Chief Traces Vice Conditions to Men; Promises Arrests

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

The Atlanta Journal

Thursday, July 10, 1913

Beavers Puts Police on Trail of Men Blamed By Girl Guests for Situation in Downtown Hotels


Judge Broyles Hears Sensational Expose of Vice Situation Said to Exist in Many Atlanta Rooming Houses

As the outcome of the dramatic confession made by Hattie Smith in the recorder’s court Wednesday afternoon Chief Beavers announced Thursday morning that he will open a war against the men who, he asserts, are ruining girls.

Following the trial in court Wednesday the chief says that Hattie Smith gave him more details than came out in the testimony, detailed though it was. He says that he now has the names of several men whom the Smith girl says she had taken auto rides with. The chief says that he will take steps against these men.

In beginning his campaign, the chief makes the statement that he holds the men responsible for the life led by the wayward woman. Poor girls, without even the necessities of life, have no show against men who are always on the watch to prey upon them, declared Beavers.


Hattie Smith, the seventeen-year-old girl whose revelations to the police have been more or less of a sensation for several days, told her story Wednesday afternoon to Recorder Broyles.

It was a story of a pretty girl, an older woman, automobile joy rides, and registering at hotels under assumed names as the wife of various men, and when it was finished the recorder bound her over to the city court under bond of $100, together with Clyde Cox, the young man with her in a hotel room when the police arrested her.

The girl made a soda fount on James street the first scene of her story. She said she frequented the place. It was there, two weeks ago last Saturday, that she met Lena Barnhart, alias Lena Levison.

She said she was attracted by the woman’s handsome appearance and her popularity with the men. She inquired the woman’s name. Presently a man friend invited her to take an automobile ride. She accepted, and at the curb she found the Barnhart woman sitting in the front seat of the machine.

They went out Pace’s ferry road and returned at nightfall. The Barnhart woman suggested that they go to a rest room down town, and there the woman “tidied her up.”


Then the woman suggested that they go to the Cumberland hotel, saying she woul [sic] go first and let the girl come later “to avoid suspicion.” She went as directed, going to the woman’s room. She was told that her name had been put on the register as “Lucile Evans.”

And according to her story she was thereafter on the go almost continually up to the time of her arrest. She named the Cumberland, the Brittain and the Childs hotels as places where she had stopped. She told her story frankly and with no apparent embarrassment.

The Barnhart woman did not deny being with the woman, but asserted she was acting out of sympathy for “a shabbily dressed, penniless girl who had nowhere to go.” She said the girl’s conduct “made her suspect she was crooked,” but she tried to believe to the contrary and help her as best she could.

Recorder Broyles did not take much stock in the “sympathy” story.

“You are not fit to be a mother,” said he. (The woman has a three-year-old child.) “You can’t raise a child in the life you are leading. It will see a brighter day when installed in a charitable home. The best thing for you to do is to leave town.”

The recorder then bound her over under bond of $500, and bound over Lige Murry, charged with being her accomplice, under bond of $100.

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The Atlanta Journal, July 10th 1913, “Chief Traces Vice Conditions to Men; Promises Arrests,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)