L. M. Frank’s Complete Story of Where He Was and What He Did on Day of Mary Phagan Murder

by Archivist on May 6, 2016

L. M. Franks Complete Story of Where He Was and What He Did on Day of Mary Phagan Murder

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

Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, May 6th, 1913

For Three Hours and a Half Mr. Frank Was on the Stand, Answering Questions About His Movements Every Hour and Minute of the Day—He Was Calm and Unruffled When Excused From Stand and Returned to the Tower

HE TELLS OF VISIT OF LEMMIE QUINN TO HIS OFFICE TEN MINUTES AFTER MARY PHAGAN RECEIVED WAGES

Introduction of Quinn Gives the Factory Superintendent an Important Witness, in Confirmation of His Statements. Only Three Witnesses Examined by Coroner at Session Monday Afternoon

For three hours and a half Leo M. Frank, general superintendent of the National Pencil factory in which Mary Phagan was murdered, faced the coroner’s jury Monday afternoon and told minutely, detail by detail, in precise sequence, where he was and what he did during practically every minute of Saturday, April 26, Saturday night, and Sunday, April 27. When he had finished, his father-in-law, Emil Selig, was put upon the stand and questioned closely regarding what he knew of Frank’s whereabouts and acts on those days. And after Mr. Selig had been excused, Mrs. Josephine Selig, his wife, was called to testify along the same line. These three witnesses occupied the entire session Monday, which was at work for almost five hours.

That Lemmie Quinn, foreman of tipping department, visited the Naitonal Pencil factory shortly after Mary Phagan is supposed to have received her pay envelope and departed, was an absolutely new feature in the murder mystery brought out by Mr. Frank’s testimony.

While Quinn has never been on the stand he has corroborated Mr. Frank’s statement in interviews with the detectives, and goes further by saying that he recalled his visit to the factory for the incarcerated superintendent.

Mr. and Mrs. Emil Selig, father and mother-in-law of Mr. Frank, with whom the latter lives, were the only other witnesses examined Monday afternoon before the inquest was adjourned until Thursday morning at 9:30 o’clock.

When Mr. Frank left the witness stand at 6:20 o’clock, after three hours anda half of examination, he stated to a Journal reporter that he was not tired. He seemed none the worse for the ordeal he had just gone through. He was at once transferred to the tower.

Leo. M. Frank, superintendent of the National Pencil factory, was the first witness when the inquest was resumed. Mr. Frank entered the commissioner’s room where the inquest was being held at 2:45 o’clock. He was accompanied by Chief of Detectives Newport A. Lanford, Chief of Police James L. Beavers, Detective J. N. Starnes and Deputy Plennie Miner.

He was sworn at 2:50 o’clock and a systematic questioning was begun by Coroner Donehoo, who was occasionally prompted by Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey and Chief of Detectives Lanford.

“What is your name?” the coroner asked.

“Leo M. Frank,” was the answer.

“Where do you live?”

“At 68 East Georgia avenue.”

“What is your connection with the National Pencil factory?”

“I am general superintendent.”

“How long have you been with the National Pencil factory?”

“Since August, 1908,” was the answer.

“How long have you held the office of general superintendent?”

“Since September 1, 1908.”

“Where were you prior to that date?”

“Just prior to that time I was buying machinery for the factory.”

“Have you lived in Atlanta all your life?”

“No, sir.”

“Where did you live before coming to Atlanta?”

“In Brooklyn, New York.”

“Are you married or single?”

“I am married.”

“Is your wife living?”

“Yes, sir.”

“How many times have you been married?”

“Once only.”

“Where did you live in Brooklyn, N. Y.?”

“My last address there was 152 Underhill avenue.”

“In what business were you engaged in Brooklyn?”

“I was with the National Meter company.”

“When did you leave Brooklyn?”

“About the middle of October, 1907.”

“Where did you go?”

“To Atlanta to confer with the National Pencil company.”

“When did you go abroad?”

“The first week in November, 1907.”

“When did you return to Atlanta?”

“August 1, 1908.”

HIS DUTIES AT FACTORY.

“What are your duties at the pencil factory?”

“I look after the purchasing of material, inspect factory costs; see that orders are properly entered and filled, and look after the production in general.”

“What time did you get up Saturday morning, April 26?” was the next question.

“About 7 o’clock.”

“Do you and your wife live alone?”

“No, sir.”

“With whom do you live?”

“My mother and father-in-law.”

“Who are they?”

“Mr. and Mrs. Emile Selig.”

“Have you any children?”

“No, sir.”

“Does any one else live with you?”

“No, sir.”

“How many servants have you?”

“There is only one on the place.”

“What is this servant named?”

“I don’t know her last name. Her first name is Minola. She is colored.”

“What time does she get there?”

“About 6:30 o’clock.”

“Was she on time Saturday, April 26?”

“Yes, sir.”

LEFT HOME AT 8 A. M.

Mr. Frank said that he left his home about 8 o’clock that morning, Saturday, April 26. He remembered seeing his servant, Minola, and his wife, as he was leaving. He didn’t remember seeing any one else. He was sure he did not see Mrs. Selig. He might have seen Mr. Selig, but he did not remember.

At his corner he can catch either the Washington street or the Georgia avenue car, said he. He did not remember which he boarded that morning. He did not remember talking to any one on the car. He arrived at the factory about 8:20 o’clock. He does not punch the time clock. Mr. Holloway, the day watchman, and Alonzo Mann, the office boy, both were there. Holloway was near the time clock as he went by. Alonzo, the office boy, was in the office. He did not remember whether any one was in the machine room. He didn’t look back there. He didn’t remember how long it was, perhaps an hour until several other people came in to get their pay envelopes. One man came to get his envelope for his son, and another for his stepson. One of the men was the father of a boy named Jimmie Grant, he remembered. Saturday being Memorial day, was a holiday in the factory, but he had instructed the office force to report and Coroner Donehoo fired question after question, related or without context, at Mr. Frank, the queries being rapid and precise. It was evident that the witness was to be examined most minutely.

Continuing, Mr. Frank remembered that during the morning of that Saturday Miss Mattie Smith came in to get the pay envelopes of herself and her sister. He didn’t remember whether there was anybody in the outer office at that moment. The office boy should have been there. His chief clerk was Herbert Schiff, a salesman, who had been acting in that capacity since the discharge of J. M. Gantt, the former incumbent. Schiff was not in the office. The stenographer should have been in the outer office. She is a Miss Eubanks. He didn’t remember her first name.

He had been in the office about thirty or forty minutes when M. B. Darley, Wade Campbell and “Mr. Fullerton” came in. The first thing he did was look over his mail and the papers.

WENT TO MANAGER’S OFFICE.

“What sort of papers?” he was asked.

“Notes and orders,” he replied, adding that the notes are memoranda for his attention about work around the factory. He put them in a folder, to get ready for Monday.

“What did you do after you went through the mail?” he was asked.

He replied that he went over to the manager’s office about 10 o’clock. Before going there he talked several minutes with Darley and Campbell. He did not attend to the financial sheet then. He couldn’t recall doing anything else. The manager’s office is in the establishment of Montag Bros., 10 to 20 Nelson street, he said. Sig Montag is the manager. The coroner questioned him closely about what papers he handled that morning. He asked the witness, “What do you usually do after you get to the office when the factory is at work?”

Mr. Frank replied that usually he opened his desk, got out the orders, arranged the work for his stenographer, and at a few minutes after 7 o’clock he would go up into the factory and distribute the orders among the proper departments.

He said that he did not get the factory mail at this office. Sometimes he got personal mail there, he said. He went to the safe that morning and got out the papers, but couldn’t recall what the first one was. He answered numerous specific questions about where he was when the others came in, and how to make out a financial sheet, etc.

Frank said that he prepared a financial sheet Saturday afternoon. It bore the date of Thursday, the twenty-fourth, he said, in response, to the coroner’s question. Their week ended on Thursday, he said.

“Why didn’t you make out the sheet on Thursday?” he was asked.

“I didn’t know the payroll then. We generally get the payroll on Friday.”

INTENDED TO GO TO GAME.

“Did you intend to go to the ball game on Saturday?” the coroner asked.

“Yes,” replied Mr. Frank, “until I got up and saw it was a cloudy day.”

He was asked why he didn’t make out the final sheet in the morning, and replied that he had other matters—invoices, orders, etc.—to look after.

“When did you work on the house books?” he was asked.

“Not on Saturday,” he said.

Mr. Frank said that his stenographer was not at the office Saturday, so he called a Miss Hall from Montag Brothers to help him. He went to Montag Brothers to see an official of the National Pencil company, who has his office there, he said, and shortly before 11 o’clock Miss Hall telephoned him there to return to the pencil factory and took over some important papers. When he got back to the pencil factory Miss Hall, his office boy and some others were in his office, he said.

At this point the coroner abruptly changed his line of questioning to ask  “Is the house order book of April 30 in your handwriting?”

“No,” replied the witness.

“How many others were there on April 30?”

“Eleven, I think,” said Mr. Frank.

“Who entered those?”

“Miss Hall,” said the witness.

The coroner then came back to the visit to Montag brothers, and Mr. Frank said that he remained there until about 11 o’clock. He said that he talked to several persons there on business.

[Part of a paragraph is missing here—Ed.]

look over the mail for matters needing immediate attention.

MANY QUESTIONS ASKED.

“Did you stop on your way there?” he was asked.

“I don’t remember.”

“Did you stop on your way back?”

“I don’t remember,” he again answered.

The coroner asked him to try to refresh his memory. He still insisted that he did not remember stopping at any place, either on his way to or from Montag Brothers.

The coroner kept up his systematic fire of questions, asking “How old is your office boy?”

“About fifteen or sixteen,” he replied.

“Does he wear long or short trousers?”

“Short.”

“What did you do when you got back to the pencil factory?”

“I sorted orders for about ten minutes.”

“What was in those orders?”

“I don’t remember.”

He didn’t remember whether the orders or invoices were from in Atlanta or out of the city, he said.

“Do you usually get orders or invoices on the twenty-sixth?” was the next question.

“We get invoices when the goods are shipped,” the witness answered.

“Do you remember any specific order or invoices on that date?” he was asked.

“No, sir, I do not,” said Mr. Frank.

He had no specific times for taking up routine work, said Mr. Frank. Usually he took up what appeared to be most important at the time.

HE WAS ALONE, HE SAID.

He dictated letters a while to Miss Hall. She entered the orders that he had received that morning. He didn’t remember just what she was doing while he did that. It took him about five or ten minutes to assort the orders. It took Miss Hall about fifteen or twenty minutes to enter them. When she had entered them she wrote postcard receipts for them. Then she copied on the typewriter the letters that he had dictated to her.

That didn’t take her long. About 12 o’clock he started copying the orders in the shipping requests. About that time Miss Hall and the office boy left. He didn’t remember whether they went together. He remembered it was about noon, for he heard the whistle blow at the time. So far as he knew, there was no one else in the office after Miss Hall left. He said it was customary to copy orders on the day of their receipt. They were seldom more than a day late copying them. It took him probably forty minutes to copy the orders. He didn’t begin work more than a minute or two before 12 o’clock. Again he was asked whether he was alone, and answered, “Yes, as far as I know.”

MARY CAME FOR WAGES.

“About 12:10 or 12:05 o’clock,” said Mr. Frank, “this little girl who was killed came up and got her envelope. I didn’t see or hear any one with her. I didn’t hear her speak to any one who might have been outside. I was in my inside office working at the orders when she came up.

“I don’t remember exactly what she said.

“I looked up, and when she told me she wanted her envelope, I handed it to her. Knowing that the employees would be coming in for their pay envelopes, I had them all in the cash basket beside me, to save walking to the safe each time.”

Mr. Frank said he didn’t know Mary Phagan’s number. He said each envelope had the employee’s number stamped on it. He admitted that he had looked up Mary Phagan’s number since the murder, but he had forgotten it again, said he. He did not see her pay envelope after he handed it to her. He made no entry of the payment, on the payroll or any other record, because none was required, said he.

“The girl left. She got to the outer door and asked if the metal had come. I told her no.”

(The girl had been “laid off” from work at the factory the preceding Tuesday, it has been understood, because of a shortage in some metal which her work required.)

“Where was Mary Phagan when she asked about this metal?” he was asked.

“In the outer office, I think, or in the main hall.”

He explained that the Phagan child hadn’t been working since Monday because of the shortage in the metal supply.

There was $1.20 in the child’s pay envelope, he said, part of it being for work on Friday and Saturday of the previous week. He didn’t know at what rate she was paid, he said, as he didn’t open the sealed pay envelope.

HEARD FOOTSTEPS DIE AWAY.

When she left he heard her footsteps die away in the hall, he said, and returned to his work, thinking no more about her.

Mr. Frank said he knew the Phagan child’s face, but didn’t know her name. She stood partly behind his desk, he said, and he didn’t notice the details of her dress, but thought the color was light. He didn’t recall whether she wore a hat, or carried a parasol or purse, he said, and didn’t see her shoes or stockings, which, he said, were hidden by the desk.

The girl reached his office between 12:10 and 12:15, he said and stayed there about two minutes. He thought her name was on the outside of the pay envelope, he said, but had identified her by her number.

No one else came into the office while she was there, the witness said. In response to a question from the coroner, he said that he had told her she had come almost too late. When she left he thought he heard her voice in the outer office, he said. He made no entry on the pay roll after giving the girl her envelope, he said.

About five or ten minutes after Miss Phagan left a man named Lemmy [sic] Quinn, foreman in the tip department, came in, he said.

Quinn remarked, “Well, I see you’re busy,” Mr. Frank said, and left about 12:25. Mr. Frank then copied orders, he said. He didn’t know where Quinn went, he said.

Mr. Frank said that the metal hadn’t come at that time, and he didn’t think it had arrived yet. The acting chief clerk, whose name was Schiff, would receive it when it came, he said.

He didn’t go to see whether it had come when the Phagan child called, he said, nor did he ask Schiff about it. He would probably know it had come before Schiff did, he said.

HEARD WHISTLES.

Mr. Frank said that he fixed the time Mary Phagan came for her money by the factory whistles which blew about noon. He didn’t leave his office between the time the girl left and Quinn called, he said. He didn’t recall how Quinn was dressed, he said, but thinks he wore a straw hat.

Mr. Frank said he didn’t know how long Mary Phagan had worked at the pencil factory.

He said that Quinn knew Mary because he was foreman of the tip department in which she was employed. Quinn worked last week, Mr. Frank said, on tools and machinery.

Mr. Frank said that Quinn usually wore the same clothing around the factory that he wore on the streets. Quinn came into his office about 12:25 and spoke to him. He was wearing street clothes. Quinn was about twenty-five or thirty years old, said he. Probably half an hour after Quinn spoke to him he left the factory—about 1 o’clock, or three or four minutes after that hour. He did not lock all of the papers in the safe, he said, because he anticipated returning to work with them that afternoon.

“Do you remember which ones you got together before you left?”

Mr. Frank answered that he got the production sheet and looked it over, and a few other papers. After the time Miss Hall left the office until he himself left to go home he was in the office all of the time, he said. Before he left he went up to the fourth floor, where he found Harry Denham and Arthur White and Mrs. White, and told them he was going out and would lock the door. Mrs. White, he thought, said she would go on out, and he thought she went away. He went up by the stairway to that floor, he said.

The day watchman was there shortly after 11 o’clock, said he. He didn’t remember exactly what time he left. Except on Saturdays, the day watchman usually worked until the night watchman came on duty. On Saturdays, said he, he himself worked, except on rare occasions; and when he did work he let the day watchman go. He couldn’t remember more than three or four occasions, said he, when the day watchman had worked. He let the watchman off as a usual thing that Saturday, said he.

HADN’T SEEN FRY.

He was asked about Walter Fry, a negro employed at the factory. Fry, said he, is one of the oldest negro employees there. He had to clean the third floor of a lot of glue once each week, and usually he did it on Saturdays. Mr. Frank did not know whether Fry was in the building that day. The watchman said nothing of it, as he should have done had the negro been there. He had not excused Fry from work, said he. He hadn’t seen Fry in two weeks, he added.

He caught a Washington street car and got off at Georgia avenue. He got home about 1:20 o’clock. He found his mother-in-law and his wife dressed and ready to go to the opera. He told them good-bye and went in and had lunch with his father-in-law. The servant, Minola, waited upon them. They spent about twenty minutes eating. Afterward he lit a cigarette and lay down upon the sofa, his father-in-law, a chicken fancier, going out in the back yard to look at some chickens. His father-in-law had not come back when he got up and left the house. He did not sleep while he lay on the sofa. He dozed, for he was tired from the morning’s work.

He left home about 2 o’clock. On the street he saw a cousin of his, from Athens, and the cousin’s mother. He crossed the street and talked with them. They said they had come down for grand opera. He walked on up to Glenn street, not having missed a car, and there caught a Washington street car. On the street car he met another cousin, J. C. Loeb, and talked with Mr. Loeb as they rode to town. At the corner of Washington and Hunter streets the car stopped, on account of the parade, and he got out and walked west on Hunter to Whitehall. When he reached that corner the parade came around into Hunter street from Whitehall.

WATCHED THE PARADE.

He stopped there and watched the parade a while, then walked on up Whitehall toward Alabama. In front of Rich’s he met Miss Rebecca Carson, one of the forewomen in the factory. He spoke to her, but did not stop. That must have been about 2:40 o’clock. Just a few minutes later, when there was a lapse in the parade, he crossed Whitehall and entered Jacobs’ drug store on the corner, buying three or four cigars of a brand that he named, and perhaps a package of cigarettes. From Jacobs’ he went on up Alabama street to Forsyth, and turned down Forsyth to the factory. He opened the street door with his key, and locked it behind him with a latch manipulated from the inside. He unlocked the inner door and left it open behind him. That was about 3 o’clock. He took off his coat and went upstairs to the third floor, where he found Denham and White in the back of the room. They told him they would be through work and ready to leave in a few minutes. He came directly downstairs to his office. He opened the safe and took out some papers and started work on the financial sheet. A few minutes later he heard Denham and White come down from their work and ring the clock. White came into his office and borrowed $2. He joked with White a minute or so about the loan, and then got his signature upon an advanced wage sheet and gave him the $2. He put the slip in an envelope, where he kept other slips like it.

About 3:09 or 3:10 o’clock White and Denham went downstairs. Shortly afterward he followed them and latched the street door again behind them. That was about 3:20 o’clock, he said.

The day watchman left about 3 o’clock, Mr. Frank said, and White and Denham left about 3:15. He went downstairs and locked the door after them, he said, and returned to his work on the financial sheet. The witness said that, so far as he knew, he was alone in the factory. He had seen no one while on his way up or down the steps.

Mr. Frank said that he worked on the financial sheet until about 5:30 o’clock. At about fifteen minutes before 4, he said, he went to the lavatory to wash his hands, and on his way back to his office saw the night watchman coming up the stairs.

NIGHT WATCHMAN COMES.

Mr. Frank said that on Friday he had told the watchman to report for duty at 4 o’clock Saturday afternoon, and that he remembers the time because he looked at his watch to see if the watchman was on time. The watchman had pass keys to the doors, he said.

Asked about his conversation with the night watchman, Mr. Frank said that he said, “Howdy, Lee,” and told him he was sorry he had to come to work so early, and that he could go out and enjoy himself for an hour or an hour and a half. Lee offered him some bananas, he said, but he took none.

The only other interruption during the afternoon, Mr. Frank said, was a telephone call for Mr. Schiff.

Mr. Frank said that he had planned to go to the ball game with his brother-in-law, Mr. Ersenbach. He had tried to telephone Mr. Ersenbach that he couldn’t go, but had been unable to get him, the witness said.

Mr. Frank said that after 5:30 he balanced the cash. This took until about 6 o’clock, he said.

Mr. Frank was not downstairs between 4 and 4:30, he said, in response to a question.

The witness said that when Lee returned about 6 o’clock he was putting in the clock slips. There were two clocks, he said, one that registered between one and 100 and the other between 100 and 200. The watchman punched the latter. Mr. Frank took out the Friday slips, he said, which were dated April 26, and put them on the clerk’s desk.

He was asked when Fullerton was to start to work.

“On Monday, the 28th,” he said. He didn’t know, he said, whether Fullerton started to work on Monday or not.

It was not very light, Mr. Frank said, when Lee returned to work. He had no conversation with him. Lee did not seem in the least agitated, Mr. Frank said.

GANTT WAS THERE.

Mr. Frank said that about 6 o’clock he washed his hands and put on his coat preparatory to leaving the building. Lee had punched the clock and was at the bottom of the steps, Mr. Frank said, to lock the door after him. Lee was talking to J. M. Gantt, former employee of the factory, on the sidewalk just outside the door, the witness said.

Mr. Frank said that Lee told him Gantt wanted to get a pair of shoes he had left in the factory. The witness said he sent Lee in with Gantt, and left the building himself.

Mr. Frank said he then went to Jacobs’ pharmacy at the corner of Alabama and Whitehall streets and bought a box of candy. It was a special kind of candy that was not kept boxed and he had to wait a few minutes, he said, while the girl put it in a box for him. He chatted with the girl, he said, but spoke to no one else before he got home.

He reached home about 6:25 o’clock, he said. His father-in-law and the servant were there, the witness said and his wife and his mother came in a few minutes later.

They came in about 6:30, Mr. Frank said, just as he was telephoning to the factory. He telephoned at 6:30, he said, because at that time the night watchman was due to be punching the clock and would ordinarily be where he could easily hear the telephone.

Mr. Frank said that he failed to get Leet at 6:30, so telephoned him again at 7 o’clock, when the watchman answered.

The witness said he asked whether Gantt had gone and if everything was all right, then ate his dinner.

Mr. Frank said he had never heard Gantta make any direct threats against him. Gantt had been discharged, the witness said, because of negligence in his accounts.

Mr. Frank said that he telephone the factory, because Gantt “was a man I wanted to keep up with when he was in the factory.”

The witness said that after supper he smoked and read until about 9:30 o’clock, when he went upstairs and lit the gas heater. He then went back downstairs, he said, and read until about 10:30, when he went back upstairs, took a bath and went to bed about 11.

Mr. Frank said he was awakened about 7:30 o’clock Sunday morning by the ringing of the telephone. He answered it in his bath robe, he said. It was Detective J. M. Starnes, who said he wanted Mr. Frank to identify some one at the factory, the witness said.

Mr. Frank said he asked the detective if there had been a fire, and the reply was, “No; a tragedy.”

The witness said Mr. Starnes told him an automobile would be right up for him. Detective Black and Boot Rogers arrived before he had finished dressing, Mr. Frank said. He went with them, he said, to Bloomfield’s undertaking establishment to see the body of Mary Phagan.

Mr. Frank said that he immediately recognized the “poor little thing.” He looked at her, he said, and remarked, “That is the child I paid off Saturday.”

Mr. Frank then described the appearance of the corpse, and said that the cord about her neck was of the type used on the third and fourth floors of the pencil factory in binding “units.”

GOES TO FACTORY.

He stayed at the undertaker’s shop but a few minutes. Then he drove down to the factory and saw Darley going in just ahead of him and called to him. He went upstairs, where he saw the negro and a number of detectives. There he was told the details of the tragedy. He took them down to the basement in the elevator. He couldn’t get the elevator to work at first, and Darley started it for him. He didn’t see any blood in the basement. He told Darley to nail up the back door, which they showed him to be standing open. He said it was part of the watchman’s duty to come down in the basement and see that that door was fastened, and also to look in the dust bin. The fire insurance people consider that dust bin somewhat of a hazard, said he. He hadn’t been in the cellar a dozen times before during his connection with the company, said he.

He answered a number of questions relative to the method of operating the elevator. It is run by electricity. There is a switch on the left of the elevator at the second floor landing where the power is turned off. The switch never is locked up. Formerly it was, but the insurance people objected, and later it was left unlocked where the firemen could get to it immediately and shut off the power in the building.

THE PART OF THE TIME CLOCK.

He was questioned as to the tape on the time clock. When he looked at it first after the tragedy, he thought it was all right because the lines had not been broken. Later, said he, he studied it more closely and saw that the negro night watchman had skipped in two or three places, punching hours only instead of hours and half hours. He said he had put the date, 28, on the tape in advance because he knew when the employees came to work Monday morning they would start to punching that date.

While he was in the factory on the Sunday morning after the tragedy was discovered, the detectives used most of the time going over the factory, looking for some one who might have been hidden. He did not know what machine Mary Phagan used in the factory, said he. He didn’t know of any stuff similar to whitewash used around the plant. There was a yellowish substance, like soap, used for a lubricant.

SAID HE HELPED DETECTIVES.

Leaving the factory that Sunday morning, he went to police headquarters with some of the detectives and Mr. Darley. There he answered a number of questions. He did not remember what they were, but he remembered that he wanted to give the detectives every possible help in getting at the bottom of the thing. He told them everything that they wanted to know, said he.

He and Darley left headquarters together and walked toward town. He asked Darley if he wanted to see Mary Phagan’s body, and Darley, saying yes, they walked over to the undertaker’s, but they could not see the corpse, because the embalmers were busy at the moment.

WORE THE SAME SUIT.

Questioned as to the clothes he wore on the day preceding the murder’s discovery, he declared that he wore the same suit that he wore then, as he testified. He had put it on the next Monday again, and had worn it constantly since. On the Sunday when the murder was discovered he wore a blue suit.

He answered a number of questions relative to the time clock. No person unfamiliar with it could manufacture a time record upon it, he said. He experienced some difficulty himself when he changed the dates, said he. There is a key to the time clock, said he, but he didn’t even know who had it. It would be possible, by moving the hands of the clock, to make it register at regular intervals, he thought.

RUNNING THE ELEVATOR.

The coroner reverted to Friday afternoon. He stayed somewhat late that afternoon, he said.

The elevator boy is a negro called “Snowball,” he said. He explained again the operation of the elevator. He (Frank) could run the elevator, but he had not done so on any certain occasion that he remembered. On Saturday morning the motor was running, he knew, because it was being used to operate a circular saw in the department where Denham and White were at work.

He said he had never telephoned before Saturday night to the negro night watchman, Newt Lee, because the negro had been there only a couple of weeks. The negro had been employed formerly by Mr. [1 word illegible], said he.

Frank said that he identified the girl’s corpse by her hair and her features. He didn’t know the girl’s name, he said, but recognized her corpse as that of the girl he had paid Saturday. Mr. Frank said that he hadn’t noticed that the girl appeared nervous when he saw her Saturday afternoon. He wasn’t sure he had heard her voice after she left him, he said, but thought he had heard some girl’s voice in the outer office.

Mr. Frank said that when he went to the undertaker’s establishment Sunday morning, he wore a blue suit he was accustomed to wear on Sundays, having changed from the brown one he had worn the day before. He had never worn this blue suit to the pencil factory that he remembered, the witness said.

He said that he mentioned to Darley on Sunday that he had on another suit. He changed things from the pocket of the brown suit to the blue one, he said; changed his underwear and his shirt, as he was accustomed to do. He had never given the night watchman any clothes, he said.

Mr. Frank was asked about his talk with Lee at the police station. He said that previous to his talk with Lee he had been asked by Detective Black and Scott to try to find out whether Lee had been letting couples into the pencil factory at night.

“Black said, ‘Put it strong to him,’” the witness said, “’Try to get out of him all you can. We think he knows more than he is willing to tell. Tell him they’ve got you and me and they’ll send us both to hell if you don’t tell what you know.’”

Mr. Frank said that he said to Lee something similar to the words Black has used. “I talked to him kindly,” Mr. Frank said. The witness said that he urged Lee to tell the truth about the couples; that he told Lee in substance, “They know you something,” and said, “They can swing us both if you don’t tell.”

Mr. Frank said that the negro said in substance, “’Fore God, Mr. Frank, I don’t know anything about it.’”

Lee declared that he had admitted no couples, Mr. Frank said, and “kept up a good tale.”

The witness said that he didn’t use the words the detectives told him in which he used the word “hell.”

Going back to the talk of the ball games, Mr. Frank said that he didn’t know what time the games started.

The witness was then quizzed as to how many suits of underwear he had worn, and how often he was accustomed to change.

He had worn one suit last week, he thought, he said. When he took them off he put them in the wash bag, he said. Detective Black saw them, he declared—a suit of winter underwear.

He generally wore two suits of underwear a week during the winter, he said, and four or five a week in the summer.

Going back to the references to the ball game, the witness was asked if he had intended going to the ball game after 4 o’clock. He said that he had expected to leave the factory at 1 o’clock.

Mr. Frank said that he had notified the factory employees by posting notices about Monday or Tuesday that they would be paid Friday afternoon, since Saturday was a holiday on account of being Memorial day. They were paid about 5 o’clock Friday afternoon, he said.

Mr. Frank said that during his conversation with Lee the watchman did not accuse him of the crime, or describe the girl’s body, and declared that he did not tell Lee not to talk about the tragedy.

Mr. Frank then said that the usual pay time was about noon Saturday.

He replied in answer to a question that he didn’t remember ever having used any cord like that found about the girl’s neck to tie a bundle.

“Are you right-handed or left-handed?” he was asked.

“Right-handed,” he replied.

Mr. Frank said that he had been in the habit of carrying a pocket knife, but this was taken from him when he was arrested.

The witness repeated his statement that he first heard the telephone on Sunday morning at about 7:30. Later Sunday morning, he said, he thought he recalled dreaming that he heard the telephone in the night.

MR. SELIG ON STAND.

Emil Selig, father-in-law of Mr. Frank, succeeded him on the witness stand. He lives at 68 Georgia avenue, said Mr. Selig. About three years ago Frank married his daughter. He had never heard of Frank being married before. He had known Frank about a year before Frank married Miss Selig.

In answer to the question, “Do you live with Mr. Frank?” the old gentleman replied, “No; he lives with me.”

He didn’t remember seeing Frank leave on the morning of the tragedy, said he. He did see him at dinner time and ate dinner with him. His wife and daughter both were going to grand opera, and, as well as he remembered, they left before the end of dinner.

After dinner, said Mr. Selig, he (Selig) lay down and took a nap. He didn’t know what Mr. Frank did. Maybe he lay down, too. Mr. Selig said he got up about 3 o’clock, and Frank was gone. He saw him again at supper. That was between 7 and 8 o’clock, he thought. He didn’t remember the exact hour. His wife and daughter and the servants all were there with them, he thought. After supper that Saturday night, Mr. Frank went out into the hall and sat there reading. “We played cards,” said he. Asked who “we” was, he replied that they had a little company in that evening.

Asked for the names of the company, he remembered that Mr. and Mrs. Morris Goldstein, Mrs. I. Strauss, who lives on Pryor street, and Mrs. Wolfsheimer, from Washington street, and maybe another married daughter, Mrs. A. E. Marcus, were there.

Mr. Frank didn’t play cards, said he. Mr. Frank must have known that the guests were there. He didn’t remember especially about that. They played cards there until about 11 o’clock. Mr. Frank, he presumed, went on up to bed about 9 o’clock. He didn’t see anything of him after that. Mrs. Frank didn’t play cards, but was out with her husband for a while.

“Who played partners?” the coroner asked him.

“We didn’t have any partners,” answered the witness. “We were playing for blood.”

On Saturday Mr. Frank had on a brown every-day suit, said the witness. He thought Mr. Frank had on the same suit Sunday. It was the same suit he had worn to the inquest, said Mr. Selig.

DIDN’T TALK ABOUT TRAGEDY.

Mr. Selig said that he didn’t hear the telephone ring during the night Saturday or Sunday morning. He didn’t remember Mr. Frank having telephoned the factory Saturday night, but that Mr. Frank might have done so without his having known it.

Mr. Selig said that he awoke about 8 o’clock Sunday morning, after Mr. Frank had left the house. Mrs. Frank told him that “something terrible had happened in the factory,” he said, but that he didn’t press the question as to what had transpired; that all day Sunday he made no efforts to find out what had occurred.

Mr. Frank returned home about 10 o’clock, the witness said. Mr. Selig said that he didn’t remember Mr. Frank having mentioned the affair during the day.

He said that Mr. Frank had frequently called the factory at night to ask if everything was all right.

MRS. SELIG TESTIFIES.

Mrs. Josephine Selig, wife of Emil Selig and mother-in-law of Mr. Frank, was the witness who succeeded her husband on the stand. She saw Mr. Frank Saturday at dinner, she said. She had not seen him at breakfast. She rarely saw him at breakfast. He came home to dinner about 1:15 o’clock. She and her husband, Frank and his wife and the cook were there in the house at that time. She and Mrs. Frank left about 1:20 o’clock to go to the opera matinee. She was not sure whether her husband was present when they left. She saw Mr. Frank again at supper about 6:15 o’clock. He was sitting in the hall, reading a paper, when they came in. They had supper between 6:30 and 6:45 o’clock. Mr. Frank had continued his reading since they came in. She didn’t see Mr. Frank use the telephone, but was pretty sure that he did. It was possible that she might have been upstairs when he used the phone in the dining room. It would not have been unusual for him to telephone, said she. She could not swear, she said, that Mr. Frank used the telephone that evening.

After supper, she said Mr. Frank stayed in the hall and read. She stayed there in the hall until about 8:20 o’clock. Then they had company and their company was entertained in the dining room just off the hall. Asked to name those who were there, she said the two Mrs. Marcus, Mr. and Mrs. Goldstein, and Mrs. Ike Strauss were there. Ike Strauss came over about 10:30 o’clock for his wife, he said. She remembered that Mrs. Wolfsheimer was there, too.

KNEW GUESTS WERE THERE.

Mr. Frank knew these guests were in the house, she said. He was in the hall and conversed casually with them when they arrived. He must have talked with the guests about twenty minutes, she said. She couldn’t remember any of his conversation, she said.

“Now, this was the last night of the opera,” her questioners cautioned her. “Are you sure these guests were there that night?”

Mrs. Selig was positive. They played cards, she said. Mrs. Frank was there, too. She was in the dining room and out in the hall with Mr. Frank constantly during the evening. Mrs. Frank sat out there with him a good deal, but came in occasionally. He stopped reading some time between 9:30 o’clock and 10, she said. He went to bed then, stopping at the door as he went and telling them all good night.

Mrs. Frank went upstairs with him, she said.

Mrs. Selig said that when she got up the next morning the first person she saw was her daughter, Mrs. Frank.

Mrs. Frank said Mr. Frank had gone to town, but didn’t say why.

About 10 o’clock Mr. Frank came in and told her that some girl had been found dead in the factory. She didn’t remember anything else about the conversation.

She didn’t attach much importance to it, she said.

Mr. Frank didn’t go into details. He mentioned it casually. After a while he sat down and read a paper, she said. She denied that he seemed to be apprehensive.

Questioned again about that part of her testimony, she reiterated that the matter of the girl having been found dead was treated casually. Mr. Frank seemed not greatly concerned about it, she said.

All of these statements were made in direct answer to direct questions. Mrs. Selig seemed not to remember very much except that which she answered positively.

Mr. Frank wore a brown suit of clothes all three of the very days, she said—Saturday, Sunday and Monday. She was positive about this, she said.

Mr. Frank did not mention to her the name of the girl who had been found dead, said she. He owned another suit, of blue, she said. She went into detail about who their laundrymen are, etc.

At 7:20 o’clock the inquest adjourned until 9:30 o’clock Thursday morning.

* * *

Atlanta Journal, May 6th 1913, “L. M. Frank’s Complete Story of Where He Was and What He Did on Day of Mary Phagan Murder,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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