Girl Asked for Mary Phagan’s Pay But Was Refused by Frank

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 3rd, 1913

Miss Helen Ferguson, formerly employed at the National Pencil factory, but now working for Marcus Loeb and company, was the first state witness put on the stand Saturday morning.

She proved to be a li[t]tle girl in short dresses with her hair hanging in two braids down her back. Her age she gave as sixteen. On the stand she was rather timid and answered questions in an almost inaudible voice, but replied positively to each one. She was only kept on the stand about fifteen minutes.

For two years previous to the murder she declared that she had been working for the National Pencil factory.

“Did you see Frank on April 25, the Friday before the murder?” the solicitor asked after the usual introductory questions of her age and identity.

“Yes,” she replied.

“At what time?”

“At about 7 o’clock in the evening.”

“What was said?”

“I asked Mr. Frank for Mary Phagan’s money.”
“Well, what did he say?”
“He told me that I couldn’t get it; that Mary would be there Saturday and she could get it then alright.”
“Had you ever got Mary Phagan’s money for her before that?”
“Yes, on two occasions.”
“From Frank?”
“No, from other people there.”
Mr. Rosser here took up the cros[s]-examination.

“When you got the money before, you got it from the man paying off, didn’t you?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Didn’t you ask for it by number?”
“Did you on that occasion?”
“No, sir; I had forgot Mary’s number.”

“What time did you say it was?”
“About 7 o’clock.”
“Was anybody else in the office?”
“Yes, two men, but I don’t know their names.”
“Wasn’t one of them Mr. Schiff?”
“I don’t know.”
“You work in the same department with Mary Phagan?”
“How old are you?”
“I’m sixteen, or I was sixteen last February.”
“What office was Frank in when you went to see him?”
“In his office.”

“There are two offices there; I mean which one was he in?”

“Oh, he was in the inner office.”
“Some gentlemen with him; talking to him?”


“How often had you been there before?”
“Two times,” the little girl replied.

“Ever see Mary Phagan there?”
“No, sir.”
“Did Frank know your name?”

“I don’t think he did.”
Mr. Dorsey, on his opponent’s conclusion, again took the witness.

“Who paid you off that Friday?” he asked.

“I don’t know, sir.”
“What did Frank say when you asked for Mary’s money?”

“He said she’d be there Saturday and could get it then.”
“That’ll do,” said the solicitor and the witness was excused.

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The Atlanta Constitution, August 3rd 1913, “Girl Asked for Mary Phagan’s Pay But Was Refused by Frank,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)