About Frank McCoppin
Frank McCoppin (July 4, 1834, County Longford, Ireland – May 26, 1897, San Francisco, California) was the first Irish-born, and foreign-born Mayor of San Francisco. He was married in 1862 to Elizabeth Bird Van Ness in San Francisco, thereby becoming the son-in-law of former mayor James Van Ness.
McCoppin was a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary from 1851 until he emigrated to the United States in 1853. In 1860, he was made supervisor of the Market Street Railway, where he encouraged planting among the railroad tracks, to lessen the problem of drifting sands. Shortly thereafter, he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He then was elected mayor in 1867, serving from December 2, 1867 to December 5, 1869. He and the Board of Supervisors approved the plan for Golden Gate Park January 14, 1868. However, questions regarding his citizenship (word had leaked that he was not a naturalized U.S. citizen when he was supervisor or that he applied for citizenship during his term) led to his defeat in the 1869 election.
In 1886, he ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives, but lost to William W. Morrow. He later served two terms in the California State Senate. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland appointed him Postmaster of San Francisco, a position he held until his death from stomach cancer on May 26, 1897.
He is credited with recommending the use of ladybugs to control insect pests affecting the California citrus crop.
A small park, McCoppin Square, located in the Parkside District of San Francisco, is named in his honor, as are McCoppin Street in the Mission District and Frank McCoppin Elementary School, near Golden Gate Park.