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Manning family collection, ca. 1860-1950s

MS 350

Collection Summary

Creator: Manning family
Collection Name:Manning family collection,
Inclusive Dates: ca. 1860-1950s
Physical Description:1.6 linear feet
Abstract:Contains photographs of Manning family members, ca. 1860-1950s, including photographs at the Tucson family home (Paseo Redondo, also known as "Manning House") and at Manning Camp in the Rincon Mountains. Contains materials (articles, correspondence and personal papers) of the Manning family members as well as materials related to their properties.
Collection Number:MS 350
Repository: University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections
University of Arizona
PO Box 210055
Tucson, AZ 85721-0055
Phone: 520-621-6423
Fax: 520-621-9733

Biographical Note

The Manning Family was instrumental in the agricultural and urban development of Tucson and southern California during the late-nineteenth century. The family owned huge tracts of rich agricultural land in Arizona, California, and Mexico, were successful real estate developers, were active in local and national politics, and played a significant role in the growth of transportation technology in Tucson. Most of the family's fame and fortune was due to Levi Howard Manning, a kind of "Howard Hughes" figure of the southwest.

Levi Howard Manning (1864-1935) was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1864. His father was a state senator and the family owned a successful plantation in Holly Springs. According to family legend, Levi arrived in Tucson with a scandal hot on his heels. In 1882, at the age of eighteen, Levi came home from college for spring vacation with a fraternity brother. There was a circus in town, and the two went, managing to free an elephant while there. The elephant subsequently ransacked the town. When Levi told his mother, she told Manning that he should leave town before his father found out about his escapade. Levi left town that day with a small amount of money from his mother and her best carriage horses. He arrived in Tucson in 1883 (some accounts say 1884), penniless. Manning's enterprising nature soon led him from a job hauling buckets of water to working as a reporter for the Tucson newspapers the Star and the Citizen. A few years later, Manning turned to agriculture and mining. He married Cordelia (Gussie) Lovell O'Connell, a renowned beauty and member of an established Tucson family.

The exact date of the rise of Manning's fortunes is unknown, but between his arrival in Tucson and his election as its 17th mayor, Manning managed to get involved in a variety of successful ventures. Manning and his business partners spent millions of dollars developing land in the Santa Cruz Valley, and built and equipped the Santa Rita Hotel. His involvement in the reorganization of Tucson Gas, Electric Light & Power Co. paved the way for the installation of power for a street railway system. Additionally, Manning discovered Signal Hill in California, a site of rich oil deposits. Under President Cleveland, Manning served as Surveyor Governor of Arizona Territory.

In 1906, Manning began his first venture into cattle farming with his purchase of what would become known as Scotch Farms, a 500 acre ranch between Tucson and the San Xavier Mission. Eight years later, in 1914, Manning bought the entire Canoa Land Grant, which at that time spanned west from the base of the Santa Rita Mountains across the Avra Valley (ca. 40,000 acres). After purchasing the ranch, Manning developed it into what was considered one of the finest cattle ranches in the southwest, running mostly Hereford cattle, but also breeding Arabian horses. In 1916, the southern half of the ranch was sold to the Intercontinental Rubber Company, which was at that time experimenting with the production of guayule as a wartime substitution for rubber. Manning later acquired land adjacent to the southern half of the Canoa, to create a ranch of nearly 100,000 acres, and began a scientific breeding program to improve the quality of his cattle.

In 1921, Manning's son, Howell (1899-1966) assumed the daily operation of the ranch. Howell had attended Culver Military Academy and Dartmouth College before joining the army as a machine gunner during World War I. Howell, who later became known as "Big Howell," leased or sold large portions of the Canoa ranch, mainly to finance a farming and ranching operation in Guaymas, Mexico. Howell was known as a sportsman and frequently went on long ocean fishing expeditions in Mexico. In the mid-1920s, Howell married Margaret Ferguson, and had two sons, Howell Jr. (killed in a car accident in 1951) and Marklan. The marriage lasted approximately ten years, and in 1933 Howell married his second wife, Evelyn. In 1935 the couple had a daughter, Clare (known as "Jinx").

In 1949, the family home, Paseo Redondo, was sold to the Tucson Elks Lodge (Levi H. Manning had been a member of the Lodge). The Elks owned the property until 1979, when it was sold to a local real estate developer. The house, located in downtown Tucson, still stands.

Scope and Content Note

The photographs in this collection primarily depict members of the family in formal and informal poses. There is little here that documents their activities as cattle farmers. A series of cynotypes from the early part of the 20th century documents the family's vacations at their camp in the Rincon Mountains. A series of panoramic photographs of Gussie Manning and members of the Elks Lodge was probably taken in the 1930s, rather than twenty years earlier, as the notation on the back of the prints.


The photographs are arranged chronologically for the primary members of the family and extended family thereafter. Notations have been made for particular studios or photographers where applicable. Print materials are arranged chronologically for family members and followed by materials related to the properties.





It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents for the University of Arizona, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Ferguson, Margaret
Foster, Jessie Louise O'Connell.
Manning, Claire.
Manning, Evelyn Lockhart,1970
Manning, Howell, Jr.,1923-1951
Manning, Howell,1899-1966.
Manning, Levi Howard,1864-1935.
Manning, Marklan
Manning-Catron, Deezie
O'Connell, Cordelia (Gussie) Lovell.
Yeager, Mildred Lovel Coil.

Corporate Name(s)
Canoa Ranch.
Intercontinental Rubber Company
Tucson Gas and Electric Co.

Ranching -- Arizona
Avra Valley (Ariz.)
Land grants -- Arizona
Manning Camp -- Arizona -- Rincon Mountains.
Manning House -- Arizona -- Tucson
Santa Cruz River Valley (Ariz. and Mexico)
Signal Hill (Calif.)

Administrative Information

Credit Line

Manning family collection (MS 350). Special Collections, University of Arizona Libraries.

Container List

11 Levi Howell Manning Contains Photos, including Gilbert Studios, Earl V. Lewis Co., and invitation. , No Date
12 Cordelia "Gussie" Lovell Manning, Contains Photos, including Buehman Studios. , No Date
13 Jesse Louise O'Connell Foster, Contains Photos, including Buehman Studios. , No Date
14 Howell Manning, Contains Photos, including Steckel Studios, Pereira Studios. , 1899-1905
15 Howell Manning, Contains Photos, including Buehman Studios. , 1905-1911
16 Howell Manning, Contains Photos. , 1911-1950
17 Howell Manning, Jr., Contains Photos. , No Date
18 Mildred Lovel Coil Yeager, Contains Photos. , No Date
19 Family, Contains Photos. , 1900-1905
110 Family, Contains Photos, including Buehman Studios. , 1900-1905
111 Family, Contains Photos. , 1910-1930
112 Family, Contains Photos. , 1910-1930
113 O'Connel Family, Contains Photos, including J.H. Heering's Gallery, Buehman Studios, G. R. White's Gallery, W.W. Wright's Gallery, Putnam Gallery and a tin type. , No Date
114 Miscellaneous Family Contains Photos, including The New Phpotographic Art Company, Brady's National Portrait Gallery, Buehman Studios. , No Date
115 Manning Camp, Rincon Mtns. Contains Cynotypes and Photos. , No Date
116 Elks at Paseo Redondo Contains Photos. , 1930's
21 Levi Howell Manning Tributes Contains articles. , 1939, 1984
22 Howell Manning Materials Contains Personal Papers, articles. , 1966
23 Howell and Deezie Manning Correspondence. , 1948-1955
24 Manning Family Ancestry. , No Date
25 Evelyn Lockhart Manning Materials Contains articles and correspondence. , 1966-2000
26 Howell Manning Jr. Materials Contains Personal Papers, articles. , 1946-1951
27 Deed of Land Grant- Canoa Ranch Contains photocopy of grant and article. , 1872
28 Canoa Ranch Historical Perspectives Contains articles, brochures, and pamphlets. , No Date
29 Canoa Ranch Development Contains articles. , 1988-2001
210 Manning House Historical Perspectives Contains articles and brochures. , No Date