Born in Tuscola, Michigan on April 25, 1858, Manly Ormes graduated from Yale University in 1885. After teaching school for a year, he returned to college for a theological course and was ordained as a minister on August 18, 1889. He married Eleanor Reddie in 1890 in Philadelphia, and they came the parents of two sons (Robert and Ferguson) and two daughters, (Jean and Eleanor). In early 1890, Manly Ormes came to Colorado Springs, where he was named pastor of the Second Congregational Church. In 1904 he left the pulpit to become the Librarian for Colorado College. Ormes collected and indexed extensive historical data pertaining to the history of the Pikes Peak Region and over the years gained a reputation as the town's chief authority on historical events. One of his many notable achievements as librarian was his index of the Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph from its inception, a valuable resource still heavily used today. Ormes was a member of the Saturday Knights men's hiking group from 1905 on. Always interested in documenting the trails and campsites used by this group, he broadened the scope of his efforts to create a series of maps titled Mountain Trails of the Pikes Peak Region. These were published in several editions by the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce between 1913 and 1927.