Civil Engineer and Photographer Tell of Making Plats and Photos

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 9th, 1913

Ira U. Kauffman, civil engineer, who had been employed by the defense to make drawings of the Selig home at 68 East Georgia avenue, where Frank and his wife lived, and also of the National Pencil factory, followed the street car conductor on the stand.

Kauffman testified that he made the plats of the Selig home on Tuesday of this week. The plats were shown to the jury.

“Could you stand in the kitchen and see the mirror in the dining room?” asked Mr. Arnold.

“It is impossible to see the mirror from the kitchen.”


“Because of a partition there.”

“Could you see any part of the mirror?”
“Only a small portion.”
Albert McNight, husband of the Seligs’ cook, had previously stated that he stood in the kitchen and saw by the reflection of Leo Frank in the mirror that he was sitting at the dinner table on that Saturday and was not eating.

“Have you drawn a plat of East Georgia avenue and Washington street?”

“How far is it from the home to Washington street?”
“175 feet.”

“To Pulliam street?”
“271 feet.”

“Have you made detailed drawings of the pencil factory?”

Plats Explained to Jury.

The plats of the factory were then explained to the jury.

The civil engineer then asserted that the distance between the elevator shaft and the spot where the body was found was 136 feet, and that from the elevator shaft to the trash pile was eighty feet.

He also stated on being questioned that from the spot where Newt Lee claims to have seen Mary Phagan’s body, it was possible to see part of it, and also that a man standing across the street from the pencil factory on Forsyth street could see men standing around Frank’s desk on the second floor. He was excused at 11:40 and the jury was allowed a short recess.

Adams on Stand.

Following the recess after Civil Engineer Ira Kauffman was excused from the stand, the defense tendered in evidence the plats and drawings of the Selig home and of the factory, and then offered a number of pictures, made by J. Q. Adams, a photographer, who was put on the stand to explain them. No objection was made by the state to any of the articles going in as evidence.

Adams swore, as Kauffman had done, that a person could not stand in the kitchen of Emil Selig and see the mirror in the dining room, and his pictures apparently bore this out.

Attorney Reuben Arnold went carefully over the pictures with the jury and by the aid of the photographer, explained every detail about them.

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Atlanta Constitution, August 9th 1913, “Civil Engineer and Photographer Tell of Making Plats and Photos,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)