Quinn, Foreman Over Slain Girl, Tells of Seeing Frank

Quinn, Foreman Over Slain Girl

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

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, May 8th, 1913

L. A. Quinn, foreman of the department of the pencil factory in which Mary Phagan worked, testified as follows:

Q. What is your business?—A. Machinist.

Q. Did you know Mary Phagan?—A. Yes.

Q. What is your department?—A. Metal department.

Q. What department was she in?—A. Same.

Q. When did you see Mary Phagan last?—A. The Monday before the murder.

Q. Do you know her associates?—A. I know some who talked with her—girls.

Q. Any boys in that department?—A. Henry Smith and John Ramey.

Q. Were they thrown together?—A. All were working in the same room.

Q. When did you leave the factory?—A. Friday.

Q. When were you to return?—A. Monday morning.

Q. What time did you arise Saturday morning?—A. 7 a.m.

Q. Where did you go?—A. My wife and I went uptown and had baby’s picture made. We left home at 9:30 and got to the photographer’s at 10. We then came down Whitehall and stopped in the Globe Clothing store and talked to friends, and then came on down Whitehall Street and stopped at a meat market. We were there about five minutes. Then we went to a soda fountain and then home. We reached home at 11:15 and left again at 11:45, and I went to a meat market. I went from there to a soda fountain at Benjamin’s Pharmacy and bought two cigars. It was a few moments after 12 then. Then I went to the National Pencil Company.

Q. What did you go for?—A. To speak to Mr. Shiff [sic].

Q. Did you see Mary Phagan?—A. No.

Q. What time was it when you went to the factory?—A. About 12:20.

Q. Are you sure it was not after 12 when you left your home?—A. Yes.

Q. How long were you at the meat market?—A. About ten minutes.

Q. What part of the factory did you go to?—A. To the office.

Q. Who was there?—A. Mr. Frank.

Q. Anyone else?—A. No.

Spoke to Frank.

Q. What did you say?—A. Good morning, Mr. Frank.

Q. How long were you in there?—A. About two minutes.

Q. Do you know the exact time?—A. It was between 12:15 and 12:30.

Q. Could it have been as late as 12:30?—A. No.

Q. How do you know?—A. I was at another place at 12:30.

Q. Where did you go then?—A. Outside the factory.

Q. Whom did you meet?—A. Mr. Malsby.

Q. What did he say?—A. He said that the girls—meaning Mrs. Freeman and Miss Corinthia Hall—were in the restaurant.

Q. What restaurant did he mean?—A. “Busy Bee” Café, at Hunter and Forsyth Streets.

Q. What did you do then?—A. I went to the restaurant.

Went to Pool Hall Then.

Q. Who was there?—A. Miss Hall and Mrs. Freeman.

Q. How long were you in the café?—A. About two minutes; they came out with me.

Q. Where did they go?—A. To Malsby’s to use the phone.

Q. Where did you go?—A. DeToro Brother’s pool parlors.

Q. What time was it?—A. At 12:30.

Q. How long were you there?—A. Till 1:15.

Q. How long does it take you to walk to the factory from your home?—A. Between twelve and fifteen minutes.

Q. Where did you go when you left the poolroom?—A. To Atlanta Theater.

Describes Franks’ Attire.

Q. Who is John Rainey?—A. I don’t know; only he operates a machine in my department.

Q. What time did you get to the Atlanta Theater?—A. About 1:20.

Q. How was Frank dressed when you were in the factory?—A. Wore brown suit.

Q. Who did you talk to on Sunday?—A. Mr. Darley and Mr. Montague.

Q. What time?—A. 9:30.

Q. Where did you go?—A. We took a lantern and went into the basement.

Q. Did you see Frank on Sunday?—A. I saw him at Bloomfield’s Sunday afternoon.

Q. How was he dressed?—A. I think he wore a black or a blue suit.

Q. What did he say?—A. Nothing except hello.

Q. Did you tell any of the officers that you had not been at the factory since Friday?—A. No.

Q. You didn’t tell Officer Payne?—A. No.

Q. You didn’t tell Detective Starnes?—A. No.

Refreshed Frank’s Memory.

Q. How was Frank dressed on Monday?—A. I think he wore a brown suit.

Q. What is the name of the white substance kept in the barrel in the factory?—A. Haskoline.

Q. Did you talk to Frank about your being in the office on Saturday?—A. I refreshed his memory of my being there.

Q. When?—A. I don’t remember the exact date. It was after he had been locked up.

Q. How did you refresh his memory?—A. We were discussing the supposition of the girl having never left the factory. I told him: “Why I was there Saturday after the time you say Mary Phagan was.” He said he remembered me being there, but wasn’t sure of the time. I told him what time it was and he said he would tell his lawyers. I told him I did not want to be drawn into the case, but if it would help him I would do so.

Questioned of Talk With Girl.

Q. Were you alone with Frank when you talked of this?—A. Yes.

The witness was questioned closely regarding any conversation he might have had with Grace Jones, one of the girls working at the factory. He denied having discussed the murder with her at all, or having made the remark that he had not been at the factory on Saturday.

Q. Did you go out to the Colemans’ home after the murder?—A. Yes.

Q. Did you discuss with them about Frank having fixed the machines?—A. No.

Q. Is there a man working at the place named Barrett?—A. Yes.

Q. Did you tell him you were there on Saturday?—A. No.

Q. Why was the first person you told you had been there on Saturday?—A. I told my father I had been there.

Q. Did you ever tell an officer?—A. Yes, Chief Lanford.

Q. You said that you had very little to do at the factory and came down to see Frank?—A. Yes, I was down there three or four hours a day for several days.

Tells How He Is Paid.

Q. Did your pay go on while you were here?—A. Yes.

Q. Have you been off at other times?—A. Yes.

Q. Did you receive full pay?—A. Ever since I have been foreman.

Q. Do you get paid by hour, day or week?—A. Week.

Q. Are you sure you had never told any officer of this before telling Frank?—A. Yes.

Q. Why did you just tell him?—A. Well, I knew he wouldn’t question me three or four hours like the officers would.

Questioned as to his duty toward solving the mystery, witness said he thought if the officers were making a thorough investigation they would certainly question him, as he was foreman of the metal department.

“I knew they had three or four men locked up,” he said, “and as I had been in the building they might lock me up, too.”

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Atlanta Georgian, May 8th 1913, “Quinn, Foreman Over Slain Girl, Tells of Seeing Frank,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)