Elevator Made Loud Noise Said Employee of Pencil Company

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 15th, 1913

Harry Denham, an employee of the National Pencil company, was put on the stand after the Pittsburg man had testified to the character of the defendant.

Denham was asked a number of questions about what happened in the building on the day of the murder and through him the defense made the point that the elevator made a loud noise when it ran. Denham swore that the elevator shook the entire building when it stopped and when it started.

“Were you at the factory on Friday, April 25?” he was first asked.


“Were you there Saturday, the following day?”

“What did you do there that day?”
“I worked on the machinery, repairing it.”

Was Using a Hammer.

“What kind of work did you do between 12 and 1?”

“I was using a hammer.”

“How late did you stay there that day?”

“I left about 3:15 o’clock in the afternoon.”

“Did anybody come up to see you?”
“Yes, May Barrett came up first.”

“What time?”
“About 11:15.”

“Are you certain of the time, wasn’t it about a quarter to twelve?”
Solicitor Dorsey had this ruled out, on the ground that Mr. Arnold was leading his own witness.

“Well, are you certain of the time she came up?” Mr. Arnold next asked.

“No, I’m not.”

“The next two that came up were Corinthia Hall and Emma Freeman, weren’t they?”


“Who came up next?”

“Arthur White’s wife.”

“Did she come up there once or twice?”
“She came up once, but I believe he went down to see her once, also.”

White’s Wife Appears.

“It was after her husband had gone down to see her that she came up to the fourth floor where you and he were working, wasn’t it?”

“Who next came up?”
“Mr. Frank came up.”

“Was Mrs. White still there when Frank came up?”

“What did Frank say?”
“He told Mr. and Mrs. White he was going to dinner and wanted to close the front door and that if she wanted to get out before he came back she had better come down.”

“What time was that?”
“Did the machinery of the factory run that day?”

“Does the elevator make a noise when it stops?”
“Yes; it shakes the building.”

“When it starts, does it do that, too?”
“Yes; just the same.”

“Did you see or hear the elevator running that day?”
“I did not.”

Saw Frank at 3 O’Clock.

“Did you see Frank again after he came up and talked to the Whites?”
“Yes, he came up about 3 o’clock and asked us if we were through work, and we washed up and left.”

“Did you see him after that?”
“Yes; we went out about 3:15, and as we went out I saw him in his office.”

“How did he look?” asked Mr. Arnold.

“Just as usual to me.”

“When he came up there on the fourth floor about 1 o’clock how did he look?”
“Just the same, as usual.”

“Did you know Mary Phagan?”
“Yes; I know who she was.”

“Did you see her that Saturday?”

Solicitor Dorsey took up the cross-examination.

“Did you work there all day Saturday?”

“No; I left at about 3:15.”

“When did you start work?”

“At 7:30 o’clock that morning?”

“Were you busy hammering?”


“Could you see the elevator from where you were?”

“No; but I could see the wheels above.”

“Was the motor box on the second floor kept locked?”

“I don’t know,” Denham replied.

“How often did you say Frank came up to the fourth floor that day?”

“Twice that I remember.”

“Were you through work when he came up about 3 o’clock?”

“Did not you say at the inquest that it was 12:25 when Frank first came up?”

“Yes, and I think that’s about right.”

“On April 26 were you on the office floor?”

“See any blood on the floor?”


“Didn’t you swear at the inquest that Monday morning?”
“I said I saw a spot said to be blood.”

“Did you hear any noise in the building Saturday?”

“Was the wind blowing?”

Wind Blowing Strong.

“Yes, it was blowing strong; it rattled the shutters.”

“What steps did you take to leave the fourth floor?”
“The front steps always.”

“Could you have taken the rear stairway?”

“Yes, but we never did.”

“There might have been some noise on the third floor or the second floor and you not heard it?”


“What time did Misses Emma Freeman and Corinthia Hall and Mrs. Barrett come up there?”

“About 11 o’clock.”

“Did you say before the coroner’s jury that it was about 10?”

“I don’t know exactly what time it was.”

The witness was then excused.

* * *

Atlanta Constitution, August 15th 1913, “Elevator Made Loud Noise Said Employee of Pencil Company,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)