The Gilligan Family, 1970-1974
John Gilligan and his wife Katie occupied the Residence from 1970 to 1974. After being used as the Governor’s home for almost two decades, the Residence was in poor condition. The Gilligans had to contend with a leaking roof and other problems with the house.
Unlike her predecessors who entertained visitors at teas and luncheons in the Residence almost every day, Mrs. Gilligan helped to change the role of Ohio’s First Lady. She worked as an advocate for the mentally ill, establishing a precedent for future First Ladies to support selected causes during their tenures. Mrs. Gilligan also hosted private exhibitions displaying works by young artists at the Residence.
Governor and Mrs. Gilligan had four adult children who were frequent visitors to the Residence. Their two eldest children were married at the Residence, including daughter Kathleen who married Gary Sebelius in 1974. She became Governor of Kansas in 2003.