Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
August 13th, 1913
Questions Asked by Dorsey Of Office Boy at Factory Ruled Out After Argument
Attorney Reuben R. Arnold Declares That Any Further Testimony Along Lines of That Sought by the Solicitor During Examination of Philip Chambers Will Tempt Him to Move for a New Trial in the Case
With the calling of Emil Selig, Frank’s father-in-law, the defense began their endeavor to prove Frank’s statement in reference to his movements on the day of the tragedy.
Mr. Selig’s testimony bore principally upon the time Frank arrived at his home to dinner, the midday meal, and his appearance and actions at that time.
He declared that Frank arrived home about 1:20, that he was unmarked by scratches; that his general appearance and actions were as usual; and that during the evening the accused man had been in his usual spirits and had not been either nervous or excited.
Upon cross-examination, Solicitor Dorsey forced him to admit an uncertainty as to the exact time Frank arrived at the house. Mr. Selig also declared that on the following day the murder was mentioned but not discussed and that he said nothing to Frank about it. He reiterated this statement several times.
Mrs. Selig testified similarly to her husband as to the time Frank came home to dinner and his demeanor during the evening. She was closed questioned by the solicitor, who endeavored to show that while she now claimed Frank had appeared concerned about the little girl’s death, at the coroner’s inquest she had said he was not concerned.
At the conclusion of Mrs. Selig’s testimony court adjourned until 9 o’clock Wednesday morning.
A new sensation was sprung at the beginning of the afternoon session when Philip Chambers, who was office boy at the pencil factory for some time after December 12, 1913, was cross-examined by Solicitor Dorsey in such a manner that Attorney Arnold appealed to the judge declaring that if unfair attacks on Frank’s character were not brought to an end, he would ask for a mistrial.
The boy was questioned by Arnold to show that Frank was decorous in his attitude toward young ladies in the factory. Solicitor Dorsey asked him about his relations with Frank, and certain statements he said to have made to Gantt. The boy entered an emphatic denial.
Attorney Arnold bitterly attacked the solicitor’s question, calling it decidedly unfair. Dorsey replied that he was preparing to impeach the witness by the aid of Gantt. The testimony was ruled out after a warm discussion.
Minola McKnight, negro cook in the Selig home, swore that detectives and her husband tried to force her to swear lies in regard to Frank’s actions both on and after the night of the murder. She declared that she had signed affidavits which were false because she had been forced. She pointed out a detective in the court room who, she said, had been one of those attempting to coerce her testimony.
The principal affidavit, signed by her, in which she quoted Mr. Frank as saying he wanted a pistol to kill himself, was repudiated by the negress as a lie out of the whole cloth.
Magnolia Kennedy, one of the girls employed at the factory, testified that she was with Helen Ferguson whens he drew her pay Friday afternoon and that Miss Ferguson did not ask for Mary Phagan’s pay at that time. She said the hair found on a lathe in the machine room looked like Mary Phagan’s.
A number of other witnesses were examined during the afternoon. The defense is proceeding very rapidly with the presentation of its [1 word illegible].
When court reconvened at 2 o’clock, the defense called the name of Gordon Bailey, otherwise known as “Snowball,” a negro elevator boy employed at the pencil factory, but he did not answer.
The name of Philip Chambers was called without answer.
Miss Magnolia Kennedy, employed in the metal room where Mary Phagan worked at the National Pencil factory, was called to the stand. She did not appear to be more than fifteen years old. She testified that she has worked at the pencil factory for four years.
DENIES PAY STORY.
The witness said she knew Mary Phagan and that she knows Helen Ferguson. In answer to Attorney Arnold’s questions she said that on Friday before the death of Mary Phagan she went to the pay window directly behind Helen Ferguson to get her pay. Herbert Schiff was paying off, she testified, and she was standing behind Helen at the window with her hand on Helen’s shoulder. Helen was at the window when she came up, said the witness. She did not see Frank around there. She declared that she did not hear Helen Ferguson ask Schiff for Mary Phagan’s money.
When both had received their pay envelopes, they stood and waited together until Grace Hix was paid off and then all three went down the stairs together and out of the building. Miss Kennedy declared that she went down Forsyth street and up Hunter, and that she saw Helen Ferguson go up Forsyth toward Alabama. They left the building together she testified, at 3 minutes to 1 o’clock.
In this testimony the defense scored practically a direct contradiction of Helen Ferguson’s testimony that she asked Frank for Mary Phagan’s pay and that he refused to give it to her.
This concluded the direct testimony by Miss Kennedy.
Solicitor Dorsey cross-examined the witness.
“Were you at the pencil factory on Monday, April 28?”
“Did you discover any hair around the metal room anywhere?”
“Mr. Barrett discovered some on his lathe.”
“You identified it, did you not?”
“Whose hair was it?”
“It looked like Mary Phagan’s.”
Miss Kennedy testified that Mary had worked in the metal room for about six months. This was the second time Mary had worked at the factory, said the witness. Mary worked there once before and worked upstairs in some department. She said that her own machine was the next one to Mary Phagan’s. She testified that anybody going to the lady’s toilet would have to pass both her machine and Mary Phagan’s.
The hair that was found on the machine, said she, was light brown, and so was Mary Phagan’s.
She testified further that she saw the blood stain on the floor and the white substance over it.
“Do you still work at the pencil factory?” asked the solicitor.
“You don’t mean to say you were with Helen Ferguson all the time Friday afternoon, do you?”
“Mary and Helen were the best of friends, weren’t they?”
“How close to the spot where this blood was found did you go?”
The witness indicated a suit case about ten feet away, and said she went that close.
“Do you know about the windows and the shutters on the north side of the factory?”
“I have noticed them.”
“They shut them, when the factory is closed down, don’t they?”
“You never saw any blood spots like these before on the floor, did you?”
“And you have been there four years?”
That concluded the cross-examination. Attorney Arnold asked:
“You never looked for spots before, did you?”
In answer to other questions by Mr. Arnold, she said that the floor was dirty and greasy.
NO BUSINESS WITH FRANK.
“How does the color of your hair compare with that of Mary Phagan?”
“Mine is darker than hers.”
“How much—a shade darker?”
“Were you there when Helen Ferguson drew her pay Friday night?”
“What business did she have, going to Frank for Mary Phagan’s money, when Schiff paid off?”
“She wouldn’t have any.”
“Did she ask Schiff for Mary Phagan’s pay?”
“Did you see her ask Frank for it?”
Solicitor Dorsey took the witness again.
“When there’s an error in your pay, you girls have to go to Frank, don’t you?”
“We go to anybody who happens to be in the office.”
Gordon Bailey, a negro, nicknamed “Snowball,” was the next witness. He was such a typical, thorough negro that Attorney Arnold could not refrain from laughing in his face while administering to him the oath.
“Where did you work along in April, Snowball?” asked Attorney Arnold.
“I worked at the pencil factory.”
“Did they give you any nickname at the pencil factory?”
“Yes, sir. They gave me a Snowball nickname.”
“On Friday, April 25, the day before Mary Phagan was killed, did you or not see Jim Conley talking to Mr. Frank? And did you or not hear Mr. Frank ask Jim Conley to come back the next day?”
“Did you see them talking on any floor in the factory on that day?”
“No, sir. I never saw ‘em on nary one of the floors.”
“At any time did you ever hear Frank ask Jim Conley to come back to the factory?”
“Where do you work now, Snowball?”
“I works on Peters street at a shoeshine stand.”
“Did you ever see any women in Mr. Frank’s office? Or did you ever see any beer drunk there?”
“Did you ever see Jim Conley on watch for Mr. Frank?”
CONLEY SAW PAPERS.
“Do you recollect seeing Jim Conley reading the papers during the week after the tragedy?”
“I saw him looking at some papers at the station house.”
“You don’t know whether he was reading them or not?”
“No, sir, I can’t say. I just saw him looking at ‘em.”
“Did you ever see anything improper between Frank and any woman in the factory?”
Attorney Hooper objected to this answer as a conclusion on the part of the witness. Attorney Rosser replied that it was not a conclusion—that the word improper as applied to conduct between a man and a woman is not a conclusion, but a fact. “Your honor,” said Mr. Rosser, “every man in Georgia knows what the word improper means in this connection.”
Judge Roan overruled the objection.
“Did you see Frank and Jim Conley talking on the day before Mary Phagan was killed?”
On cross-examination by Solicitor Dorsey, the solicitor asked: “You were arrested, too, weren’t you, Snowball?”
“About 9 or 10 o’clock.”
“Did you see Mr. Frank before you were arrested?”
“Where was Mr. Frank?”
“He was on the second floor.”
“What were you doing?”
“I don’t know, sir.”
“Did you see the blood spots?”
“Come down, Snowball,” said the solicitor.
OFFICE BOY CALLED.
Philip Chambers, a fifteen-year-old boy, was the next witness. He formerly was an office boy at the pencil factory and is still with the concern. He worked from December 12, 1913, until the time Alonzo Mann was employed. He stayed in the outer office most of the time, he said. On Saturday afternoons he generally did not leave the factory before 4:30 or 5 o’clock. He seldom was sent out except to Montag’s, to get mail, or to the Ball street plant with the payroll on Saturday mornings.
He declared that he never saw Frank have any women in his office after office hours, nor did he ever see him drinking beer or soft drinks there. He never saw Dalton around the plant, he said. He said that sometimes on Saturdays he had seen Jim Conley sweeping around there, but couldn’t remember seeing him after Mr. Darley issued his order that there was to be no more sweeping after 12 o’clock. He said that he remembered seeing Mrs. Frank in the office once, late on Saturday afternoon, but saw no one else there.
Asked if Herbert Schiff stayed in the office on Saturday afternoons, the witness replied “Sometimes.” The witness declared that he had never seen Frank touch any of the women employes, and did not know whether or not the superintendent knew Mary Phagan.
SOLICITOR TAKES WITNESS.
Solicitor Dorsey cross-examined the boy.
“Who is your father, and where does he work?”
“He is Charles Chambers, and he works for the Atlanta Brewing and Ice company.”
“You and Mr. Frank were pretty friendly, weren’t you?”
“Just like a boss should be,” said the witness.
“Did you ever complain to J. M. Gantt that Frank had made improper advances to you?”
“Do you deny that you told Gantt that Frank had threatened to discharge you if you didn’t comply with his wishes?”
“No. I said once I thought I was going to be fired.”
“Didn’t you tell him twice?”
Solicitor Dorsey repeated his question, and the boy gave the same answer. The solicitor asked a question with reference to Jim Conley, but before the boy could answer Attorney Arnold arose to move to rule out the question and answer with regard to improper proposals, despite the fact that the boy had characterized the charge as false. Solicitor Dorsey argues. Mr. Rosser interrupted, “Your honor, are we going to argue this thing before the jury?” “Let the jury go out, then,” agreed Mr. Dorsey with a smile. Judge Roan ordered the jury out.
Mr. Arnold objected, “No, let ‘em stay,” said he.
And upon that they stayed.
“I move to rule that out because it is grossly immaterial and irrelevant and counsel knows that it is.”
Solicitor Dorsey argued, contending that the state had the right to show the relationship and the dispositions of the witnesses that were brought up.
“We want to show the familiarity between this witness and Frank,” said he. “And we want to lay foundation for the impeachment of this boy by Gantt.”
UNFAIR, SAYS ARNOLD.
Attorney Arnold addressed the court, “It’s the most unfair thing I ever heard of in a court proceeding,” said he. “It’s the vilest slander that can be cast upon a man. If courts were run this way it could be brought against any member of the community—you, me, or the jury. No man can get a fair showing against such vile insinuations. If this comes up again, I will be tempted to move for a new trial.”
Judge Roan sustained the motion and the questions and answers were stricken from the record.
The boy then was excused from the stand.
Minola McKnight, negro cook at the Selig home, was the next witness. She testified that she was at the Selig home, cooking, on Memorial day.
“Do you know the defendant, Leo M. Frank?” Attorney Arnold asked her.
“Yes, he’s the son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. Selig.”
Minola told the location of various rooms in the house. The rooms of Mr. and Mrs. Frank and of Mr. and Mrs. Selig are upstairs, said she. The sitting room, the dining room and the kitchen are downstairs.
“On Memorial day did you see Frank in the morning?” asked Attorney Arnold.
“About 7 o’clock when he ate breakfast.”
“How long did it take him to eat?”
“About 20 minutes.”
“When did you see him again?”
“At dinner time.”
“What time did you have dinner?”
“When Mr. Frank came in.”
“What time did he come in?”
“About 1:30 o’clock.”
“Were the other members of the family seated at the table when he came in?”
“Was Mr. Selig there?”
“KNEW” HER HUSBAND.
“Is the fellow named Albert McKnight your husband?”
“I know him.”
Attorney Arnold repeated, smilingly, “You know him, eh?”
“Was he there at noon on Memorial day?”
Minola then testified that it would be impossible for anybody standing in the kitchen at the point where Albert McKnight said he was on that day, to look through the door into the dining room and see the mirror.
Even if a person could see the mirror, said she, it would be impossible to see the table.
“Do you recollect when Mr. Frank left”
“Something after 2 o’clock.”
“When did you see him next?”
“About 7 o’clock.”
“Did he eat dinner there?”
“What time did you leave?”
“About 8 o’clock.”
“Was Mr. Frank still there when you left?”
“When did you see him next?’
“The next day, about 10 o’clock in the morning, I fixed his breakfast for him.”
“You fixed his breakfast about 10 o’clock, you say?”
“Now, Minola, did the detectives come out and arrest you some time later?”
“You remember their names?”
Minola told about being taken by the detectives from the Selig home to Solicitor Dorsey’s office in the Thrower building.
“Who was there when you got there?” Attorney Arnold.
“Was your husband there?”
“What did he try to make you say? What did he try to bulldoze you into doing?”
Minola said her husband claimed, and tried to get her to admit, that she had told him that Mrs. Frank came downstairs the next morning and told that Frank wouldn’t let her sleep with him.
“Did the detectives try to get you to say that?”
“Yes, sir, they nearly worried me to death. They said I was lying.”
WANTED HER TO LIE.
“What did the men say then?”
“They said they’d keep me till I told a better lie.”
“What did they do then?”
“They took me up to the control wagon.” (Laughter in court.)
“Where did they take you in the control wagon, Minola?”
“To police station,” said she.
“When did you make your next statement?”
“The next day.”
“You signed something down there, didn’t you?”
“Do you know what was in the paper?”
“No, sir, I don’t know everything that’s in it.”
“You’d have signed anything to get out of there, wouldn’t you?”
Minola was cross-examined by Solicitor Dorsey.
“You came to my office first on May 3, didn’t you?”
“That was about a month before the last time you came?”
“Your husband was working at Beck & Gregg’s?”
“You know Mr. Pickett and Mr. Creighton there at Beck & Gregg’s, don’t you?”
“On May 3, you made this statement didn’t you?” The solicitor read from an affidavit: “Mr. Frank came home to dinner on Saturday and was not in a hurry.”
“And he left there after 3 o’clock?”
“No, sir, I said he left there some time after 2 o’clock.”
“He was there at supper, and had on a brown suit; that the last time you saw him when you left Saturday night, he was reading a newspaper by the stove; that he was gone Sunday morning when you got there; that he didn’t seem worried Sunday at dinner; that you generally answered the phone all the time before this murder, but that after this came up, somebody else answered the phone?”
“No, sir, I didn’t say that about answering the telephone.”
“On June 2 you made another statement to me?”
“Mr. Creighton and Mr. Pickett had been out there to see you, hadn’t they?”
“Why did you come to my office?”
“They brought me there.”
“Your husband confronted you, didn’t he, with what you had told him about things you had seen and heard around the house?”
“You cried, didn’t you, and didn’t he pat you?”
Attorney Rosser and Attorney Arnold objected strenuously. There was some discussion and finally their objection was withdrawn.
“What did they do to you?”
“They tried to get me to tell a lie.”
“That man there, for one of ‘em,” pointing to Detective Pat Campbell, who sat near the solicitor.
“Didn’t your husband pat you and say, “Now, Minola, tell the truth?”
“No matter what he did, he was trying to get me to tell a lie.”
“You signed this paper, didn’t you, Minola?”
“No matter if I did, they made me.”
“You signed it in the presence of your attorney, didn’t you?”
“They made me sign it.”
“You signed it in the presence of a whole lot of men, but it was a lie.”
Solicitor Dorsey then read the affidavit, which was in substance as follows. That Mr. Frank didn’t eat any dinner on Saturday, leaving home in about ten minutes after he got there; that Albert, Minola’s husband, was there when Frank came in, that Frank came back that night about 7 o’clock and ate supper, and Albert was in the kitchen at that time again, that Sunday morning, when Minola got to the house, there was an automobile in the front; that she served breakfast about 8:00, that Frank was not there at breakfast; that after dinner she understood them to say that Frank and a girl had got caught at the office on Saturday, and that they said it was a Gentile girl; that on Tuesday Frank said to Minola, “It’s mighty bad, Minola. I may have to go to jail about this, and I don’t know a thing in the world about it; that on Sunday Miss Lucile (Mrs. Frank) said to Mrs. Selig that Frank wouldn’t let her rest on Saturday night; that he was drunk and made her get out of bed; that he said, “ I don’t know why I would commit murder,” that he asked her for the pistol so he could kill himself; that when Mrs. Frank told Mrs. Selig this it “got away with” her; that Minola did not know why Mrs. Frank didn’t go to see her husband in jail, but anyhow she didn’t go to see him for about two weeks; that when Minola left the house to go to Solicitor Dorsey’s office the second time they told her to be careful how she talked; that before the first trip she had received $3.50 a week; that after this trip they paid her more, sometimes as high as $6; that this extra money was not for extra work she did, but that she took it, understanding it to be a tip for her to keep quiet.
“They asked you if this extra money wasn’t the reason you wouldn’t tell at first, and you said yes, didn’t you?” asked the solicitor. “Didn’t you sign this statement, Minola?”
“Yes, sir, I signed it, but they made me sign it.”
“How did they make you sign it?”
“They told me they’d keep me locked up till I did.”
“Who told you that?”
“All of ‘em told me that.”
“Wasn’t your lawyer, Mr. Gordon, right there?”
“I didn’t know nothing about any lawyer.”
Attorney Arnold questioned the witness again. He had her to deny in detail the statements of importance made in the affidavit and already read by Solicitor Dorsey. Minola said that the affidavit was a lie that her husband had fixed up, and they had it all written out when she came in the room. In another to one of Mr. Arnold’s questions, she said that the affidavit was a lie out of the whole cloth. She declared that her wage still is $3.50 a week, and that she has received more at one time, but it was taken out of her next week’s pay.
In reply to a question as to whether anyone at the Selig residence had told her to be careful of what she said, the negress declared, “They all told me to tell the truth and then it couldn’t hurt them.” She said she knew Mr. Pickett and Mr. Creighton, but did not know what their work is.
Mr. Arnold said, “Your husband framed up the lie and then they brought you down there and tried to make you swear that what he was telling was the truth, didn’t they?”
“That was pretty slick,” said Mr. Arnold, with a chuckle. “Come down.”
THE MIRROR AGAIN.
Charles W. Bernhardt, a contractor, declared that he had been out to the Selig home to take a number of views from the kitchen and the back porch. He presented a diagram of the rear portion of the residence. He said that standing in the jamb (door frame), he could not see, looking as carefully as he could, the mirror in the dining room. He said that moving up into the passage way he could see the mirror, but could see in its reflection only one chair which was about three feet from the east wall. He said that from no point in the kitchen could he see the reflection in the mirror of the table or of the mantelpiece or of the telephone. Sitting in a chair in the kitchen door, he declared he could not see the mirror. The best view that he could get from the kitchen of the mirror, he could see nothing but that one chair.
HENRY WOOD ON STAND.
Henry Wood, clerk of the court of county commissioners, for the past fourteen years, was the next witness. He had made a similar examination of the Selig home with similar results. Attorney Hooper cross-examined both witnesses.
“It depends largely on the arrangement of furniture in the room, as to what you see, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, to a certain extent.”
Attorney Arnold asked, “Can you see the mirror standing in the door that leads from the kitchen to the back porch?”
“After you leave the door and move to another part of the room, you say, you can see the top of one chair reflected in the mirror?”
Attorney Hooper asked “If a man had stood where the chair was, of course, you could have seen the man, couldn’t you?”
“It is possible, I didn’t’ make the test.”
Attorney Hooper brought in the blueprint of the Selig home and was asking Mr. Wood some questions about that when Mr. Wood became confused by the plan and it had to be explained to him. When the witness resumed the chair, Attorney Arnold asked “Did you ever see this diagram before?”
One of the jurors asked Attorney Arnold, who was standing near the jury box, if it made any difference whether a person was sitting down or standing up when he looked toward the mirror from the kitchen.
“Did you sit down and stand up, both, when you looked at the mirror?” asked Attorney Arnold of the witness.
“I didn’t sit down, but stooped.”
“Did you notice any difference?”
JULES FISCHER CALLED.
Jules Fischer, president of the cemetery commission, and a contractor, was the next witness called to the stand by the defense. He testified that he had visited the Selig home at the request of the defense, and made the same test there that Mr. Wood had made. He testified that he stood in the door leading from the kitchen to the porch and could see probably an inch of the glass of the mirror. He made standing and sitting tests, said he, and noticed no difference. He said also that he could move to a place in the kitchen where he could have a full view of the mirror, and that he moved there.
“What is the most of the dining room that you could see, from the best point of vantage in the kitchen?” asked Attorney Arnold.
“I could seee [sic] a top of on chair, a door, and part of a window.”
“Could you see the sideboard? Or if there was a man standing in front of it could you see him?”
The witness testified that then he had had the mirror moved to every angle in the room. He said in answer to a question by Attorney Arnold that no matter which way the mirror was moved, he was unable to see either the table or the sideboard. If the glass had been leaning out of the vertical, said he, it might have been possible to see them. As it was, he said, the reflection is too high to take in those objects. He also said that the mirror is a comparatively small one.
Attorney Hooper asked, on cross-examination: “Did you move the mirror against the wall so that it faced you directly?”
With a few other questions by Attorney Hooper, the witness was excused.
MISS HALL TESTIFIES.
Miss Corinthia Hall was called to the stand next by the defense. She is employed in the finishing department of the National Pencil factory. She testified that she went to the pencil factory on Memorial day, April 26, with Mrs. Emma Freeman (nee Clark). They came into the city on an East Lake car which was due to arrive in the city at 11:30, and got off at Hunter and Pryor streets and went immediately to the pencil factory. They went to the fourth floor of the factory, after asking Frank’s permission as they went by the office floor. He was standing by the clock, dismissing two men. He told her, she testified, to tell Arthur White to come down, and she saw Arthur White’s wife in the outer office talking with a stenographer.
Mrs. Freeman, who had been married the day before, got her coat from the fourth floor, and they came back down shortly afterward and went into the office, where she saw Frank writing, she said. Mrs. Freeman asked permission to use the telephone. “How’s the bride?” asked Frank, according to the witness. “Fine,” Mrs. Freeman replied, according to Miss Hall. That was all the conversation that Miss Hall remembered.
They left the building at 11:45, she said, for she looked at the clock as she went by. Asked to tell who was in the building so far as she knew when she left, the witness replied “Arthur White and his wife, and Harry Denham, and Mae Barrett and Mae Barrett’s daughter, who was on the second floor, and the stenographer, and Frank. She described Mae Barrett as an elderly woman, and declared that she did not appear to be doing anything on the fourth floor except talking to the men. She said Mae Barrett formerly had worked at the factory.
Solicitor Dorsey cross-questioned the witness.
He asked Miss Hall if she was certain that 11:45 was the time she left the factory, and not the time she entered. The witness declared she was certain about it.
“Was it the regular stenographer who was in the office?” he asked.
“I didn’t pay any attention.”
“Didn’t you say at the coroner’s inquest that it was the regular stenographer?”
“I don’t know. They change so often.”
SAID QUINN CAME IN.
The solicitor asked her when she saw Holloway, and she said she saw him on the street before she entered the factory. The solicitor asked her to describe her movements after she left the factory. She said she and Mrs. Freeman went to the corner of Forsyth and Alabama, where Mrs. Freeman used the telephone; and then they went back to the Busy Bee cafe on the corner of Hunter and Forsyth, and ordered some sandwiches and coffee there. While they were in there, Lemmie Quinn came in, she said.
The solicitor tried repeatedly to get the witness to estimate the time that Quinn came in, but the witness said she did not know, and could only describe her movements.
The witness was excused. Mrs. Mae Barrett was called as the next witness by the defense, but she did not answer when her name was called, and the defense called Mrs. Emma Freeman as the next witness.
Mrs. Freeman testified that she had worked at the pencil factory until the week of April 26, when she married Freeman on April 25. She testified that she went to the pencil factory with Miss Corinthia Hall on the morning of April 26, arriving there at 25 minutes to 12 o’clock. They went to the fourth floor to get her coat. She testified that she saw no one around the first floor steps when they went up, and that the stenographer, Miss Hattie Hall, and Mrs. Arthur White, were in Frank’s office on the second floor as they went up.
She testified that they used the phone in Frank’s office, and then went up and got the coat. Frank asked her “How is the bride?” After Frank had spoken to her, and after White had introduced her to his own wife, they left the factory. She said they left at about 15 minutes to 12 o’clock. Among others in the building, she left Mrs. Mae Barrett and Miss Hattie Hall and Miss Maude Barrett in the factory.
From the pencil factory, she and her companion went to Alabama and Forsyth streets, where Miss Hall used the telephone to call a friend. Miss Hall failed to get whomever she was calling on the telephone, and they returned down Forsyth to the Busy Bee cafe, where they got something to eat. They met Mr. Maulsby in the cafe, she said. She told of getting a $5 bill changed, receiving silver; and of Lemmie Quinn coming in and replacing the silver with paper money. She said that when Quinn came into the restaurant he said he had been up to see Frank.
Solicitor Dorsey objected to that going into the record, on the ground that it was hearsay and immaterial. Judge Roan ruled with the solicitor.
Attorney Arnold spoke up. “Your honor, I want you to know that we are insisting on this question.” Solicitor Dorsey then withdrew his objection, though the court had ruled with him.
From the cafe, said the witness, she and Miss Hall went to Mr. Maulsby’s place to telephone. Miss Hall succeeded this time in getting the telephone connection she sought. From Maulsby’s place they went to McClure’s at the corner of Whitehall and Hunter streets, arriving there about 25 minutes to 1 o’clock.
“Did you see any negro as you went in or out of the pencil factory?”
“I didn’t notice any,” replied the witness.
Solicitor Dorsey did not cross examine the witness. She was excused from the stand.
Mae Barrett again was called, but again did not answer.
SELIG ON STAND.
Emil Selig, the father-in-law of Leo M. Frank, was called to the stand.
“Do you all live together?” asked Attorney Arnold.
“Where do you live?”
“At 68 East Georgia avenue.”
“Is your kitchen next to your dining room?”
“How do you pass from one to the other?”
“Through a small passageway.”
“How long has the sideboard been there in the dining room, in the position where Mr. Charles W. Bernhardt and Mr. Jules Fischer and some other gentlemen found it yesterday?”
“Ever since we’ve been there.”
“Were you at home on April 25 and 26?”
“How many bed rooms are there upstairs in your house?”
“Who occupies them?”
“Mrs. Selig and myself occupy one, and Mr. Frank and his wife occupy the other.”
“Where is the telephone?”
“It is in the dining room.”
“If your bedroom door is shut, do you have any difficulty hearing the telephone ring?”
“I don’t hear it at all, but my wife hears it somewhat better.”
“Can Mr. Frank hear it in his room?”
“As to that, I cannot say.”
“On April 26, did Frank eat breakfast with the other members of the family?”
“No, he ate breakfast ahead of us and got away.”
“What time did you get back to dinner?”
“About 1:15 o’clock.”
“What was going on in Atlanta that week in the way of entertainments?”
“The grand opera.”
“Were any of the family making preparations to go on that Saturday?”
WHEN FRANK ARRIVED.
“Yes, Mrs. Selig and Mrs. Frank were preparing to go to the matinee. They were at the table eating dinner when I got there. Mr. Frank came in a little later—I should say around 1:20 o’clock.”
“Did you notice anything unusual in his manner?”
“Nothing at all.”
“What did he do?”
“He told his wife howdy and sat down to eat his meal.”
“Did you notice any scratches on Mr. Frank’s face, on his hands, on his clothes?”
“No, none at all.”
“Who got up first from the table?”
“The ladies got up first and left to go to the matinee.”
“How long did you and Mr. Frank remain at the table?”
“Probably 15 or 20 minutes after the ladies left.”
“What did Mr. Frank do after he left the table?”
“I couldn’t say, exactly. I went out into the chicken yard to look at my chickens, and when I came back I saw Mr. Frank in the hall but I don’t remember what he was doing. Then I lay down on the couch and went to sleep for a while. When I got up, he was gone, and so I didn’t see him when he left.”
“When did you next see Mr. Frank?”
“A little while before supper, I should say about 6:20 o’clock.”
“Were the ladies back at that time?”
“No, they hadn’t got back.”
“Who got back first?”
“I got back first.”
“How long before the ladies got back?”
“About twenty minutes.”
“What time did you have supper?”
“About 7 o’clock.”
“Were you all at supper together?”
FRANK WAS NOT NERVOUS.
“Did you notice anything unusual about Mr. Frank?”
“What did he do after supper?”
“He read a paper in the hall.”
“Did any company come after supper?”
“Yes. Mrs. K. E. Marcus came. Mr. M. Marcus came, Mr. and Mrs. Goldstein and Mr. Ike Strauss.”
“Did you play cards?”
“Did Mr. Frank and his wife join in the game?”
“No, Mr. Frank, he doesn’t play poker. He plays bridge. He and his wife sat out in the hall together. While we were playing cards, we heard him laugh and thought he must have found something funny in the paper, and about that time he came in and read us a funny story about a baseball umpire’s decision.”
“Did anyone go to the door to answer the door bell?”
“Yes, Mr. Frank went to the door several times. I believe he went to the door when all of the company came.”
“What time did Mr. Frank go to bed?”
“I should say it was between 10 o’clock and 10:30.”
“What time did Mrs. Frank go to bed?”
“Pretty soon after he did.”
“What time did the party break up?”
“You saw Frank next day about 11 o’clock. Did you see any scratches on him?”
“He spent Sunday night at home, and then you had breakfast with him Monday morning, didn’t you?”
“When was he arrested?”
“Monday or Tuesday, I don’t remember.”
Solicitor Dorsey cross-examined the witness.
“Do you mean to say that the sideboard hasn’t been moved an inch one way or another since the day of that tragedy?”
“You mean that the servants have never moved it, in cleaning up or anything?”
Mr. Arnold objected to the question. Mr. Dorsey amended it.
“Do you mean to say that the angle of that sideboard hasn’t been changed since April 26? That it was as it is now, before that day and afterward?”
“You are certain that you ate dinner with Frank?”
“How do you fix so exactly at 1:20, the time that he arrived?”
“Well, I came home early that day, and he was just a few minutes behind me?”
“You swore, didn’t you, at the coroner’s inquest, that it was after 1 o’clock, but you didn’t say it was 1:20?”
“Then you don’t undertake to tell the jury that it was 1:20?”
“It was after 1 o’clock,” said the witness.
“Why did you say to Mr. Arnold just now that it was 1:20?”
“Well, I left town at 1:10 and got there a little while later.”
“Doesn’t it take more than ten minutes to get out to your home from the city?”
TIME WAS UNCERTAIN.
“Are you sure you left town at 1:10 o’clock?”
“Well, I’m not certain.”
“Where was Frank when you lay down to take a nap?”
“I don’t remember. I went out to the chicken yard, and then lay down. I wasn’t noticing him.”
“How long do you know he stayed there?”
“I don’t know.”
“He was still there when you came back from the chicken yard, was he?”
“Did he leave before you got up?”
“Well, do you deny, Mr. Selig, that when you were asked that question. ‘Did he leave before you got up’ at the coroner’s inquest, you replied, ‘No.’”
“I can’t say what I answered then.”
“What time did you wake up that afternoon?”
“About 3 o’clock.”
“That night Frank took no hand in the card party, you say?”
“What time was it that he went upstairs?”
“It was after 9 o’clock.”
“It was after supper that you heard him telephoning?”
“I don’t remember.”
“You would have heard him call, wouldn’t you?”
“I might not have heard him.”
“You had heard him call up the factory frequently at night and talk to the nightwatchman?”
“When you woke up Sunday morning he was gone, was he?”
“Yes. He came back between 10 and 11.”
“What did he have to say?”
DIDN’T ASK ABOUT MURDER.
“I don’t know. I had some company, and didn’t talk to him.”
“Well, all during the day what did he have to say?”
“I don’t remember.”
“Did you talk at all about what had happened at the factory?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Well, you knew that a dead girl had been found there in the factory of which he was superintendent, and yet you had nothing to say about it?”
The witness said that he did not refer to the matter.
“Did he tell about it when he came back?”
“I think so.”
“Didn’t you testify before the coroner’s jury that you didn’t remember Frank saying anything at all about it?”
“I don’t know. It was mentioned at the dinner table, but not by me.”
“Didn’t you say at the coroner’s inquest that Frank said nothing about it all day? And wasn’t the question repeated to you there, and didn’t you say that ‘he said no word about it?’”
WAS NOT INTERESTED.
“I didn’t say that. I said it was mentioned, but I paid no attention to it as I was not interested in it except casually.”
“Do you mean to tell this jury that you knew a girl had been found murdered in the basement of the factory of which your son-in-law is superintendent, and yet you paid no attention to anything said about it?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Come down,” said the solicitor. “Wait a minute,” said Mr. Arnold.
“That morning you had some gentlemen there playing cards, and were […]
Frank’s Lawyers Again Threaten Move for Mistrial
[…] interested in them, were you not?” asked Mr. Arnold.
“Yes, we had a little three handed game.”
Solicitor Dorsey asked, “You say that you went out to the chicken yard directly after dinner, do you?”
“I’m not positive,” said the witness.
“Didn’t you tell the coroner’s jury that you stayed in the house and lay down directly after dinner?” asked the solicitor.
“Probably I did. I might have gone to the chicken yard later.”
“Did Frank leave before you got up?”
“I don’t know. I went to sleep. I wasn’t paying any attention because I didn’t know anything had happened.”
“You know when you testified before the coroner’s jury that something had happened, didn’t you?” queried the solicitor with a smile. Mr. Arnold objected to the question and it was not answered, the witness leaving the stand.
MRS. SELIG ON STAND.
Mrs. Emil Selig, wife of the witness who had just finished testifying, was the next witness called to the stand. She testified that she is the mother of Mrs. Frank and the mother-in-law of the secured man. In answer to a question, she said that Mr. and Mrs. Frank had lived at her home for two years. She described the various rooms in the house, as Minola McKnight had described them. The mirror in the sideboard in the dining room is now as it was on April 26, and has never been moved in the whole five years that she has lived in the house, except for the purpose of sweeping the floor beneath it, and then it was put back in exactly the same position.
“Did you see Frank on the morning of Memorial day?” asked Mr. Arnold.
Mrs. Selig replied that she did not see him that morning, and that the first time she saw him was at lunch. She said that she and her daughter Mrs. Frank had prepared to go down town to the matinee that afternoon.
“What time did you have lunch that day, Mrs. Selig?” asked Attorney Arnold.
“About 1:10 o’clock.”
“When you sat down, had Mr. Frank and Mr. Selig come in yet?”
“I don’t remember about Mr. Seligh.”
“Was Frank there?”
“What did he do when he came?”
“He sat down and ate.”
Mrs. Selig testified that she and Mrs. Frank finished their lunch and left the table, leaving Frank and Mr. Selig still eating. The time then was about 1:30, she said.
“Who is your cook?”
“Where did you and Mrs. Frank go when you left the house?”
“We went to the corner and took a car down town.”
SAW HIM ENTER STORE.
“When was the next time you saw Frank?”
“We saw him going into Jacobs’ drug store that evening.”
“Which Jacobs’ store was it?”
“The one at Whitehall and Alabama street.”
The witness continued testifying that she was on a street car passing the corner, and it was about 6:10 o’clock when she saw him. On the way home, she testified, she stopped at her sister’s home for fifteen or twenty minutes and arrived at her own home about 6:30.
“Did you notice anything unusual about Frank?”
“Were there any scratches or wounds on him?”
Mrs. Selig said that they sat down to supper about 6:45 and finished about 7:15. She testified about the same as her husband had sworn, regarding the card party that evening at the Selig home. She said that Frank and his wife did not take any part in the game; that Frank never played the game they were playing that night.
“Did you notice Frank while you were playing?”
“I didn’t notice him particularly?”
“Where was he?”
“He was sitting in the hallway reading.”
“Do you remember any incident regarding his reading?”
FRANK LAUGHED AT JOKE.
“Yes, he laughed once. He said he had read a joke about a baseball umpire.”
Mrs. Selig testified that Frank went to bed about 10 o’clock and that Mrs. Frank followed him after a short time. The card game continued until 12 o’clock, she said.
“Did you hear the telephone next morning?” asked Mr. Arnold.
“What time did you see Frank Sunday?”
“About 11 o’clock.”
“Did you notice any blood spots, cuts or bruises about him that day?”
The cross-examination was conducted by Solicitor Dorsey.
“You swore at the coroner’s inquest, didn’t you, Mrs. Selig?”
“I answered yes.”
“Whom did you tell the coroner’s inquest you left at home that Saturday afternoon?”
“Mr. Frank, the cook and Mr. Selig.”
“Didn’t you say Mr. Frank and the cook?”
“No, I said Mr. Frank, the cook and Mr. Selig.”
“When did you first see Mr. Frank that day?”
“About 1:20 o’clock.”
“Aren’t you mistaken?”
“No, I am not.”
“You didn’t see him that day, did you, at dinner?”
“Yes, I did.”
“That sideboard is on rollers, isn’t it?”
“It is moved a little every time you sweep, isn’t it?”
“Yes, but it’s put back in the same place every time.”
“What time did Mr. Frank get home on Sunday morning?”
“About 11 o’clock.”
“Did he tell you why he went to town?”
HE WAS SUMMONED.
“Yes, he said he was summoned to town.”
“Why is it you told the coroner that he said nothing of the kind, and now you tell us he said he was summoned to town in connection with the crime?”
“I don’t recall what I told the coroner’s inquest.”
“Did you ask Mr. Frank about the crime?”
“Did he seem unconcerned?”
“Didn’t you tell the coroner’s inquest that he did seem unconcerned?”
“No, I think I said that he naturally seemed concerned about it.”
“Didn’t you tell the coroner’s inquest that you didn’t attach any undue importance to it?”
“I don’t remember.”
“Did he say nothing as to the youth of the girl?”
“I don’t remember.”
“As to the brutality of the crime?”
“I don’t remember.”
“As to the brutality of the crime?”
“I don’t remember.”
“Did he advance any theory as to the crime?”
“I don’t remember.”
“Did he express any anxiety concerning the crime?”
“I don’t remember.”
“Didn’t you tell the coroner’s inquest that he did not express any anxiety as to the crime, and that he did not tell you anything as to his theory of the crime, or as to the brutality of the crime?”
“No, I don’t think I did.”
At this point there was a bitter dispute between the attorneys for the defense and the prosecution as to the correctness of Solicitor Dorsey’s record of the testimony at the coroner’s inquest. Attorney Rosser claimed that his record showed that Mrs. Selig testified that Frank naturally felt anxiety as to the crime. Solicitor Dorsey’s record showed that in reply to this question Mrs. Selig said that Frank showed no anxiety. Solicitor Dorsey said that his record is the official record, being the one that was filed with the clerk of the superior court by the coroner after the inquest, in compliance with law. Attorney Rosser replied that the record filed with clerk by the coroner was supposed to be a copy of the record furnished to him as attorney for the accused, and that therefore the two records should conform. After a long dispute, the issue finally disappeared without a decision either way.
“Did Mr. Frank wear the same suit on Saturday, Sunday and Monday?”
“I don’t remember.”
“Didn’t you tell the coroner’s inquest that he did wear the same suit on those days?”
“Then if I did, I think it was mistaken.”
“Didn’t you swear positively, unequivocally and emphatically that he wore the same suit on Saturday, Sunday and Monday?”
“If I did I was mistaken.”
“When did you first learn the name of the girl who had been murdered?”
“I don’t remember.
“Frank didn’t mention her name all day Sunday?”
“Then you first learned it from the newspapers, didn’t you?”
“Yes. I think that’s right.”
“Come down,” said Solicitor Dorsey.
“Wait,” said Mr. Arnold.
“The facts in the case were harrowing, and you don’t want to know about them; and you were ill besides, and Frank spared you the details?” asked Mr. Arnold.
Solicitor Dorsey objected, but not before the witness could answer yes.
“You had an operation the next day, did you not?”
“Yes, I was ill, and Mr. Frank had consideration enough to spare me.”
“When asked at the coroner’s inquest, didn’t you tell them that Frank was concerned?”
“Yes, naturally, he was concerned and curious.”
“That’s all,” said Mr. Arnold. The solicitor stopped the witness.
“How did you know that the facts were harrowing, if Frank didn’t tell you anything about it?” he asked.
“Well, wasn’t the fact that a dead girl had been found in the basement enough?”
“Didn’t he tell you anything else?”
“No, he spared my feelings.”
Court adjourned at 5:30 until 9 o’clock Wednesday morning.
* * *
Atlanta Journal, August 13th 1913, “Frank’s Lawyers Again Threaten Move for Mistrial,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)