Photo Credit:
Nevada Historical Society

Governor Richard Kirman (1935 – 1938)

The information below has been compiled from a variety of sources. If the reader has access to information that can be documented and that will correct or add to this woman’s biographical information, please contact the Nevada Women’s History Project.

At A Glance:

Born: May 1878 (San Francisco, CA)
Died: 12 July 1947 (Carson City, NV)
Burial: Reno, NV
Maiden Name: Mabelle Jean King
Race/Nationality/Ethnic Background: Caucasian
Married: 19 Jan 1898 (San Francisco, CA)
Children: Richard, Claire
Primary City and County of Residence and Work:
Carson City, NV and Reno, NV
Major Fields of Work: First Lady
Other Role Identities: Wife, Mother
Obituary: Reno Evening Gazette   11 July 1947 p. 1:1

Mrs. R. Kirman Dies in Reno

Mrs. Maybelle Jean Kirman, wife of former Gov. Richard Kirman died this morning at a local hospital.  She had been in poor health in recent years.

Private funeral services will be held Monday at the Ross-Burke chapel with the Rev. John T. Ledger of Trinity Episcopal church officiating.

Mrs. Kirman was born in San Francisco 69 years ago.  She and Mr. Kirman were married in 1898 and for a time lived in Carson, then moved to Reno in 1900.  Mr. Kirman was president of the First National bank in Reno until that banking house was purchased by Bank of America.  Mr. Kirman served as governor of Nevada from 1934 to 1938, and during that time, Gov. and Mrs. Kirman resided in the governor’s mansion at Carson, then returned to their home on Court St., in Reno.

Mrs. Kirman was a member of the Eastern Star and Rebekah orders and the Delta Delta Delta mother’s club.

Besides her husband, she is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Wallace Taber of Reno; a granddaughter, Mrs. Jean Goodfellow, and a sister, Mrs. Ida Mae Clemens of Oakland, Calif. She was the cousin of Mrs. Sam Erwine of San Diego and Mrs. DeWitt White of Ridgefield, Wash. A son, Richard Kirman, jr., died recently.


  • “Kirman.” Reno Evening Gazette. 11 July 1947, sec. Death Notices: 18: Print.
  • “Mrs. R. Kirman Dies In Reno.” Reno Evening Gazette 12 July 1947:1. Print.
  • Myles, Myrtle T.. “Depression, World War II Governors: Nevada Governors Part VI.” Las Vegas Review Journal 7 June 1964, sec. The Nevadan: 24-25. Print.
  • Sawyer, Bette. ”Nevada’s 100 Years of First Ladies.” Nevada Centennial Magazine. 1964: p. 98-101. Print.
  • Myles, Myrtle Tate. “Richard Kirman.” Nevada’s Governors: From Territorial Days to the Present, 1861-1971. Sparks, NV: Western Printing & Publishing Company, 1972. 104-105. Print.
  • Governors’ Kids roll call.” Reno Gazette Journal 2 Nov. 1997, sec. B: 2. Print.
  • Nylen, Robert A., Guy Louis Rocha. “Mabelle Jean (King) Kirman.” State of Nevada: The Historical Governor’s Mansion. Carson City, Nevada: Dema Guinn, the Nevada Commission on Tourism, Nevada Magazine, and the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs, 2005. 38. Print.
  • Harpster Jack. “The Reluctant First Family: Richard Kirman.” 100 Years in the Nevada Governor’s Mansion, Las Vegas, NV: Stephens Press, LLC, 2009. 96-101. Print.