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Nevada's First Ladies


 (*daughter, acted in Hostess role during his administration)
Governor Lewis R. Bradley (widower) (1871 – 1878)

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.belknap

At a glance:

Born: 28 Sept 1847 (Fayette County, MO)
Died: 24 Sept 1925 (San Francisco CA)
Burial: San Francisco, CA

Maiden Name: Virginia Hode “Jennie” Bradley
Race/nationality/ethnic background: Caucasian
Married: 27 Feb. 1873 (Carson City) to Judge Charles H. Belknap
Children:  Virginia, Dita, Alden, Caroline, Bradley
Primary city and county of residence and work:
Carson City NV, San Francisco CA.
Major fields of work: Governor’s Official Hostess
Other role identities: Wife, Mother





Obituary: Carson City Daily Appeal 7 October 1926:1

Judge Charles Henry Belknap died Wednesday at the home of a daughter, 32 West Clay Park, San Francisco, thirteen days after the death of his wife.

Born in Newberg, N.Y., eighty-five years ago, Belknap came to Nevada as a young man and settled in Virginia City, where he formed a law partnership and married Miss Virginia Bradley, daughter of Lewis R. Bradley, the governor.  She died September 23 last.

Governor Bradley appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1874 and he served continuously on the bench for thirty-two years, retiring in 1906.  Two years later Judge Belknap moved to San Francisco. 

Surviving him are his four children, Virginia, Dita and Alden Belknap and Mrs. Caroline B. Brown with whom the judge made a home.   

[Judge Belknap’s obituary was substituted for Virginia’s because of the absence  of  substantive biographical information in her  obituary].



  • “Judge Charles H. Belknap.” Virginia Evening Chronicle [Virginia City]Feb. 1873:2. Print.
  • Wren, Thomas: A History of the State of Nevada, its Resources and people.”  New York, New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1904. 380.  Print.
  • “The marriage at the Governor’s Mansion.” Carson Daily Appeal 26 Feb. 1873:3. Print.
  • Wife of Judge Belknap Dies in San Francisco.” Carson City News 26 Sept 1926: 1. Print.
  • “Judge Charles Belknap Dies in San Francisco.” Carson City Daily Appeal 7 Oct. 1926:1. Print.
  • “Former Carsonites Die in California.” Carson City News 9 Oct. 1926:1. Print.
  • “Old Broadhorns’ Bradley a former Nevada Governor.” Richmond Times Dispatch [Richmond, Virginia] 24, Aug. 1967. Print.
  • “Old Broadhorns” Former Silver State Governor.” Nevada Appeal [Carson City] 15 Sept. 1967:9. Print.
  • “Bradley, Virginia Hode Belknap.” N.F.L.A. Biographies Vertical File. Nevada State Library and Archives, Carson City, Nevada. Print.
  • Sawyer, Bette. “Nevada’s 100 Years of First Ladies.” Nevada Centennial Magazine 1964: p. 125. Print.
  • Nylen, Robert A., and Guy Louis Rocha. “Virginia Hode Willis Bradley.” 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. 23 Print.
  • Myles, Myrtle Tate. “Lewis Rice Bradley.” Nevada’s Governors: From Territorial Days to the Present, 1861-1871. Sparks, NV: Western Printing & Publishing Company, 1972, 21-22. Print.
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