San Francisco County









      As the son of one of California’s distinguished pioneer attorneys and lawmakers, Nathan C. Coghlan has been a worthy successor to the fine traditions attached to the family name in California history. He is now engaged in the general practice of law in San Francisco, with offices at 605 Washington street.

      Mr. Coghlan was born in San Francisco, April 5, 1875, and is a son of the late John M. Coghlan and his wife, Eva (Coombs) Coghlan. The father crossed the western plains when he was a boy of thirteen years. He was a self-educated man, possessed of natural talents far beyond the ordinary, and was eventually admitted to the California state bar. He served as district attorney of Solano county in Fairfield, California, and for one term represented the Sacramento district in the United States congress. In 1876, he held the position of United States attorney in San Francisco. At another time, he received an appointment from President Grant to the important office of chief justice of the territory of Utah, but declined the honor. He died in 1879, when he was only forty-two years old. His wife, who survives him, is a native of Napa county, California. They became the parents of five children, three of whom are now living.

      Nathan C. Coghlan resided in Napa, California, until he had attained the age of seventeen years. He attended the Oak Mound Academy, where he did preparatory work for entrance to the university. However, he did not enter the higher educational institution, but engaged in the study of law in the office of the noted trial lawyer, Denis Spencer, and under this fortunate preceptorship he prepared himself for his life’s career. He was admitted to the California state bar in the year 1899, and since then has been generally regarded as one of the most able lawyers of San Francisco, with a clientage of extensive proportions. He is a member of the California State Bar Association. He has represented the people of the forty-first district in four sessions of the state assembly, in each of which he was rated as one of the most influential legislators. He was chosen each time on the republican ticket, which has always been his political affiliation.

      On June 10, 1918, in San Francisco, Mr. Coghlan was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Irene Burin, who is a native of San Francisco, and a daughter of Blass and Catherine (Fox) Burin. To their union have been born five daughters, whose names follow: Irene Eveline, Nathalie Isabelle, Helen Catherine, Elizabeth Louise and Virginia Marguerita. The family residence is at 365 San Leandro way in San Francisco.

      Mr. Coghlan is a loyal member of the Native Sons of the Golden West, and also belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He has continued to be a student ever since the early years when he was preparing so assiduously for the practice of law. Good books and history are favorite diversions in which he indulges, and he finds keen enjoyment in the companionship of his splendid family and the relaxation to be obtained in his own home. As a citizen of San Francisco, he holds a secure place, one which has never dimmed, but has maintained the lustre of the Coghlan name in California history.



Transcribed by: Jeanne Sturgis Taylor.

Source: Byington, Lewis Francis, “History of San Francisco 3 Vols”, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1931. Vol. 3 Pages 10-11.

© 2007 Jeanne Sturgis Taylor.










California Biography Project


San Francisco County