Selim Maurice Franklin was an attorney in Tucson, AZ. He represented numerous mining interests and property holders in Southern Arizona. He attended the University of California, passing the bar in 1883. That same year, Franklin came to Arizona to begin his practice.
The bulk of the collection consists of legal papers and financial records relating to mining companies, cattle companies, land grants, railroads, public utilities, banks, bankruptcies, estates, and property, mostly in Arizona. Similar material is also present from Franklin's father-in-law, William Herring, also an attorney. A smaller amount of material is present from Merrill P. Freeman, Tucson Postmaster and an associate of Franklin in various enterprises. Among the many groups represented are the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Co., Detroit Copper Mining Co., Mammoth-Collins Gold Mines Ltd., Mammoth Cyanide Co., Seventy-Nine Mining Co., South San Xavier Copper Co., San Rafael Cattle Co., "Y" Cattle Co., El Paso and Southwestern Railroad Co., and the Zeckendorf family.
An index to the hundreds of personal and corporate names, and also subjects, is present in the inventory. Franklin's family correspondence includes material from his uncle Lionel Mark Jacobs, a Tucson banker, whose estate papers are also present. Franklin's professional correspondence details activities in business investments, politics, the Arizona State Bar, and the University of Arizona. Major correspondents are Albert Steinfeld and H. W. Blaisdell.