Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
July 31st, 1913
Grace Hicks, a sister-in-law of ‘Boots’ Rogers, whom he carried to the factory the morning of April 27 to tell if the dead girl was an employee of the factory was put upon the witness stand by the state after Rogers had been excused.
She was a daintily dressed slender girl of 17, and declared that she had worked there for the past five years.
To the solicitor’s questions she answered that she had known Mary Phagan for about a year at the pencil factory and that the dead girl had worked on the second floor.
“Did you see her on April 27?” Mr. Dorsey asked.
“At the undertaker’s.”
“Was she dead or alive?”
“How did you identify her, if you did?”
“I identified her by looking at her.”
Miss Hicks was then made to describe in detail the undertaking establishment and also Mary Phagan and she declared that the girl was good looking, with brown hair and blue eyes, and that she knew her at once by her hair.
She also stated that Mary Phagan was well built, and then she was asked to tell of the routine of the factory.
Describes Office Plan.
“What did you do every day when you went to the factory?”
“I punched the clock and then went to the dressing room.”
“How far was the clock from Frank’s office?”
“About 18 feet,” said the girl.
“How much of the twelve months had Mary Phagan worked?”
“Most of the time.”
“Where was Mary’s work place?”
“Next to the dressing room.”
“Were you present and saw the place when the blood was dug up?”
“That was about two weeks afterward.”
“How far was Mary’s machine from the dressing room?”
“About ten feet.”
“In going from the office to the clock would a person pass Mary’s machine?”
“How far was this?”
“About ten feet.”
“Did you ever see Frank in the metal department?”
“I have seen him pass through.”
“About how often during the day would Frank come back to the metal department?”
“About two or three times a day he would come back to see if the work was being done properly.”
“When did Mary work last?”
“Monday, the metal have given out.”
“Had the metal come Saturday?”
“Did Frank know when the metal was there?”
“I don’t know.”
“When was the regular pay day?”
“On Saturday, they paid off Friday of that week, though, I got a telephone message to come for my pay on Friday.”
Shown Building Plans.
The cross-section of the building was then shown the witness and she was asked to point out where the metal was kept. She also pointed out Lemmie Quinn’s dressing room, the register clock and Mary Phagan’s machine.
Mr. Rosser then took up the cross-examination of the witness on behalf of the defense.
“Standing at the time clock you could not see into Frank’s office, could you?” he asked.
“Did you work there a year?”
“Who was your foreman?”
“In those five years how many times did you speak to Mr. Frank?”
“Did you ever see him speak to Mary Phagan?”
“That floor back there is very dirty, isn’t it?”
“Lot of white stuff around there?”
queried Mr. Rosser, referring to the white substance which it was said had been found partially covering the alleged blood spots on the floor.
“Was there any other girl in the factory who had hair like Mary Phagan?”
“Yes, Magnolia Kennedy’s hair was almost like it.”
“What was Mary’s hair like, was it like these locks?” asked Mr. Rosser, poking one finger at the blond head of Attorney Reuben Arnold.
“Yes, sir, very similar to that,” replied the witness, and Mr. Arnold did his best not to appear to notice that his colleagues and opponents were smiling at him.
Fun at Attorneys’ Expense.
Mr. Rosser amused everyone by pointing out the various lawyers on either side of the case and asking the girl witness if any of them had hair exactly the color of Magnolia Kennedy’s tresses. She shook her head as he indicated each one.
“Did you ever see Frank have anything to do with the clock?” Mr. Rosser asked, returning to his usual serious way.
“Did you go on Friday to get your pay?”
“Did Frank pay you off?”
“Did you see Magnolia Kennedy and Helen Ferguson while they were getting paid off?”
“Do you live on McDonough road?”
“Are the pencils in the factory ever colored?”
“Yes, I think so.”
“Could the red ever get on the rubber?”
“Yes, it might.”
“Did Frank pay off that Friday?”
“I can’t remember, but it wasn’t Mr. Frank.”
Asked About Frank’s Office.
“You may come down,” said Mr. Rosser. Mr. Dorsey, however, asked the witness to remain on the stand, and took up further questions.
“Do you still work for the National Pencil factory?” he began.
Miss Hicks was then asked in regard to the details of Frank’s office, but could tell but little about its arrangement.
“Was there any paint in the polishing room?”
“Were the paint room and the machine room together or were they separated?”
“There was a partition between them.”
“Any paint in the room where Mary’s machine was?”
“I’ve seen drops of paint on the floor about the doorway between the two rooms,” she said when asked about that point.
“Was it hard to tell that it was paint?”
“Could you easily tell it was paint?”
“Did the paint look at all like blood?”
“I never saw any red paint there.”
Mr. Dorsey then finished with his witness, but the defense asked for another chance to cross-examine her.
“Could there have been any red paint there?” asked Mr. Rosser.
“The floor was very dirty and greasy, wasn’t it?”
“If the paint stayed there long enough you couldn’t tell what I was?”
The girl was then excused after being on the stand slightly over an hour.