Conductor Also Swears Epps Boy Was Not on Car With Mary Phagan

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 9th, 1913

W. T. Hollis, of 16 Western avenue, the conductor on the English avenue car on which Mary Phagan rode to town on the day she was murdered, followed the motorman on the stand.

He also declared that the girl was not accompanied by a boy and that she did not get off at Forsyth and Marietta streets where he left the car. He also declared that she was not accompanied by any boy answering the description of George Epps, but that a little girl was with her.

Hollis corroborated the testimony of the motorman in practically every detail as to time and other features up to the moment when he was relieved at Forsyth and Marietta and left the car.

Further than that the witness declared that there were only a few passengers on the car that trip and that he noted the girl’s appearance as she had often ridden with him on the way to the factory in the mornings. He said he did not know her name until after the murder, when he found out she was the one who had been killed.

Attorney Frank A. Hooper, who is aiding the state in the case, took up the cross-examination.

“Did you see the girl’s body?”
“Yes, a newspaper man found out that I was the conductor on whose car she had come to town and he took me to see if I could identify the body.

“Did you have any trouble in doing so?”
“No, I knew her at once.”

“Have you any recollection of a tow-headed boy getting on the car?” asked Mr. Hooper, referring to Epps.


“Did Mary Phagan get on a Lindsay street?”

“Do you remember the Epps boy getting on at any other street?”
“No, I have not.”

“When you took up the girl’s car fare was anyone with her?”

“Did you mean a while ago that you keep the rules of the company and never reach a given point ahead of or behind time?”
“It’s not against the rules to get there behind time,” replied the conductor.

“But it is against the rules to get there ahead of time, isn’t it?”

“Do you always look at your watch when you pass every important point?”
“We are supposed to.”

“Don’t you fail to do a lot of things you are supposed to?”
The witness admitted that such might occasionally be the case. He was then excused.

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Atlanta Constitution, August 9th 1913, “Conductor Also Swears Epps Boy Was Not on Car With Mary Phagan,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)