Manning History

History of the Mannings of Manning House

He soon became interested in land surveying and a state-of-the-art science . . . electricity.  During his career, Levi Howell Manning would rise to the positions of General Manager of the Ice and Electric Company (owning controlling interest), Surveyor-General for the Territory of Arizona (appointed by President Cleveland from 1892-1896), and Mayor of Tucson from 1905 to 1907.

When Manning sold his interest in the Ice & Electric Company, he amassed a considerable fortune.  Dabbling in city development, Manning, along with his partner Epes Randolph, built the original Santa Rita Hotel in downtown Tucson.  Manning also was a major force in bringing the electric trolley to the area, but his primary interest was in ranching and the Manning home, with its accompanying land was a perfect fit for the family.  

Rotunda - Original Bedroom Suites

The Mansion's Beginnings

The Manning House was built in 1907 as the family residence for Levi Howell Manning, his wife, widow Gussie Lovell O'Connell Manning, and their children. Originally, the mansion was approximately 12,000 square feet and the Mannings lived in this home with Gussie's four children from her first marriage, the couple's shared son, Howell and later with Gussie's orphaned granddaughter, Mildred Lovell Coyle. Howell Manning, Sr. married and raised his two sons (Howell, Jr. and Marklan) in The Manning House during the 1920's and 30's.


The first major modification to the original living room section of the home (then known as a Parlor), came after Levi Howell Manning's death in 1935. Evelyn "Jinx" Longfellow Manning, the second wife of Howell Sr., redecorated the entire Red Room. Jinx's changes included a gray-wash on all the redwood walls and ceiling. She may have chosen to use this color to brighten up the dark room which was originally stained brown. 


Additionally, perhaps in an effort to feminize the look of the room, Jinx removed the original fireplace mantle and covered the river rock masonry surrounding the fireplace with redwood. Jinx's portrait adorned the fireplace mantle throughout the 1940's. One of the many historic photos displayed throughout The Manning House depicts the style of the Red Room in the 1940's. Jinx further modified the room by installing a ceiling in the two-story turret so the room might appear more cozy.

The Manning House, situated on 10 acres of fertile grazing pastures, was the family business that was passed down to the senior Howell and his sons. By 1949 the city was considered too urban so the family sold the mansion and moved 30 miles south of Tucson where they developed the Canoa Ranch.  It is believed that the ghost of Howell Manning still resides in the mansion.


The Manning House in 1908

Tucson's Founding

Hugo O'Conor

Manning History

Mansion History


Tucson Links

450 W. Paseo Redondo, Tucson, AZ   85701-8275;  Phone: (520) 770-0714, Fax (520) 770-0555
Copyright 2000-2005, The Manning House

Levi Howell Manning

In 1884, twenty year old Levi Howell Manning came to Tucson in search of adventure.   He began his career as a reporter for the Arizona Daily Star & Tucson Citizen newspapers.