Frank’s Mother Stirs Courtroom

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 13th, 1913

Leaps to Defense of Son at Dorsey’s Question


A sensation was created in the courtroom during the cross-examination of Ashley Jones by Solicitor Dorsey at the Frank trial when Mrs. Rea [sic] Frank, mother of the defendant, sprang to her feet with a denial of intimations made by the Solicitor reflecting on her son.

“Mr. Jones, you never heard of Frank having girls on his lap in the office?” Dorsey had asked.

“No; nor you neither!” cried Frank’s mother.

“Keep quiet, keep quiet; I am afraid you will have to sit here and listen to this a long time,” said the Solicitor.

Mrs. Frank broke into tears and was assisted from the room, crying: “My God, my God!”

Mother and Wife Set With Bowed Heads.

The Solicitor’s examination of Jones had been of a most sensational nature and during the portion of it leading up to the interruption by Mrs. Frank the mother of the defendant and her daughter sat with lowered heads listening to the questions and answers.

Following the outbreak, Attorney Arnold jumped to his feet and shouted: “Your honor, this is outrageous. We are not responsible for the lies and slanders that cracked-brain extremists have circulated since this murder occurred.”

“I will rule that the Solicitor can not ask anything that he has heard since the murder,” replied Judge Roan. “He can ask on this cross-examination what happened before.”

“Your honor,” returned Solicitor Dorsey, “I am not four-flushing about this. I am going to present a witness to prove the charges.

Attorney Arnold interrupted the speaker.

“Your honor,” he said, “if any more of these gross slanders are brought up, I am going to make a motion for a new trial.”

Judge Roan ruled Wednesday afternoon that the testimony of Dr. William Owens should be admitted over the objection of Solicitor Dorsey. He said he had some doubts of it but that he would let it go to the jury.

The decision was a most decisive victory for the defense. It enabled Frank’s lawyers to introduce testimony in regard to a striking reproduction of the events connected with the disposal of Mary Phagan’s body as described by Jim Conley for the purpose of showing that it would have been absolutely impossible for these events to have taken place between 12:56 and the time that Frank left the factory for home.

As Solicitor Dorsey was making an impassioned plea for the exclusion of the testimony and describing the terror that must have hastened the movements of the little factory girl’s murderer, Mrs. J. W. Coleman, Mary Phagan’s mother, broke down utterly and wept for several minutes.

Court opened in the afternoon with the attorneys arguing the admission of Dr. Owens’ testimony. Luther Rosser cited case after case in which evidence similar to that proposed by the defense had been admitted and allowed to stand.

Solicitor Dorsey contended that the witness was not testifying as an expert, but was giving his opinion on a matter concerning which the jurors were just as well qualified to judge as the witness.

Dr. Owens was prepared to testify that with three others he went through all the movements described by Conley, and that it required the two men who took the parts of Conley and Frank eighteen and one-half minutes to carry a burden representing the body of Mary Phagan to the basement and return to the office floor.

Lemmie Quinn, foreman in the metal department of the National Pencil Factory, told a story on the witness stand Wednesday in the trial of Leo M. Frank which gave the lie to another of Jim Conley’s courtroom statements.

Conley testified that he saw Lemmie Quinn enter the factory before Mary Phagan and Monteen Stover came in. The two girls entered some time between 12 and 12:15. Quinn said he did not get to the factory until about 12:20, and that he saw neither of the girls.

Aside from the testimony of Quinn, the forenoon was marked by the opening of the gates for all of the character testimony against Frank which the State wishes to produce.

Three witnesses were produced by the defense to testify to Frank’s good character. When the first one was called Solicitor Dorsey objected, saying:

“I don’t see how this testimony is material, your honor, unless the defense intends to make the defendant’s character an issue.”

“That’s exactly what we propose to do,” retorted Arnold.

Challenge to State To Do Its Worst.

The crowded room of spectators knew that this was a challenge by the defense for the State to do its worst. Frank’s lawyers deliberately had introduced Frank’s character into the trial, apparently indicating that they had no fear of the evidence which the prosecution might bring forth.

It is known that the State has made elaborate preparations for an attack on the young superintendent’s character with stories of gross immorality.

Solicitor Dorsey was asked Wednesday how many witnesses he expects to call.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “It largely depends on the number that the defense calls and the nature of their testimony.”

Those called by Attorney Arnold at the forenoon session were:

Alfred L. Lane, a merchant of Brooklyn, N. Y., and a classmate of Frank’s at Pratt Institute from 1898 to 1902.

Philip Nash, electrical engineer, Ridgewood, N. J., and a class mate of Frank’s at Pratt Institute during the same period.

Richard A. Wright, a consulting engineer, Brooklyn, who knew Frank at Pratt Institute and also at Cornell University.

All testified as to Frank’s good character.

Office Boy Called to Aid Frank.

Frank Payne, former office boy at the factory, was asked to particularize as to certain incidents mentioned in the testimony of Jim Conley and C. B. Dalton. He said that he never knew Frank to have women in his office, although it was his custom to be at the office at the times Conley and Dalton testified that these gay parties took place.

A full three-quarters of the forenoon was consumed in a legal wrangle over the admissibility of Dr. William Owen’s testimony. Dr. Owens was ready to testify in regard to the reproduction of the alleged movements of Conley and Frank in disposing of Mary Phagan’s body as Conley recited them on the witness stand. Judge Roan reserved his decision until afternoon.

Quinn was questioned minutely in regard to the time of his visit to the factory as soon as he was called to stand. Attorney Arnold began by having him detail his movements throughout the day from the time he arose in the morning.

The foreman told an apparently straightforward story, although the Solicitor did not have time for cross-examination before the noon recess. He estimated that he entered the factory at about 12:20 o’clock. All of the doors were unlocked, he said, and the doors of the outer and inner offices on the second floor were open. The safe door, he thought, also was open. He testified that his conversation with Frank was very brief and that he left the factory within two or three minutes.

He said that R. P. Barrett, designated by Attorney Arnold as the “Christopher Columbus” of the Frank trial, had discovered the blood spots and the strands of hair on the lathing machine. Barrett frequently had remarked to him, Quinn testified, that he would draw down the big rewards if Frank was convicted. Quinn said that Barrett had mentioned $2,700 at one time and $4,500 at another as the sum he would receive because he had been the first to find the blood spots and other evidence.

The witness said that it was nothing unusual for factory employees to be hurt and bleed. He cited the case of C. P. Gilbert, who, he said, had been badly injured by the bursting of an emery wheel and was carried, bleeding, past the very place where Barrett discovered the blood spots.

He testified that he never had seen Frank speak to Mary Phagan and did not know that he knew her.

The defense was able to get only so far as the reading of the excerpts from Conley’s testimony, so far as it related to the actual movements of the day when the judge decided that he would reserve his decision until afternoon in the dispute over Dr. Owens’ testimony.

With one man taking the role of Jim Conley, another the part of Leo Frank and two others timing every movement, the four actors in the drama went to the factory and proceeded, through the actions which the negro described in telling the story of the body’s disposal.

Even the victim of the tragedy did not go unrepresented. A sack filled with material weighing 110 pounds, the weight of Mary Phagan, was car- […]


Frank Trial Scene of Hot Battle on Admissibility of Evidence for Defense


[…] -ried from the rear of the metal room to the front of the factory and down the elevator to the basement.

Dr. William Owens was called to the stand. He was one of the timers. He said that William A. Fleming, a contractor and builder, took the part of Leo Frank and a Mr. Brent the part of Conley.

Dorsey objected on the ground that the judge had ruled out evidence as to the time it required Conley to reenact the disposal of the body.

Arnold replied that this pantomime was done under one of Conley’s “lying affidavits,” and not as he told of it on the stand.

Numerous authorities were cited by both sides. Judge Roan finally announced that he would reserve his opinion until 2 o’clock in the afternoon, and Dr. Owens was excused.

It took defense’s men eighteen minutes and a half to re-enact the bare details of the disposition of the body. To this, if the testimony is allowed, the defense will explain, must be added the time the negro was in the closet—eight minutes—the time it took to write the notes, the time consumed in the conversation the negro reported, the alleged exchange of the roll of bills and everything else that transpired in the office that Conley told of.

Dr. W. S. Kendrick, head of the old Atlanta Medical College, was the first witness called Wednesday and notified in rebuttal of Dr. H. F. Harris. He was the first man who employed Harris as a chemical assistant.

Harris Testimony Again Attacked.

Attorney Arnold put his usual hypothetical question about the cut on the back of the head and the doctor answered:

“In expressing any opinion on a wound such as you describe that one after death is nothing more nor less than hazarding the wildest guess imaginable.”

Q. Do you know of any way my physician could determine how long food had been in the stomach?—A. There is no way.

Q. Well, if a doctor were to say from a chemical examination of the contents of the stomach, that it had been there only 30 minutes before death, could he know what he was talking about?—A. No.

Solicitor Dorsey took the witness on cross-examination.

Q. Are you a specialist on the stomach?—A. No.

Q. Is Dr. Westmoreland a specialist on the stomach?—A. No, he is a surgeon, but he would have to know something about the stomach.

Q. is Dr. Hancock a stomach specialist?—A. No, he is a surgeon.

Q. You say you are not a stomach specialist?—A. Yes, but I have to have a general knowledge of the stomach to instruct in medicine.

Tilt Comes Over Doctor’s Digestive Powers.

Q. Tables have been compiled showing how long it takes to digest chicken, cabbage, etc. You are familiar with the digestion of cabbage, are you not?—A. I can not digest cabbage at all myself. If I should eat it to-day, it would put me in bed tomorrow.

Q. I am not asking you about your own stomach. You may be a dyspeptic?—A. No, I am not.

Dorsey—I move that this answer be stricken out.

Arnold—He had a right to answer that question that way.

Dorsey—No, he hasn’t a right to shoot in statements.

Rosser—That is a reflection on this man, who is old enough to be the young Solicitor’s father and a man of undisputed character.

Arnold—Your honor, we want you to rule out that statement of the Solicitor’s about “shooting in.”

Judge Roan—I must sustain Mr. Dorsey in his objection to the witness answering questions he was not asked. I also strike out Mr. Dorsey’s comment on the witness.

Judge Objects to Dragging in Homer.

Dorsey—Dr. Kendrick, I am asking you about medical science—the processes of digestion have been determined, have they not?—A. I am not a stomach specialist. I have had to know something about the stomach to practice.

Q. Isn’t it true that Homer exceeded his teachers in knowledge?—A. I have had to make a living by the sweat of my brow. I haven’t had time to read Homer. I had to teach Latin once—

Judge Roan—I don’t think there is any reason to bring Homer into this case.

Q. Whenever you find free hydrochloric acid in the stomach, digestion is over with, is it not?—A. Yes.

Q. Is it not true that when you find it in a small degree you know that digestion has not progressed very far?—A. Yes.

Q. Well, if you find undigested particles of food in the stomach and only a small degree of hydrochloric acid, then would not the natural conclusion be that the food had only been there a short time?—A. Not necessarily. If I ate cabbage, it would be there the next day.

Q. I never asked you about cabbage. Get your mind away from that. You might have been laid up from eating a Welsh rarebit. Now, are there no certain infallible rules of digestion?

Arnold interrupted—Wait a minute, let him answer that other question.

Addressing the witness Arnold said: “He asked you if a Welsh rarebit would not affect you the same way as cabbage?”

Dr. Kendrick—A. I never saw one in my life.

A ripple of laughter ran through the court and even Frank laughed heartily.

Q. Well, do you go out and practice medicine with your stomach as a standard?—A. I certainly do not.

Q. When did you read the last book on digestion?—A. About ten year ago.

Never Read Book On Digestion, He Says.

Q. You say you have not read a book on digestion in ten years?—A. I don’t know that I ever read a book specifically on digestion. It hasn’t been necessary. All the books are sent me free. I don’t have to buy them.

Q. And there hasn’t been any progress in the study of digestion in ten years?

Arnold: I object to the Solicitor asking and answering the question.

Dorsey: They put him up as an expert, and I want to see what he knows.

Dorsey then put a hypothetical question, describing the conditions surrounding the analysis of the cabbage taken from Mary Phagan’s stomach.

Q. Would you venture an opinion on how long that cabbage was in the stomach before death?—A. Nine days after death, I don’t think you could tell a thing about it. Now, I will explain, if you desire.

Q. Wait a minute.

Arnold: Let him explain.

Dorsey: Can’t the witness take care of himself?

Arnold: Yes, he can.

Dorsey: Then let him.

Dr. Kendrick Gives His Views on Case.

Dr. Kendrick: I have always thought that every stomach is a law unto itself. There is such a wide latitude for fear, anger and a hundred other things to interfere with digestion that it is practically impossible to set a standard.

Q. You and Dr. Westmoreland and some others of you became very bitter against Dr. Harris did you not?—A. I gave him everything he ever had in Atlanta, except his place on the State Board of Health. Dr. Westmoreland gave him that.

Arnold took the witness.

Q. What do you think about Dr. Harris, his eccentricities, etc.?

Dorsey objected and was sustained.

Q. Does this cabbage seem to be masticated?—A. No.

Q. What becomes of the hydrochloric acid after death?—A. I don’t know, but I imagine it would stay in the body.

Q. Do you know what effect formaldehyde has on the pancreatic juice?—A. No.

Clash Over Real Estate Physician’s Testimony.

The witness was excused and Dr. William Owens was called. Arnold question him.

Q. What is your business?—A. A physician and real estate man.

Q. Did you, at our request, make certain tests of the building of the National Pencil Company regarding what Jim Conley said he did?—A. I did.

Dorsey—I object to this testimony. This man is no expert on this subject. The jury is just as capable of judging the time as this witness. It is a farce to have this man go through this testimony. The other day we tried to prove that Jim Conley had gone through this test, and your honor ruled it out. What is the difference in principle between the two?

Arnold—Your honor, you admitted the time the negro said he went through these acts. He said it was all completed about 1:30 o’clock. Jim Conley went through his act after his second lying statement.

Hooper—I object to him referring to the statement of the witness as a lie. That is for the jury to decide.

Judge Roan sustained Hooper’s objection.

Arnold—He admitted he lied. He changed his statement in a half dozen particulars. You can’t judge a man who one time is a pup and the next time is a pig?

Dorsey—Your honor, if you admit this evidence, it will be a positive reversal.

Rules State May Show Time of Conley’s Act.

Judge Roan—I don’t remember that the question at the time was put up to me when I ruled on Conley’s statement. If it is admissible to show how long it took to enact what Conley said was his part, then the State can show how long it took Conley to enact it. I won’t reverse myself. I rule that the State may put in its evidence as to the time it took Conley to enact it.

Doresy—All right, you[r] honor; that is all I want.

Arnold—The Solicitor gets up every time he has an objection and almost cries about something that has been done to him on what he claims is a similar case. We will argue the point about the admissibility when we get to it.

“If the court rules, I am going to read the pantomime that this negro went through,” said Arnold.

Attorney Joe Leavitt read for Attorney Arnold the negro’s statement, detailing the events from the time the negro said he went to move the body until he said he left the factory at about 1:20.

The statement follows:

12:55 o’clock. Conley goes to cotton box from the elevator stairs and gets a piece of cloth but takes cloth back to where body lay and ties it just like a person that is going to give out clothes on Monday. Ties each corner and draws it in and ties it. Ties the four corners together and runs right arm through cloth, and went to put it up on his shoulder and found he could not get it up on his shoulder; it was too heavy, and he carried it that way on his arm and when he gets to the little dressing room in the metal department, he let the body fall, and he didn’t know if anybody heard him, and when he let her fall, he jumped and he was scared and said:

(Conley) “Mr. Frank, you’ll have to help me with this girl. She is heavy.” Frank comes and runs down there from the top of the steps, and after he gets down there, he caught her by the feet and Conley laid hold of her by the shoulders, and when they got her up that way they backed, and Mr. Frank kinder put her on Conley. Frank was nervous and trembling, too, and after walking a few steps, Frank let her feet drop, and then they picked her up and went to the elevator and set her on the elevator, and Frank pulle down on one of the cords and the elevator would not go.

Frank: “Wait, let me go in the office and get the key.” Frank goes in the office and gets the key and comes back and unlocks the storage box and after that he started the elevator down. The elevator went down to the basement.

Frank: “Come on.” He opened the door that led there to the basement in front of the elevator (there is no such door) and carried her out and laid her down, and Conley opened the cloth and rolled her out there on the floor, and Frank turned around and went on up the ladder. Conley carries the body back to where the body was found. Conley goes around in front of the boiler and notices her hat and slipper and the piece of ribbon.

Conley: “Mr. Frank, what am I going to do with these things?”
Frank: “Just leave them right there.” Conley pitched them in front of the boiler. Conley goes on elevator.

Frank: “Come on up and I will catch you at the first floor.” Frank hits Conley a blow on his chest and jams him up against the elevator. Frank stumbles out of the elevator as it nears second floor. Frank goes and washes his hands and takes elevator keys into the private office. They sit down in the private office, Frank rubbing his hands and the back of his hair.

Frank: “Jim.” Conley said nothing. All of a sudden Frank happened to look out of the door.

Frank: “My God, here is Emma Clark and Corinthia Hall.” Frank runs back.

Frank: “Come over here, Jim; I’ve got to put you in this wardrobe.” Frank puts Conley in wardrobe. Conley stayed there quiet a while.

Frank: “You are in a tight place.”

Conley: “Yes.”

Frank: “You done very well.” Frank goes in the hall and comes back and lets Conley out of the wardrobe.

Frank: “You sit down.” Conley sits down and Frank sits down. Frank reaches on table to get a box of cigarettes and matches, takes out a cigarette and match and hands Conley box of cigarettes. Conley lights cigarette and goes to smoking and hands Frank back box of cigarettes. Frank puts cigarettes back in his pocket and then takes them out.

Frank: “You can have these.”

Conley reaches over and takes box of cigarettes and sticks them in his pocket.

Frank: “Can you write?”
Conley: “Yes, sir, a little bit.”

Frank takes out his pencil and sits down. Conley sits down at table and Frank dictates notes, Conley taking the paper that Frank gave him. Conley writes one note and Frank told him to turn over and write again. Conley turns over paper and writes again.

Frank: “Turn over again.” Conley turns over again and writes on next page.

Frank: “That is all right.” Frank reaches over and gets a green piece of paper and tells Conley what to write and Conley writes. Frank takes and lays it on his desk and looks at Conley smiling and rubbing his hands. Runs his hands into his pocket, pulls out a roll of bills.

Frank: “There is $200.” Conley takes money and looks at it a little bit.

Conley: “Mr. Frank, can’t you pay another dollar when that watch man comes, I will pay him myself.”

Frank: “Well,, all right; I don’t see why you want to buy a watch for either. That big fat wife of mine, she wanted me to buy an automobile and I wouldn’t do it. (Pause.) I will tell you the best way. You go down there in the basement, you see that package that is on the floor in fron[t] of the shavings, take a lot of that trash and make up a fire and burn it.

Conley: “All right. Mr. Frank, you come down there with me and I will go.”

Frank: “There is no need of my going down there, and I haven’t got any business down there.”

Conley: “Mr. Frank, you are a white man and you done it, and I am not going down there and burn it myself.” (Pause.)

Frank: “Let me see that money.” Frank takes money and puts in his pocket.

Conley: “Is this the way you do things?”

Frank: “You keep your mouth shut, that is all right.” (Pause.) Frank turns around in his chair and looks at the money; looks back at Conley, turns his hands and looks up.

Declares Frank Cried, “Why Should I Hang?”

Frank: “Why should I hang? I have wealthy people in Brooklyn.”

Conley: “Mr. Frank, what about me?”
Frank: “It’s all right about you. Don’t you worry about this thing. You just go back to work on Monday like you have never known anything and keep your mouth shut. If you get caught I will get you out on bond and send you away.”

Conley: “That is all right, Mr. Frank.” (Pause.)

Frank: “I am going out home. Can you come back this evening and do it?”
Conley: “Yes, I am coming to get my money.”

Frank: “Well, I am going home to get my dinner now and you come back here about 40 minutes from now. It is near my dinner hour and I will go home and get my dinner and fix up the money.”

Conley: “How will I get in?”
Frank: “There will be a place for you to get in all right, but listen, if you are not coming back let me know and I will take those things and put them down with the body.”

Conley: “All right; I will be back in 40 minutes.” Conley looks at Frank; Frank looks around. Then Conley gets up, stands by the chair, looks down at Frank and Frank grabs a scratch pad from the typewriter table, starts to make a memorandum from the paper, but his hand trembles so that he can’t. Frank gets up to go.

Frank: “Now, Jim, you keep your mouth shut, you hear?”
Conley: “All right, I will keep my mouth shut and I will be back here about 40 minutes.” Conley goes out.

When the statement was read, Dorsey was on his feet with an objection that the statement was inaccurate in that things that occurred. Tuesday were mixed with the things of Saturday, and this evidence would be nothing but an opinion. Judge Roan ruled that if it was an opinion he would have to exclude it. Attor- […]


[…] -ney Arnold said that he was going to introduce actual time tests.

Judge Roan—I will let it in, then, because under these circumstances it would be fact and not opinion.

Dorsey—This witness can not pass upon the time it took Frank to choke the little girl.

Attorney Arnold (jumping up angrily)—Of course, he doesn’t know how long it took Conley to choke her.

Judge Roan—I think I understand the question now. There is no evidence here, Mr. Arnold, that they went through the movements as rapidly as Conley did, and I think it would only be an opinion.

Arnold—These men went as fast as they could.

Judge Roan—But the negro never said how fast he walked.

Arnold—Is your honor going to bind us by the unsupported story of this negro?\

Rosser—Your honor, experimentation is purely for establishing relevant accuracy. Even the negro could not go through the same movements again in the same length of time.

Dorsey—Your honor, these men were not under pressure. They had not just choked a poor, little innocent girl to death. They were not trying to dispose of the body. I challenge them to cite any authorities. I submit that if anyone of less standing and ability than these two gentlemen should urge such a proposition, you would not pay any attention to it. I think it is a fact that they have laid down the proposition that makes you reluctant to decide against them.

Judge Roan—They or anyone else can not influence me to do anything wrong.

Dorsey—I didn’t mean that. I have respect for their opinions, but my authorities are clear that non-expert testimony based on tests outside of court is admissible. If Dr. Owens can get up here and testify that he thinks Conley could not have done it as he said he did, he might testify that he could have committed the murder. Then we could produce witness after witness to show that Conley did have time to do what he said. Thus the absolute absurdity of the proposition is revealed.

Attorney Arnold read several authorities.

Judge Roan—What is the reason this witness can’t be called back this afternoon? I will rule on it now, if you gentlemen insist, but I would rather you would produce your authorities, to see if you can find any Georgia cases.”

Dr. Owens was excused until 2 o’clock.

More Witnesses Score Dalton.

O. A. Nix, of Gwinnett County, was next called. Arnold questioned him.

Q. What is your business?—A. Lawyer.

Q. Do you know C. B. Dalton?—A. Yes.

Q. Is he the man who was tried in Gwinnett County for stealing?—A. Yes.

Q. Would you believe him on oath?—A. No.

Solicitor Dorsey declined to cross-examine the witness, and he was excused.

Samuel Craig, a farmer, of Gwinnett County, was next called and declared that he knew Dalton and would not believe him under oath. On cross-examination, Craig said it had been fifteen years since he had known Dalton. The witness was excused and B. L. Patterson, a farmer, of Gwinett County, was the next witness. Arnold questioned him.

Q. Where do you live?—A. Gwinnett County.

Q. What is your business?—A. I am a farmer.

Q. How many acres of land do you own?—A. I never counted them.

Q. Do you know C. B. Dalton?—A. Yes.

Q. Would you believe him under oath?—A. No.

The witness was excused and Robert Craig, of Gwinnett County was called. Under Attorney Arnold’s questioning Craig declared he owned 800 acres of land; that he knew C. B. Dalton and would not believe him on oath.

Ed Craig was the next witness. He declared he was a farmer of Gwinnett County, who had known C. B. Dalton and would not believe him on oath.

T. L. Ambrose and J. P. Byrd also of Gwinnett County, testified along the same line as their predecessors.

Brooklyn Man First Character Witness.

Alfred Lane, of Brooklyn, N. Y., was the first character witness to be introduced by the defense. He is a wealthy merchant of that city. Arnold questioned him.

Q. What is your business?—A. A merchant of New York.

Q. Do you know Leo M. Frank?—A. Yes, I knew him at Pratt Institute from 1898 to 1902, and later at Cornell.

Q. You say you knew him at Pratt Institute for four years?—A. Yes.

Q. Did you know him at Cornell?—A. Yes; I didn’t go to Cornell, but I saw him much in Brooklyn.

Q. How old was he when you were together at Pratt Institute?—Between 17 and 21 years.

Q. Do you know his general character?—A. I do.

Q. What is it—good or bad?—A. Good.

Dorsey did not cross-examine the witness. He was excused and Philip Nash, of Ridgewood, N. J., was called. Arnold examined him.

Q. What is your business?—A. Electrical engineer for a telephone company.

Q. Where did you know Leo M. Frank?—A. I was with him at Pratt Institute for four years.

Q. Do you know his general character?—A. Yes.

Q. Was it good or bad?—A. Good.

The witness was excused without cross-examination. Richard A. Knight, of Brooklyn, a consulting engineer and a college mate of Frank’s at both the Pratt Institute and Cornell, was called by Attorney Arnold.

Q. Do you know Leo M. Frank?—A. Yes.

Q. Where did you know him?—A. I was his college mate at Pratt Institute and at Cornell.

Q. Do you know his general character?—A. Yes.

Q. What is it?—A. Good.

Former Office Boy Called by Defense.

The witness was excused and Frank Payne, a former office boy at the National Pencil Company, was called.

Q. How old are you?—A. 16.

Q. When did you last work at the pencil factory?—A. About 8 months ago.

Q. Where are you working now?—A. Nowhere.

Q. Were you there last Thanksgiving day?—A. Yes.

Q. Do you remember what kind of a day it was?—A. It snowed.

Q. Were Mr. Frank and Mr. Schiff there?—A. Yes.

Q. What did you do?—A. Mr. Schiff sent me up to the fourth floor to fix some boxes.

Q. Who was up there?—A. Jim Conley.

Q. What time did he leave there?—A. About 11 o’clock.

Q. What time did you leave?—A. About 11 o’clock.

Q. Did you see Jim Conley when you left?—A. No.

Q. What time did you leave the factory on Saturday?—A. About 5 o’clock.

Q. Did Mr. Frank ever have any women there?—A. No.

Q. How many weeks were you there?—A. Five or six.

Hooper took the witness on cross-examination.

Q. What were your duties there?—A. General office boy.

Q. You spent most of your time in Frank’s office?—A. Yes.

Q. How long since you quit working there?—A. It has been seven or eight months ago.

Q. Did you ever see any beer bottles around there?—A. No.

Q. You say Jim Conley was there last Thanksgiving morning?—A. Yes.

Q. What time did you notice him?—A. He was sweeping around there until 10:30 o’clock.

Q. What time did you leave?—A. About 11 o’clock.

Lemmie Quinn Called to Stand.

The witness was excused and Lemmie Quinn was called. Arnold questioned the witness.

Q. Where did you work?—A. I am foreman of the metal department of the National Pencil Company.

Q. Is that the department Mary Phagan worked in?—A. Yes.

Q. Do you recollect Memorial day?—A. Yes, it was a holliday at the factory.

Q. Do you recollect the occasion when Mr. Barrett discovered the spots on the floor of the metal room and some strands of hair on a lathe?—A. Yes. He mentioned those discoveries to me.

Q. Did he ever mention any reward he expected to get if Mr. Frank was convicted?—A. Yes, he mentioned $2,700 once and another time $4,500. He said he had been told that if Mr. Frank was convicted there wasn’t any chance to keep him out of his reward. He wanted my advice. I told him I was not a lawyer and could not tell him.

Q. Had anyone notice them before Barrett and he discovered them?—A. No.

Q. Do you remember a man named Gilbert getting cut in the metal room and bleeding around the women’s dressing room?—A. Yes.

Q. When was it?—A. About a year ago.

Q. Do you know of anyone being cut since then?—A. Yes, a boy was cut on the hand.

Q. Did he go by the women’s dressing room?—A. Yes.

Q. Did you know what that stuff was over the spot on the floor?—A. No.

Q. Do you know what has ever become of that hair?—A. I think the detectives have it.

Hair Might Have Blown Into Lathe.

Q. Is there any place in that room where the girls dress their hair?—A. Why there’s a little gas jet about ten feet from the lathe.

Q. This jet is between the lathe and the west windows and a breeze might blow the hair across to this lathe, might it now?—A. Yes.

Q. What time did you get your pay Friday night before the murder?—A. About 20 minutes to 6.

Q. What was the last time before the murder that you saw Mary Phagan?—A. The Monday before.

Q. Why did she not work that week?—A. We were out of material and she was laid off.

Q. Did you ever see Mr. Frank speak to Mary Phagan?—A. No, I never did.

Q. You were examined about all these things by the Coroner and they were impressed on your memory were they not?—A. Yes.

Mr. Quinn told in detail what he did during the morning up to the time he returned to the factory. He said the front door of the factory was unlocked.

Q. When you got up to Frank’s outer office was the door open or shut?—A. Open.

Q. How about the door to the inner office?—A. Open.

Q. How about the safe door in the outer office?—I think it was open.

Q. What time was this?—A. About 12:20.

Fixed Time by Going to Market.

Q. Why do you fix the time at that?—A. Well, when I left home I was anxious to get up town before the meat markets closed. I left home at 15 minutes to 12. Doing the things I did, I judge it was about 12:20 o’clock when I got to the factory.

Q. You say you left the home at 11:45, did you look at your watch?—A. Yes.

Q. What time did you want to get to town?—A. Before 12, because I was afraid the stores would be closed.

Q. How long did it take you to walk to the market?—A. About twelve minutes.

Q. What time was it when you got there?—A. The whistle blew while I was there.

Q. Can you tell how long you remained there?—A. No.

Q. You went to the pharmacy from there?—A. Yes.

Q. How far was that from the market?—A. About three doors.

Q. What pharmacy was that?—A. Bejamin’s.

Q. How long did you stay there?—A. About three minutes.

Q. Did you see anyone else at the factory besides Mr. Frank?—A. No.

Q. What office was he in?—A. The inner office.

Q. What did you say?—A. I asked him if Mr. Schiff was in. He said, “No.”

Q. Did you say anything else?—A. I made some remark about his not being able to keep me away even on a holiday.

Q. What time was it when you left?—A. About 12:20.

Q. Where did you go?—A. To Devore’s pool parlor. It was about 12:30 then.

Q. Where did you go from there?—A. To the cafe, where I met Miss Hall and Mrs. Freeman.

White Substance Used on Machines.

Q. What did you go to see Schiff for?—A. We had a baseball wager and I went there to talk to him about it.

Q. How many minutes did you stay at the Busy Bee?—A. I can not tell exactly.

Q. But you do know what time you went to the poolroom?—A. Yes.

Q. Did you talk to anyone at the poolroom?—A. Yes, McMurray.

Q. Where did you go from Devore’s?—A. The Atlanta Theater.

Q. How long did you stay?—A. About fifteen minutes. I bought tickets for the night.

Q. Where did you go then?—A. Back to Devore’s.

Q. Who is John Lamey?—A. He worked with me.

Q. Did you go to the factory Sunday?—A. Yes.

Q. Whom did you talk to?—A. Mr. Darley and Mr. Montag.

Q. How long did you look at the body?—A. Three or four minutes.

Q. Did you see Mr. Frank Sunday?—A. Yes.

Q. At Bloomfield’s?—A. Yes.

Q. How was he dressed?—A. To blue to black.

Q. What is the purpose of that white preparation used at the plant?—A. To clean the machines.

Carried in Buckets, Spatters on Floors.

Q. How was it carried?—A. In buckets.

Q. It spatters over everything?—A. Yes.

Q. Did you see Frank Monday?—A. Yes, Monday afternoon.

Q. How was he dressed?—A. In brown.

Q. Look at this picture (showing the witness the State’s diagram drawn by the Bert Green of The Georgian). Does it show Mary Phagan’s machine?—A. No.

Q. Point out the place where Barrett claims to have found the hair. Did you find any blood there?—A. No.

Q. Do you recall the place near the closet where the negro said he found the body?—A. Yes.

Q. Did you see any blood there?—A. No.

Q. Well, if somebody had washed up blood in one place would it not have been the reasonable thing to wash it up in another?

“I object,” said Dorsey. “That’s a question for argument, your honor.

“It’s such a good argument,” said Arnold. “that I could not help it. I withdrew the question.”

Court took a recess until 2 o’clock. The cross-examination of Quinn was to be taken up immediately then.

Argument on Admissibility Of Evidence Resumed.

The argument on the admissibility of Dr. Owens’ testimony was resumed with the opening of the afternoon session. Attorney Rosser addressed the court.

“The rule at the beginning of this hearing was that we would be permitted to introduce any evidence that would tend to shed light on the mystery,” he said.

Attorney Rosser at this juncture read a Georgia decision, tending to show evidence of this kind as being admissible. Judge Roan interrupted, “That part of it is all right, Mr. Rosser,” he said. “The only point is whether the conditions are similar.”

Rosser: “All right, your honor, I will read you some authorities on that point.”

Attorney Rosser read a decision in a case in which such an experiment had been allowed in which the jury could make allowances for the differences.

“We will show that this man walked as fast as he could,” said Rosser. “Is it possible that this court could have so far forgotten its common sense as to permit this jury to draw its own conclusions?”

Rosser Pleads for Test.

“Only God Almighty can made identity,” Rosser continued, “and He hasn’t done it yet. There are no two leaves alike in the forest. I said a while ago that it was a one-horsed lawyer who wrote the opinion cited by my friend Dorsey. With a few exceptions, you and I know the authors of law books have not common sense enough to make a living practicing law.

“I don’t think any more unsound principle of law could be embodied in the statutes than the one involved here, and I don’t want to get in the contempt of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. A man’s life is involved and important light might be excluded. One of the cases I was just showing you said in cases of dissimilarity that the judge shall instruct the jury to make allowances.”

Dorsey took up the argument.

“I take no issue with Mr. Rosser,” said the Solicitor, “about this Georgia case by the Court of Appeals. That was an expert matter—the question of how long it would take to stop an engine. In the Moran case it was a question of whether a stick was a deadly weapon or not. It was declared to be a case not admitting opinion evidence. The jury was just as capable of judging as the witness.”

Raises Question of Strain.

Judge Roan: “They propose to prove by Dr. Owens how long it took persons he watched to go through the htings [sic] Conley said he went through with. He is to state facts. I won’t permit any opinion and I don’t want to hear any more authority on it. It is a question of whether they can go through substantially the same things as Conley said he did as regards speech, pressure, etc.”

Dorsey: “Who can imagine the pressure they were under after murdering a little girl?”
Arnold: “All during this trial we have admitted this kind of evidence. We had policemen to say they had sat in the toilet and tried to see how much of the body of Mary Phagan, Newt Lee, could see. We asked the policeman—they asked the man.”

Judge Roan: “Mr. Arnold, I don’t want anything on that. I want to know whether there is enough similarity between the cases for the jury to draw its own conclusions.”

Arnold: “We know, your honor.”

Judge Roan: “Well, this man don’t know how long Conly stood over the body’s.”

Arnold: “We think that negro’s statement was sufficiently graphic as to detail to admit of the comparison.”

Judge Admits Evidence.

Judge Roan: “I have some doubts about it, but I will give the defendant the benefit of the doubt and allow the evidence to be admitted.”

The jury was ordered brought in.
Lemmie Quinn was then recalled to the stand. Attorney Arnold continued direct examination.

Q. Where are you working now?—A. At the pencil factory.

Dorsey took the witness on cross-examination.

Q. When did the last man bleed on the second floor?—A. The last man dangerously hurt, was a year ago.

Q. Was that a year from now, or a year from the date of the murder?—A. I mean just what I said.

Q. Can’t you tell us the truth about it?

Arnold: “He has answered the question.”

Dorsey: “I am cross-examination the witness.”

A. I can’t tell you the exact time.

Q. When was the last time you noticed blood from this man?—A. Some time ago. I don’t remember how long.

Q. Did it look like this blood found in front of the ladies’ dressing room?—A. Yes, except the last I saw there was darker.

Q. You told Mr. Starnes, Mr. Black and the other officers that you did not go into the factory on that Saturday?—A. Yes.

Q. You did not tell anyone about being in the factory until after you had been down to see Frank, did you?—A. No, sir.

Q. What did Mr. Frank say when you told him?—A. He said he remembered seeing me, but didn’t remember the time.

Q. Didn’t he tell you to keep it quiet until he had seen his lawyers?—A. He didn’t say keep it quiet. He said he would talk with his lawyer.

Q. When was this that you saw Frank?—A. Tuesday after the murder.

Q. You were with the police all day Monday and said nothing about it?—A. I wasn’t with them all day.

Explains Why He Was Led to Tell of Visit.

Q. Off and on, all day?—A. I saw them a number of times.

Q. Are you absolutely sure about what time you were in Frank’s office?—A. Reasonably sure.

Q. Do you deny that you told Officer Payne that you had not been to the factory since Friday?—A. I do.

Q. You admit refreshing Frank’s memory about your visit?—A. Yes.

Q. Tell us just what you said.—A. I told him that I was there and he said he remembered it, but not the time except that it was after the time Mary Phagan was there.

Q. Didn’t you tell him, “I don’t like to be brought into it, but if it will help you, I will”?—A. Yes.

Q. He told his lawyers and said they advised him to mention it, and you told the police?—A. Yes.

Q. Did you talk to Barrett before the Coroner’s inquest?—A. No; that was after the Coroner’s inquest.

Q. Where is Miss Jefferson, who discovered these spots, working now?—A. At the pencil factory.

Q. Are you sure of that?—A. She was there yesterday in the polishing department.

Q. You saw her?—A. Yes.

Q. Now, you didn’t tell the officers you were in the factory on Saturday, April 26, until the following Saturday?—A. The next Saturday.

Q. Didn’t you say this to the Coroner’s Jury? That you told Frank you were there, and he said he would mention if to his attorneys to see whether it was favorable or not?—A. I don’t know whether I said favorable or not.

State Seeking Flaws In Quinn Testimony.

Q. Why was it that you said it was between 12 and 12:30, and that you arrived at the poolroom at 12:25, and now say you arrived at Frank’s office between 12:20 and 12:25 and arrived at the poolroom at 12:30?—A. I overlooked part of it.

Q. Didn’t they ask you if you could be definite and you said you never looked at a clock until you got to the poolroom?—A. Yes.

Q. I will ask you now about the back door. Was it locked or barred?—A. Closed.

Q. On May 12, in the presence of Detectives Lanford, Starnes and myself, did you not sign this statement?—A. Yes.

Q. Well, didn’t you say that there was a bar on that door that cut off communication from the upper floor and didn’t you say it was customarily kept closed?—A. Yes.

Q. Now, didn’t I go further with you say this: “That the door that leads from the office floor to the floor above is kept closed,” and didn’t you say, “No, the door is closed with a bar across it.” “Now, isn’t that true?—A. Yes.

* * *

Atlanta Georgian, August 13th 1913, “Frank’s Mother Stirs Courtroom,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)