THAT WHICH HE WOULD
Poor medicine as it is, work was ever the best salve known for a hurting heart. Franklin betook him to his daily work, and he saw success attend his labours. Already against the frank barbarity of the cattle days there began to push the hand of the “law-and-order” element, steadily increasing in power. Although all the primitive savage in him answered to the summons of those white-hot days to every virile, daring nature, Franklin none the less felt growing in his heart the stubbornness of the man of property, the landholding man, the man who even unconsciously plans a home, resolved to cling to that which he has taken of the earth’s surface for his own. Heredity, civilization, that which we call common sense, won the victory. Though he saw his own face in the primeval mirror here held up to him, Franklin turned away. It was sure to him that he must set his influence against this unorganized day of waste and riotousness. He knew that this perfervid time could not endure, knew that the sweep of American civilization must occupy all this land as it had all the lands from the Alleghenies to the plains. He foresaw in this crude new region the scene of a great material activity, a vast industrial development. The swift action of the early days was to the liking of his robust nature, and the sweep of the cattle trade, sudden and unexpected as it had been, in no wise altered his original intention of remaining as an integer of this community. It needed no great foresight to realize that all this land, now so wild and cheap, could not long remain wild and cheap, but must follow the history of values as it had been written up to the edge of that time and place.
Of law business of an actual sort there was next to none at Ellisville, all the transactions being in wild lands and wild cattle, but, as did all attorneys of the time, Franklin became broker before he grew to be professional man. Fortunate in securing the handling of the railroad lands, he sold block after block of wild land to the pushing men who came out to the “front” in search of farms and cattle ranches. His own profits he invested again in land. Thus he early found himself making much more than a livelihood, and laying the foundation of later fortune. Long since he had “proved up” his claim and moved into town permanently, having office and residence in the great depot hotel which was the citadel of the forces of law and order, of progress and civilization in that land.
The railroad company which founded Ellisville had within its board of directors a so-called “Land and Improvement Company,” which latter company naturally had the first knowledge of the proposed locations of the different towns along the advancing line. When the sale of town lots was thrown open to the public, it was always discovered that the Land and Improvement Company had already secured the best of