Clashes Between Lawyers Mark Effort to Impeach Negro Cook

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 20th, 1913

E. H. Pickett, an employee of the Beck & Gregg Hardware company, and the man mentioned by Roy Craven on the witness stand, was next put up as a witness for the state.

He corroborated what Craven said and through him the state made an open fight to impeach Minola McKnight and also to contradict Mrs. Emil Selig, who, on cross-examination, denied the conversation she is said to have had with the cook in urging her to keep quiet about what she had seen at the Frank home.

“Were you present when this affidavit of Minola McKnight was signed?” asked Mr. Dorsey.

“Yes!”

“Who signed it?“

“Minola McKnight.”

“Did you talk to her before she signed it?”

“Who was present before she signed it?”

Continue Reading →

Chronological Table of Frank’s Actions on Day of Murder

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 22nd, 1913

This is the chronological table of Frank’s actions on the date of the murder which was displayed in chart form yesterday afternoon during Attorney Arnold’s speech:

 7:30 a.m.—Minola McKnight.

8:26 a.m.—Frank arrives at factory. Sees Holloway, Alonzo Mann and Roy Irby.

9:00 a.m.–Darley, Wade Campbell, Mr. Lime, Mattie Smith.

9:20 a.m.—Miss Mattie Smith leaves building.

9:40 a.m.—Darley and Frank leave building.

10:00 a.m.—Telephones Schiff to come to office.

Continue Reading →

Frank Ends Statement After Testifying Four Hours

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 19th, 1913

“I’VE TOLD THE WHOLE TRUTH” SAYS PRISONER CONCLUDING DRAMATIC STORY TO THE JURY

Discussing Much-Fought-Over Point of His Alleged Nervousness on the Morning of the Murder, Superintendent Admits It Freely. Declaring That Any Man in His Place Would Have Been Similarly Affected—Speaks Bitterly of His Treatment by Members of Detective Force, and Says That One Reason Why He Would Not Consent to Meet Conley Was That the Officers Would Have Distorted His Words.

MOTHER AND WIFE OF DEFENDANT EMBRACE HIM WHEN HE LEAVES STAND

Declares Story of Conley Was a Lie From Beginning to End, and Denies Charge of Miss Jackson That He Ever Locked Into Dressing Room of Girl Employees—-He Tells of Mary Phagan Coming to Office to Get Her Pay Envelope Shortly After Noon on April 26. Says That He Gave Detectives Clue That Conley Could Write, Which Led to Arrest of Negro Sweeper—No Fund Raised for His Defense, He Asserts.

“Some newspaper man has called me “The Silent Man in the Tower.’ Gentlemen, this is the time and here is the place! I have told you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!”

Continue Reading →

Says He Punched Time Clock on Wrong Number

Says He Punched Time Clock on Wrong NumberAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, April 30th, 1913

Harry Denham’s Story Indicates Miss Annie Howell Wasn’t in Factory

The time clock at the National Pencil company’s factory, where Mary Phagan was murdered, shows that employe [sic] No. 141 registered off at 3:07 p. m. last Saturday.

This is the number of Miss Annie Howell, of 664 East Fair street, and at first the detectives thought she might be able to throw some light on the mystery.

It developed later, however, that this must have been a mistake. Harry Denham, one of the men employed in the factory, claims that he punched her by mistake, and then punched his own number, which is 143, as a correction.

The clock shows that No. 143 was punched at 3:09 p. m. on Saturday.

* * *

Atlanta Journal, April 30th 1913, “Says He Punched Time Clock on Wrong Number,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Hearing for Gantt at 3 P.M. Wednesday

Hearing for Gantt 3 pm WednesdayAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, April 30th, 1913

Judge Gober Says His Client Will Be Taken Before Justice of the Peace Powers

J. M. Gantt, held on a warrant charging the murder of Mary Phagan, will given a hearing before Justice F. M. Powers at 3 o’clock Wednesday afternoon. Gantt was Tuesday afternoon transferred from police barracks to the jail on an order issued by Judge Bell.

Justice Powers, who issued the warrant for Gantt’s arrest, had not been notified of the hearing at 8:30 o’clock Wednesday morning, but it was stated at the office of Judge George Gober, attorney for Gantt, that the hearing will be held at 3 o’clock.

* * *

Atlanta Journal, April 30th 1913, “Hearing for Gantt at 3 P.M. Wednesday,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Miss Hattie Hall, Stenographer, Left Pencil Factory at Noon

Miss Hattie Hall Stenographer Left Pencil FactoryAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, May 8th, 1913

Miss Hattie Hall, a stenographer, was called to the stand after Quinn was excused.

When Miss Hall was excused, shortly before 12:30 o’clock, she was told to return at 2:30 o’clock, as she probably would be recalled then. Miss Hall’s testimony revealed nothing not already known, and was vague upon a number of points already testified to by others. It bore mainly upon the period when she was in the office of the National Pencil company on the morning of Saturday, April 26. According to her, she was there from about 11 o’clock until noon. She saw nothing of Mary Phagan and could throw no light upon the mystery. The coroner questioned her minutely as to hours and minutes and details of her own actions.

Continue Reading →

Lemmie Quinn Grilled by Coroner But He Sticks to His Statement

Lemmie Quinn Grilled by Coroner but he Sticks to his Statement

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

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, May 8th, 1913

L. A. Quinn was called to the stand. He lives at 31B Julliam street, he said, and is foreman of the metal department at the National Pencil factory. Mary Phagan worked in his department, he said. The last time he saw her was on the Monday preceding the murder, he said. She left the plant about 2 o’clock that Monday, said he. That was earlier than usual, but she left because the metal with which she worked had run out and she wanted to hurry to the matinee. He didn’t know any of her intimate friends, said he. She worked with Helen Ferguson and Grace Hix and Magnolia Kennedy, said he, and Henry Smith and John Ramey also worked in that department.

He worked on Friday, April 25, until 5:30 o’clock, said Quinn. He got his pay and left with the understanding that he would come to work on Monday.

The next morning, Saturday, he got up about 7 o’clock. Later he went uptown with his wife to get a picture made of their baby. Then they went back home. He came up town again, said he. He was stopped there, and questioned closely about hours and minutes.

He left home about 9:30 o’clock, he said. He and his wife and baby went straight to Kuhn’s photograph studio. They were there about ten minutes, he said. Continue Reading →

Phagan Inquest in Session; Six Witnesses are Examined Before Adjournment to 2:30

Lemmie Quinn, foreman, who testified that he visited the factory and talked to Mr. Frank just after Mary Phagan is supposed to have left with her pay envelope. He was given a searching examination by the coroner Thursday, but stuck to his statement.

Lemmie Quinn, foreman, who testified that he visited the factory and talked to Mr. Frank just after Mary Phagan is supposed to have left with her pay envelope. He was given a searching examination by the coroner Thursday, but stuck to his statement.

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

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, May 8th, 1913

Lemmie Quinn, the Factory Foreman, Was Put Through a Grilling Examination, but He Steadily Maintained That He Visited the Factory Shortly After the Time Mary Phagan is Supposed to Have Left With Her Pay Envelope

FRANK’S TREATMENT OF GIRLS IN FACTORY DESCRIBED AS UNIMPEACHABLE BY ONE YOUNG LADY EMPLOYEE

Mr. Frank’s Manner at the Time He Was Informed of the Tragedy by Officers at His Home on Sunday Morning is Told of by Former Policeman — Both Frank and the Negro Night Watchman Are Expected to Testify During Afternoon, When Inquest Will Be Concluded

The coroner’s inquest into the mysterious murder of Mary Phagan adjourned at 12:55 o’clock Thursday to meet again at 2:30. At the hour of adjournment, six witnesses had testified. They were “Boots” Rogers, former county policeman; Lemmie Quinn, foreman of the pencil factory; Miss Corinthia Hall, an employee of the factory; Miss Hattie Hall, stenographer; J. L. Watkins and Miss Daisy Jones. L. M. Frank and Newt Lee, the negro night watchman, were both present at headquarters during the morning session, but neither had been recalled to the stand when recess was ordered. Both are expected to testify during the afternoon, when an effort will be made to conclude the inquest and return a verdict.

Though put through a searching examination by the coroner in an effort to break down his statement that he had visited the factory on the day of the tragedy shortly after noon just after Mary Phagan is supposed to have received her pay envelope and left, Quinn stuck to his story. He declared that he had recalled his visit to Mr. Frank, and that Mr. Frank told him he was going to communicate the fact to his lawyers. Continue Reading →

Fourteen Houston Policemen Fired on Bowen’s Account

Fourteen Houston Policemen Fired on Bowens AccountAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, May 7th, 1913

BY KENNETH TODD.

HOUSTON, Tex., May 7.—Although young Paul P. Bowen, arrested in Houston Monday as a suspect in the Mary Phagan case, has been released by the chief of police, the release was ordered against the wishes of the chief of detectives and the latter has been summarily discharged for opposing his superior in spite of the telegram from Chief Beavers, of Atlanta, to Chief Davison, of the local department.

Bowen was released twenty-four hours after the message was received. Chief of Detectives Peyton stubbornly refused to let the youth go free, so Chief Davison procured the keys and acted as turnkey. He also discharged Peyton and started a row that has the police department up in the air. Fourteen members of the department were discharged. Claiming that the discharge of Bowen was actuated largely by spite and before a thorough investigation had been made local Pinkerton’s agents as well as private detectives are doing some work on their own accord.

The row between the chief of police and the chief of detectives was caused when the latter gave out the story to an afternoon paper without consulting the head of the department and mentioning his name.

* * *

Atlanta Journal, May 7th 1913, “Fourteen Houston Policemen Fired on Bowen’s Account,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Two New Witnesses in Phagan Mystery to Testify Thursday

Two New Witnesses in Phagan Mystery to Testify ThursdayAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, May 7th, 1913

Detectives Said to Attach Much Importance to Testimony That Two Girls Will Give When Inquest Resumes

INQUEST WILL BE ENDED THURSDAY, SAYS DONEHOO

Paul P. Bowen Has Been Released by Houston Officials—Chief Detective and 14 Policemen Are Discharged

Two new witnesses, whom the detectives have recently located, are expected to give testimony of importance at the final session of the Phagan inquest Thursday.

One of the witnesses is Miss Grace Hix, of 100 McDonough road, daughter of James E. Hix. Miss Hix worked at the same machine with Mary Phagan, but has not been to the factory since the latter was slain. Miss Hix was closeted for two hours with the detectives Tuesday evening, but it is not known just what her testimony will be. [Appears to be missing words in the printing—Ed.] day Mary Phagan was killed, but did not see her, according to a statement she made to a Journal reporter Wednesday afternoon at 2:45 o’clock. Continue Reading →

Reward of $1,000 is Appropriated by City

Reward of 1000 AppropriatedAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, April 30th, 1913

Money Will Be Paid for Information Leading to Arrest of Girl’s Murderer

At a special session called at 10 o’clock Wednesday morning, the city council of Atlanta voted for the appropriation of $1,000 as a reward for information leading to the arrest of the party or parties guilty of the brutal murder of little Mary Phagan. In the building of the National Pencil company’s factory on Forsyth street, last Saturday afternoon or night.

Immediately afterward the aldermanic board met and concurred in the appropriation. Continue Reading →

Negro Watchman Wrote Note Found Beside Dead Girl, Experts Declare, After Seeing Frank’s Handwriting

Negro Watchman Wrote Note Beside Dead Girl

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

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, April 30th, 1913

The Journal’s Three Handwriting Experts Still Firm in Their Conviction That Newt Lee Wrote Mysterious Notes When Shown Copies Written by Both Frank and Lee in Comparison With Original Note Found

Having compared exact reproductions of the notes found near the body of Mary Phagan with specimens of the handwriting of Newt Lee, the night watchman, and of Leo M. Frank, the superintendent of the National Pencil company, three handwriting experts Tuesday morning stuck to their first opinion that the negro’s handwriting and that of the notes found near the girl are the same.

They did this after a minute examination of the copy of the note written by Frank under direction of the detectives. Each then declared in effect that although it was within the bounds of possibility for Frank to have written the notes found near the girl, that it was extremely improbable. Continue Reading →

Use of Dictaphone on Frank and Negro is Denied by Police

Leo M. Frank

Leo M. Frank [On early Monday morning (April 28th, 1913), Leo Frank already had his lawyers present to answer questions from the police; the most expensive criminal defense lawyers in Georgia, somehow secured over the weekend, just one day after the murder and before Leo Frank was even seen as a major suspect. On Sunday, Frank told the police he was alone with Mary in his office at 12:03pm, but on Monday, with his lawyers at his side, he changed the time to between 12:05 and 12:10pm, a habit Frank would later fall into during subsequent questioning and trials. — Ed.]

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

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, April 30th, 1913

They Decline to Say, However, Whether Conversation Between Superintendent and Watchman Was Overheard

WAS MARY PHAGAN SEEN AT 5 P. M.?

J. L. Watkins Says He Saw Her Near Her Home—Chemist’s Tests Shows No Blood Under Negro’s Finger Nails

A report that there was a Dictaphone in the room in which Leo M. Frank talked with Newt Lee, the negro night watchman, at police headquarters Tuesday night in a supposed effort to wring a confession from the negro, was denied Wednesday by both Chief of Detectives Lanford and Chief of Police Beavers.

Neither official, however, would say that the conversation between the factory superintendent and the negro was private. They were asked directly if any member of the police or detective departments heard what was said between Frank and the negro but declined to say.

There is a strong belief that the meeting between the superintendent and the negro was arranged by the detectives in the hope of obtaining evidence without the knowledge of either Mr. Frank or the night watchman. The report spread that sensational evidence was obtained in this manner, but no confirmation could be obtained at headquarters.

WHAT TIME CLOCK SHOWS.

Despite the negro watchman’s statement that he passed every half hour through the machine room, where it is presumed Mary Phagan first battled to save her honor and her life, an examination of the clock’s record which was brought to police headquarters Tuesday afternoon, developed that the clock had not been punched from midnight Saturday until long after the body of the murdered girl was found. Continue Reading →

Witnesses Positive Murdered Girl Was Same Who Created Scene at the Terminal Station on Friday

Witnesses Positive Murdered Girl was Same Who Created Scene at the Terminal Station on FridayAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, April 29th, 1913

Gatemen, T. R. Malone and H. P. Sibley, After Viewing Corpse, Declare Mary Phagan, Sobbing Loudly and Displaying Vehement Feelings, Prevented Strange Man From Boarding Train for Washington—Neither of Men Detained by Police Is Mysterious Stranger

H. P. SIBLEY, gateman and T. R. Malone, special officer at the Atlanta Terminal station, have identified the dead body of little Mary Phagan as the same girl whom they saw dramatically prevent a man from leaving on train No. 38 for Washington, D. C., Friday morning at 11:01 o’clock.

Both men declare a young man apparently about twenty-five years of age, blue eyes, light hair, weight about 135 pounds and between 5 feet 8 or 9 inches tall, dressed in a dark business suit and wearing a derby hat, reached the gate that led down to the tracks from which 38 left a few minutes before train time.

“Just as the man reached the gate,” said Mr. Sibley, “and showed me his ticket to Washington, a pretty little girl in her early teens slipped up behind him and caught him by the arm. He seemed irritated and pushed her away. ‘You are trying to get away from me,’ she cried stamping her foot. ‘You are trying to leave me and you shan’t do it.’ Continue Reading →

Where Was Mary Phagan on Saturday Afternoon?

Where Was Mary Phagan on Saturday Afternoon

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

Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, April 29th, 1913

Are there any friends or acquaintances of little Mary Phagan who saw her after she is supposed to have left the offices of the National Pencil company Saturday afternoon, where she went for the little pay that was due her?

Is there any one who knows the girl, who can say she was seen in the city of Atlanta or elsewhere following her departure from home shortly before noon on that day? Continue Reading →

Stepfather Thinks Negro is Murderer

Stepfather Thinks Negro is MurdererAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, April 29th, 1913

Believes That Newt Lee Bound and Gagged, Then Murdered Mary Phagan

W. J. Coleman, step-father of Mary Phagan, believes that she was murdered by Newt Lee, the negro night watchman, but that before the murder she lay bound and gagged in the factory of the National Pen [sic] company, 37 South Forsyth street, from shortly after noon on Saturday until past midnight.

As people passed back and forth along the street, as members of the girl’s family waited anxiously for her return, he thinks that she lay helpless within the factory, while the negro waited for an opportune time to attack and then murder her.

His belief is that as soon as she had been paid the wages that she went to the factory to collect, she passed into the dressing room, perhaps for a drink of water. There, in his opinion, the negro seized the girl and bound and gagged her. He says there is plain evidence in the dressing room that the girl was first attacked there. Continue Reading →

State Offers $200 Reward; City Will Follow With $1,000 For Mary Phagan’s Murderer

J. M. Gant [sic], who was arrested at Marietta and brough[t] to Atlanta Monday, charged with the death of Mary Phagan. [Gantt was in the factory on the Saturday of the murder to pick up a pair of shoes he had left since leaving the Pencil company. Leo M. Frank was very reluctant to let him inside the building. Originally, Frank's behavior towards Gantt was assumed to be because of Gantt's recent firing, even though there were no bad relations between the two -- Ed.]

J. M. Gant [sic], who was arrested at Marietta and brough[t] to Atlanta Monday, charged with the death of Mary Phagan. [Gantt was in the factory on the Saturday of the murder to pick up a pair of shoes he had left since leaving the Pencil company. Leo M. Frank was very reluctant to let him inside the building. Originally, Frank’s behavior towards Gantt was assumed to be because of Gantt’s recent firing, even though there were no bad relations between the two — Ed.]

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

Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, April 29th, 1913

Mayor Woodward Calls Special Meeting of Council So That Reward Can Be Formally Offered—Governor Brown Issued Proclamation Tuesday Morning

Governor Joseph M. Brown Tuesday morning offered a reward of $200 for the apprehension and conviction of the murderer or murderers of Mary Phagan, and the city of Atlanta is expected to offer a $1,000 reward at a special meeting that has been called by Mayor James G. Woodward for Wednesday morning at 10 o’clock.

Mayor Woodward points out that this is one of the most atrocious crimes in Atlanta’s history and that the city cannot afford to let it go unheeded.

Following is the mayor’s message to council:

“Atlanta, Ga., April 29, 1913.

“To the General Council City of Atlanta:

“Gentlemen:

“The general council of the city of Atlanta is hereby called to convene in special session tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock, April 30, 1913, to take cognizance in an official way, of that most brutal crime that was committed in this city on last Saturday night. Continue Reading →

Gantt’s Release Asked in Habeas Corpus Writ

Gantt's Release Asked in Habeas Corpus WritAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, April 29th, 1913

Petition Made to Judge George L. Bell and Will Be Heard at 4 o’Clock

J. M. GANT [sic] charged with the murder of Mary Phagan is seeking his release upon a writ of habeas corpus.

Petition for such a writ was made Tuesday morning to Judge Bell of the superior court and he directed that a hearing be had at 4 o’clock Tuesday afternoon.

Judge Gober, attorney for Gant, made the petition, and will argue Tuesday afternoon for the immediate release of the former bookkeeper.

Gant sets forth in his petition to Judge Bell that he is absolutely innocent of the crime of which he is accused, and that his detention by the police is without reason or authority.

Gant was arrested Monday about noon in Marietta, as he was on his way from Atlanta to his mother’s home, who lives in the country a short distance from Marietta. Continue Reading →

Bloody Thumb Print is Found on Door

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 2.47.04 PMAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, April 29th, 1913

Murderer of Mary Phagan Probably Left Factory by the Rear Door

A bloody thumb print, found Tuesday afternoon on the rear door to the basement of the National Pencil factory, leads the police to the theory that the murderer of Mary Phagan left the factory building by that door after he had deposited the girl’s body in the basement.

This theory is still further strengthened by the fact that when the murder was discovered Sunday morning it was found that a staple had been drawn from the fastening on the rear door.

R. B. Piron, said to be an employee of the pencil factory, came across the bloody thumb print while making an examination of the factory premises. He chiseled off the bloody spot and took it to Detective Chief Newport A. Lanford, who will have it analyzed to determine whether the stain is human blood. Continue Reading →

“God’s Vengeance Will Strike Brute Who Killed Her,” Says Grandfather of Mary Phagan

God's Vengeance Will Strike Brute

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

Atlanta Journal

Monday, April 28th, 1913

Calling upon God Almighty to visit speedy vengeance upon the murderer or murderers of his fourteen-year-old granddaughter, Mary Phagan, whose mutilated body was discovered Sunday morning in the basement of the National Pencil company’s factory on Forsyth street, W. J. Phagan, an elderly citizen of Marietta, declares that he will never rest until the fiend or fiends are brought to justice.

The old man almost collapsed when he learned of the awful crime, and he sobbed piteously as he prayed for divine aid in clearing up the mystery surrounding the murder of the girl.

“The living God will see to it that the brute is found and punished according to his sin,” declared Mr. Phagan. “I hope the murderer will be dealt with as he has dealt with that tender and innocent child. I hope that he suffers anguish and remorse in the same measure that she suffered pain and shame. No punishment is too great for him. Hanging cannot atone for the crime he has committed and the suffering he has caused both to his victim and her relatives.”

Mr. Phagan was so overcome that he had to take to his bed, but he declared that he would attend the inquest over the remains of his granddaughter Monday morning. However, his condition was such during the early morning that his relatives feared he would not be strong enough to make the trip to Atlanta and face the ordeal of the inquest.

* * *

Atlanta Journal, April 28th 1913, “‘God’s Vengeance Will Strike Brute Who Killed Her,’ Says Grandfather of Mary Phagan,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)