Sweeper Swears No Spots Were on Floor Day Before Murder

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 1st, 1913

Mel Stanford, a sweeper and plater at the factory, was put on the stand at 12:20. He testified that he had worked there for about two years and was there on Friday, April 25, on the second floor.

“What did you do on Friday?” asked the solicitor.

“I swept up the entire floor in the metal room.”

“Were you there Monday, April 28?”


“See anything at water cooler near girls’ dressing room?”

“Yes; a spot which had a white substance over it.”
“Was it there Friday?”

“It was not there when I swept the floor between 9 and 12 o’clock Friday.”

“What sort of a broom did you use?”

“A small broom.”

“Do you know anything about a large broom?”

“Yes; there were several up there.”

Stanford then went on to describe the spots in a similar manner to what Barrett had done. Court then adjourned for lunch.

Arnold Cross-Examines.

The afternoon session resumed with Stanford still on the stand. He was being examined by Attorney Reuben Arnold.

“Are your duties at the pencil factory as plater or sweeper?”

“It is my duty to sweep my side of the floor in the metal room.”

“The plant had negro sweepers employed for that work, had it not?”


“Wasn’t it a negro’s duty to sweep your part of the floor.”

“I was supposed to sweep it.”

“You swept the whole metal department on Friday afternoon, April 25, didn’t you?”


“Did you sweep under Mary Phagan’s machine?”


“Under the lathing machine?”


“What is in the metal room to the east of the lady’s closet?”

“A lot of storage.”

“What kind of storage?”

“Barrels, boxes and cases.”

“Did you move them or sweep around them?”

“I moved them, then swept.”

Swept Entire Room.

“You swept over entire room?”


“Your part of the floor was wooden, wasn’t it?”

“Only a part of it—the rest was cement.”

“Did you sweep in vicinity of the dressing room?”


“You say you swept the entire room—who told you to do it?”


“Are you paid by the piece or by the hour?”

“By the hour.”

“What portion of the floor would you consider it your duty to sweep?”

“Part of the wood and part of the concrete—in the neighborhood of the spot at which I work.”

“Then, the place where alleged blood spots were found was not your territory?”

“Not exactly.”

“How long did it take you to sweep the concrete flooring?”

“Less than an hour.”

“Were you looking for spots while sweeping?”


“Where else were there spots of any kind?”

“In some parts of the room where paint and lacquer had been spilled.”

“Will you swear there were no more than six spots in the room?”

“There were more than six.”

“You will swear that there were no spots of blood there Friday?”

“I will—around the dressing room.”

“How many girls use that dressing room?”

“Three or four.”

“While on the other side there are twelve?”


“He was then called from the stand.