Posted on: June 19, 2017

First Female Mayor of Galveston, Jan Coggeshall, Passes at 81


Galveston, Texas – June 18, 2017 – Jan Coggeshall passed at 81 today. As the City’s first female Mayor, she left her mark on Galveston having served in numerous capacities, and on numerous committees throughout her life. 


Coggeshall was elected to Galveston City Council in April 1979. She later served as Mayor Pro Tem from 1983-1984 and was elected Mayor in April of 1984. She served until December 1989 when she resigned to run for the office of County Commissioner in Precinct 2.


A dedicated volunteer, she was a current member of the City’s Ethics Commission; appointed in April 2011. She also previously served on the City’s Galveston Housing Finance Corporation/Galveston Property Finance Authority, Arts and Historic Preservation Advisory Board, and the 1991 Election Recount Committee. She served as Chair of the Mayor’s Tourism Roundtable in March 1997, appointed by Mayor Freudenburg. Additionally, she served for many years on the Niigata, Japan Sister City Committee. Coggeshall also served the community on various boards and committees that promoted higher education, historical preservation, and more.


“Jan was a stalwart supporter of all things Galveston. Ahead of her time, her passion for historic preservation, and redeveloping the island made lasting impacts on our community." said Mayor James D. Yarbrough. “She was a good friend, and although she couldn’t claim to be a BOI, she has spent the last 40 years making it better than it was when she found it.”