Levi Manning was born in North Carolina, attended college in Mississippi, and moved to Tucson in 1884. He held a number of jobs in Tucson (e.g., reporter, U.S. Surveyor General for Arizona Territory), and by 1900 he established the L.H. Manning and Company commission brokerage house. He served one term as mayor of Tucson from 1905 to 1907. By 1910, he had expanded his activities into the ranching business.
In 1904, Manning filed for a 160-acre homestead in the Rincon Mountains, and in 1905 he had a cabin built there for use as a mountain summer home. The cabin was a retreat for his family from the heat of Tucson and a place where they could entertain friends. He was the first to build and own such a retreat in the Rincon Mountains. Known as Manning Cabin, it still stands today in the Rincon Mountain District of present-day Saguaro National Park.
For more on Levi Manning and his cabin, visit Levi Manning and Manning Cabin: Past and Present.