Colyar a Success in Preacher Role

Colyar a SuccessAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

Professed Conversion During Revival at Cartersville and Married Rich Widow Before the Meeting Was Over.

Athens, Ga., May 24.—(Special.)—A. S. Colyar, now in the public eye in the Felder matter, had a short, hot, meteoric career in Athens in 1905. He came here representing himself as a former law partner of Hon. Andrew Lipscomb, of Washington, ingratiated himself with the bar, passed a forged check on his father at the Georgia National bank, secured the indorsement of Colonel C. H. Brand, then prosecuting attorney for the state, on a fraudulent draft and disappeared.

He was located in Richmond, Va., serving a sentence on the chaingang for a serious offense. Requisition brought him back to Athens and on April, 11, 1905, he faced the charges of forgery, was convicted, and in a speech to the court before he was sentenced, he not only had jurors and attorneys weeping, but actually those he had wronged financially and the court itself, Judge Russell. He broke down and was carried from the room.

The sentence was suspended, a fund was made up in the court room of enough to buy him a suit of clothes and a ticket to Chattanooga. At Cartersville he left the train and was drawn to a revival meeting in progress, professed conversion, and went to preaching with great apparent power. Before the meeting was over, he had married a rich widow whose husband had been dead only a short time and he is said to have absorbed a small fortune left his wife.

He preached in Athens a number of times, billing himself ahead like a circus and filling the old Colonial theater with the curious crowd that wanted to hear him.

He went to Atlanta that summer and spoke at a tent meeting which was being conducted under the direction of Dr. Broughton and the Tabernacle church. On the docket of the superior court today the suspended sentence is still open and stands against Colyar. Judge Russell, who suspended that sentence, is now on the appellate court, which this week decided that a judge cannot effectively suspend sentences.

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Atlanta Constitution, May 25th 1913, “Colyar a Success in Preacher Role,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)