The country Frank Springer rode into in 1873 was one of immense beauty and abundant resources - grass and timber, wild game, precious metals, and a vast bed of commercial-grade coal. It was also a stage upon which dramatic and sometimes violent events played out. A lawyer and newspaperman for the Maxwell Land Grant company and a foe of the speculators known as ""the Santa Fe Ring,"" Springer found himself in the middle of the Colfax County War. A man of many sides, he typified the Gilded Age entrepreneurs who transformed the territorial American Southwest. As president of the Maxwell Land Grant company, Springer led in the development of mining, logging, ranching, and irrigation enterprises. His Supreme Court victory establishing title to the 1.7 million acre Maxwell grant earned him a reputation as a brilliant attorney.
DAVID L. CAFFEY is the author of the award-winning Land of Conflict, Land of Enchantment: New Mexico in English-Language Fiction. He is the Vice-president for Institutional Effectiveness at Clovis Community College in Clovis, New Mexico.