the front with foliage, with garlands of smilax and beautiful reliefs of roses, with the initials of the two families, “O. G.,” in evergreen suspended above,” read a wedding notice in various newspapers.
Horace and Antoinette Gallinger had two daughters, Ruth and Marion. The family lived in Allegheny City for a time before moving to Squirrel Hill. Gallinger started the Iron City Laundry in McKees Rocks in 1903 before going into the real estate business.
In 1928, Horace and Nettie Gallinger were among the 63 guests who sailed to Paris to celebrate the silver anniversary of the drug store magnate Walter and Mollie May. The “May party,” as it was called, made national news. Local papers described it as being “one of the most unique and costly entertainments ever held in the history of Pittsburgh.”
The Gallinger and Ohlman families were further intertwined in 1901 when Horace’s sister Millie Garfield Gallinger married Antoinette’s brother Albert Nathan Ohlman.