Sensations in Story of Girl Victim

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, July 9, 1913

Accused Prisoners in White Slave Inquiry Held for Higher Court.

That sufficient evidence had been produced in court to make a case against one of the city’s most prominent business men was the statement of Recorder Broyles Wednesday afternoon at the trial of the persons involved in the latest vice scandal.

Lena Barnhardt, alleged white sliver [sic] and procuress, was bound over to the higher court under a bond of $500.

Hattie Smith, who claimed in court to be a white slave victim of the Barnhardt woman, was placed under $100 bond for the higher court.

Clyde Cox, who is alleged to have been trapped with the Smith girl, was put under the same bond.

Elijah Murray, colored bellboy at the Cumberland Hotel, who, the Smith girl testified, had arranged dates for the woman inmates of the hotel, was held in default of $100 bond.

Hattie Smith repeated the sensational story she previously had told to the detectives in regard to her meeting with the Barnhardt woman, and of the manner in which she was lured into a life of shame.

Aside from the sensational revelations of a systematic white slavery business carried on in some of the city’s hotels, the girl’s most startling testimony had to do with the prominent business man whose name she mentioned in open court.

The Smith girl testified that she had seen the man she named in room 40 at the Cumberland Hotel, occupied by the Barnhardt woman. She said that she was able positively to identify him. Recorder Broyles declared the evidence was sufficient to make a case against him.

Chief Beavers was interviewed and said that he would make an investigation to verify the Smith girl’s story.

The Barnhardt woman testified in her own behalf and, while corroborating the Smith girl’s story in some of its details, said that she registered the girl at the Cumberland as Lucile Evans because that was the name given by the girl. She said that Hattie Smith was without money and that she was merely doing her a benefaction. She denied the white slavery charges.

The bellboy also denied the charges that he had acted as a go-between.

Crusade Against Clubs.

Simultaneous with the vice probe, Chief Beavers and Recorder Broyles are conducting a determined crusade against the locker clubs of the city which may be found violating the law. It is the opinion of the two that the presence of young girls in the clubs, where they are said to have the liberty of drinking with their male companions, can not but have a bearing on the vice question.

“The practice of allowing girls of tender years to drink in the locker clubs, I regard as the most serious phase of the whole locker club question,” said Recorder Broyles after a conference with Chief Beavers Wednesday noon. The consultation was the first step in a sweeping investigation of the clubs of the city.

This conference follows the action of Judge Broyles Tuesday afternoon in the trial of Mrs. Lucy Ballue, who accidentally shot A. C. Thompson, a convict warden, in the parlors of the Owls’ Club, when he directed a police investigation of that particular club.

Chief Beavers announces his purpose to obey the orders of the court to the letter, and the Owls’ Club is expected to be put under fire at once.

Court Goes After Truth.

Judge Broyles sought to procure evidence from A. C. Thompson, asking him the direct question if he possessed a private locker in the Owls’ private stock of whisky, but his counsel, Attorney George P. Whitman, and Attorney William M. Smith, counsel for Mrs. Ballue, both strenuously objected.

When they insisted that this had no bearing on the wounding of Thompson, the court remarked:

“Well, we’re after the truth in this matter. We want to know something of the conduct of these locker clubs.”

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 9th 1913, “Sensations in Story of Girl Victim,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)