Cars Often Ahead of Schedule Declares a Street Car Man

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution
August 15th, 1913

Following Denham, J. R. Leach, a division superintendent for the Georgia Railway and Power company, took the stand. He was asked a number of questions by the defense about street car schedules, and on cross-examination proved a good witness for the prosecution by declaring that street cars frequently arrived in town some minutes ahead of their schedule and that the motorman and conductors were often punished for this. W. M. Mathews and W. T. Hollis who swore to bringing Mary Phagan to town on the day of the murder had declared that cars never reached town ahead of their schedules.

“Do you know the schedules of the street cars?” Mr. Arnold asked after the usual questions to show the jury who the witness was.


“Do you know the schedules of the Georgia avenue and the Washington street lines?”

Time to Cross Bridge.

He then told that both the lines cross the Broad street bridge and also pass the corner of Whitehall and Alabama streets.

“How long does it take a car to go from Broad and Marietta to Whitehall and Alabama?”
“It takes about three minutes if the streets are congested and about two minutes if there is no congestion.”

“If a man boards either car at Whitehall and Alabama streets, how long does it take to get to Washington street and Georgia avenue?”
“About ten minutes.”

“How long does it take the Washington street car to come from Glenn street to Whitehall and Alabama?”
“I should say ten minutes.”

Mr. Dorsey took up the cross-examination.

“Is there any such schedule as one that puts a car at Broad and Marietta street at seven and a half minutes after the hour?”
“No, not on the boards.”

“Do the men ever come in ahead of schedule?”
“Yes, frequently.”

“How long have you been with the company?”
“About fourteen years.”

“You suspended a man last week for getting in six minutes ahead of his schedule, didn’t you?”

Saw Car Come in Ahead.

“After Mathews and Hollis testified here that cars never came in ahead of schedule you stood at Broad and Marietta and saw a car on that same English avenue line come in ahead, didn’t you?”

On objection of the defense this particular question and answer was ruled out.

“Well, don’t cars frequently come in ahead of schedule?”
“Yes, they do.”

“When a crew knows that they are going to be relieved and want to catch another car, don’t they often run ahead of schedule?”

“Don’t men more often run ahead of schedule when they know they are going to be relieved or when their cars are going to the barn.”

“Yes, but we catch them at it other times, too.”

Runs Ahead of Schedule.

“Well, it’s impossible to keep the men from running ahead of schedule, isn’t it?” the solicitor next asked.

“I wouldn’t say it’s impossible to keep them from doing it, but they frequently do run ahead of their time.”

“It’s against the rules for the men to run ahead of schedule, isn’t it?” asked Mr. Arnold who again took up the [several words illegible].

“Yes,” replied the witness.

“You punish them for it, don’t you?”


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Atlanta Constitution, August 15th 1913, “Cars Often Ahead of Schedule Declares a Street Car Man,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)