|Thomas A. Livesley, mayor of Salem
from 1927 to 1931, was known as the "Hop King of Oregon"
He served in the legislature as Marion County State Representative
from 1937-39. He built and owned the First National Bank Building
in 1926-27. After his death the building was called the Livesley
Building and more recently the "Capitol Tower or
Center". Another noted structure he left the community
is the former Livesley family home on Lincoln Street in the
Fairmont Hill district. This home on the National Register,
is now called "Mahonia Hall" and is the Oregon Governor's
Thomas A. Livesley was born in 1863, in .Ironton, Wisconsin.
and came to Salem in 1894. His father Samuel had been a prominent
hop dealer in Wisconsin, and Washington State. Soon after
Thomas Livesley's arrival in Salem, he bought a large hop
ranch, and by 1924 his company had four hop ranches in the
Salem area. T.A.Livesley & Co. grew about one million
pounds of hops in the early 1920s: about one-tenth of that
grown in Oregon, and 1/30th of the annual production world-wide.
As one of Oregon's largest hop brokers, his business was approximately
60% brokerage and 40% production. He was noted as a social
reformer, providing good living conditions for the seasonal
field workers in the hop industry. His Lakebrook Farm in 1924
was the first to provide a day nursery, school, playgrounds
and medical facilities. Livesley was also vice president of
Oregon Linen Mills, an industry he helped secure for Salem.
In 1926-27 he erected and owned the First National Bank Building
at 388 State Street (Salem's eleven floor "skyscraper".)
After his death in 1947, it was renamed the Livesley Building
and later known as the "Capitol Tower" or "Capitol
The former Livesley family home on Lincoln Street SE, a Tudor-style
mansion designed by Ellis Lawrence, was built in 1924 and
occupied by the Livesley family for 34 years. It was sold
in 1958 and had four more owners before being purchased by
the State of Oregon as the official governor's mansion. It
is now known as "Mahonia Hall" after the state flower,
the "Oregon grape".
A civic leader, as well as a successful farmer and business
entrepreneur, Livesley served as mayor of Salem from 1927-1931
and State Representative for Marion County 1937-1939. He was
known as "The Good Roads Mayor" because his priorities
included bridge, street, alley and sidewalk improvements.
At least 13 concrete bridges were built during his tenure.
Other major projects included expanding fire protection, new
playgrounds, the Salem Airport, street lights and traffic
signals. He was interested in development that preserved the
beauty of Salem. Credited for his repeated efforts to establish
a city council-manager form of government, he lived to see
it take effect, before dying in 1947, at the age of 84.
Researched and written by Suzanne B. Morrison
Author: Mission Mill Museum
Title: Program for Panegyric II Date/Copyright - Reprint Date:
Jan 13, 1973
Publisher/City of Publication: Mission Mill Museum
SOURCE: Marion Co. Historical Society