District Attorney Profile

James M. Livesay

James M. Livesay (DA 1881-1885)

JAMES McDOWELL LIVESAY (1847 - 1930)

First Judicial District, 1881 - 1885
Republican

As was Harper M. Orahood, James M. Livesay was an attorney from Central City. He opened his law office in 1876 and practiced with both Edward O. Wolcott and Henry M. Teller. 

Livesay was also a member of the Colorado Legislature and took over Orahood’s term as District Attorney in 1881. That same year, Colorado’s previous four judicial districts were divided into seven. Boulder remained in the First Judicial District, which included Boulder, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Grand, Jefferson, and Routt counties. Livesay won a three-year term in the election of 1882.

According to his obituary, Livesay’s first case as District Attorney was “the prosecution of a band of Indian horse thieves that had made life miserable for ranchers in Routt County.” He also prosecuted the Barney Day murder case, which stemmed from the outgrowth of a political feud that resulted in the death of several men.

During the Cripple Creek gold strike, Livesay was the attorney for the Cripple Creek Mine Owners and Operators. Afterwards, he was engaged in private practice. He died in Denver and is buried in Fairmount Cemetery.

In Wilbur Fiske Stone’s History of Colorado (1919), the author wrote of Livesay, “He is unassuming and decries sensationalism, notoriety, and fanaticism.”

Photo: Gravestone, Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Colorado

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