Findings in Probe are Guarded

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, July 2, 1913

No Indication Given of Results of Investigation of Reports of Disorderly Houses.

The result of the Grand Jury’s sensational vice probe of a few weeks ago will be made known Wednesday when the presentments are returned to Superior Judge W. D. Ellis, who two months ago charged that an extensive investigation be made.

Save when an indictment was returned against Police Commissioner W. P. Fain, which charged him with keeping a disorderly house and beating one of the women inmates, no inkling of the general trend of the probe got beyond the closed doors of the jury room.

When the probe first started the jury expected it to be completed in a day. It took a sensational turn when Colonel Thomas B. Felder charged Chief of Detectives Newport Lanford and his detectives with openly protecting vice, and the attorney stated he could submit to the jury a “vice list” that would “stand Atlanta on its head.”

List Given to Jury.

Continue Reading →

Felder Exonerates Beavers, But Says Lanford is Corrupt

thomas_b_felder0011Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, June 4th, 1913

Witnesses Summoned in Dictograph Controversy, Although Foreman Says Vice Probe Is Not Complete


Felder’s Charges Against Lanford to Be Heard With Dictograph Case—Felder Says the Records Are Forged

Four witnesses were called Wednesday morning by the Fulton county grand jury to testify in regard to the existence of vice in Atlanta. They were Colonel Thomas B. Felder, who was on the stand but a few minutes Tuesday; A. J. Young, a real estate man; J. E. Skaggs, agent of the Southern Express company, and Police Chief James L. Beavers.

Neither of these witnesses would indicate along what lines he was questioned by the grand jury. It is understood, however, that Colonel Felder submitted a supplementary list to the list of alleged disorderly houses furnished Tuesday by Attorney Carl Hutcheson and that he also turned over to the grand jury a number of affidavits relative to houses which are operating in the city without police interference.

Colonel Felder is said to have supplied evidence attacking the official integrity and moral character of Detective Chief Newport A. Lanford.

Chief Beavers, it is understood, was questioned at length concerning his vice crusades and the general moral condition of the city as he observes it. He was also asked, it is said, about Attorney Hutcheson’s charge that he had failed to make raids upon disorderly houses which had been reported to him.

Upon leaving the grand jury room Chief Beavers stated that he could not discuss what had transpired there as he had been requested not to do so, but he admitted that he had been asked whether he thought his recent crusade against vice had bettered conditions in the city and that he had replied that it was his opinion that conditions were much better today than they had ever been before.

The chief says he admitted that it was probable that some disorderly houses were operating surreptitiously and that he assured the grand jury that he was diligently endeavoring to obtain evidence against such places and that as fast as he got thme [sic] evidence he made cases against the proprietors and inmates. Continue Reading →

Vice List Wanted by Chief Beavers; Promises Probe

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

Atlanta Constitution

Wednesday, June 4th, 1913

Head of Police Department Invites Carl Hutcheson to Furnish Him With List of Houses.


Grand Jury Determined to Go to Bottom of Vice Allegations, But Will Not Touch Bribery Charge at Present.

Renewed activities on the part of the police “vice squad” have come with the taking up vice probe by the grand jury, which was started yesterday morning, when a number of principals in the Felder-Beavers controversy were summoned to tell what they know of alleged operation of vicious houses and hotels in Atlanta.

The grand jury will probe deeply into the charges hurled at the police by Attorneys Thomas B. Felder and Carl Hutcheson, following the dictagraphing of Colonel Felder and Mayor James G. Woodward by city detectives, and the charges that Colonel Felder had attempted to bribe G. C. Febuary, clerk to Police Chief James L. Beavers. This was made apparent Tuesday by orders issued for the summoning of additional witnesses for the hearing today.

It was charged by Attorneys Felder and Hutcheson that numbers of vicious houses were in operation, and that the police were either unaware of them and were incompetent, or that the police were in league with the proprietors.

Beavers Asks For List.

“If Mr. Hutcheson will give me a list of houses where he has proof that illegal practices are carried on, I will arrest the persons responsible,” declared Chief Beavers. “We have been making every effort to apprehend such places and would be glad to have evidence given by any one.”

At present there are twenty-two men on the “vice squad,” and they go on duty each evening with instructions to arrest proprietors or inmates of any houses or hotels where they can find proof of immoral practices. Already several arrests have been made in raids.

Gives List of Houses.

When summoned before the grand jury, Attorney Hutcheson produced a list of thirty houses and hotels, of which he has personal knowledge, according to his statement. Attorney Hutcheson remained before the body for nearly an hour and before leaving gave the foreman, L. H. Beck, a list of witnesses to be summoned to back up his allegations. Continue Reading →

Felder Says He Will Lay Bare ‘Startling Police Graft Plans’


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

Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, June 3rd, 1913

Attorney Ready to Go Before Grand Jury, but Has Not Been Called; Hutcheson Summoned in the Airing of the Dictograph Controversy.

[Investigation of Reports That Disorderly Houses Again Are in Operation Begun—Foreman’s Move Surprise. Dictograph Row Not Taken Up.

A broad and exhaustive probe into vice conditions in Atlanta was the unexpected turn taken by the Fulton County Grand Jury when it convened Tuesday morning supposedly to take up the Felder-Beavers-Lanford dictograph controversy with the attending charges of corruption and bribery of police officials. Foreman Beck himself conducted the inquisition.

Witnesses who gave testimony at the morning session were asked for evidence pertaining to the existence of vice only. That the Grand Jury will conduct a sweeping investigation of new red light districts which are reported to have sprung up, despite the persistent warfare against such resorts by Chief of Police Beavers, is almost certain.

Mayor James G. Woodward, Colonel Thomas B. Felder and Carl Hutcheson, the lawyer who says he has a list of disorderly houses of holding forth by reason of police protection, were the men called to testify in the morning.

The Mayor was questioned closely as to his knowledge of existing vice conditions. He is said to have informed the grand jurors that his information was only hearsay. However, he gave out what he had heard in full. The Mayor also pointed out the jurymen possibilities for the existence of such practices. The examination of Mr. Woodward continued for more than an hour.

Colonel Felder was before the Grand Jury for ten minutes. The attorney was not subpoenaed to appear at the hearing, but presented himself voluntarily. He is said to have outlined his own position in reference to the bribery charges and also the wholesale charges of corruption which have been made against the police.

Felder Offers Evidence.

In connection with the latter accusations, Mr. Felder declared to the investigating body that he would submit documentary evidence showing the existence of vice in Atlanta to prove his previous assertions.

It is believed that Carl Hutcheson, the young attorney in Felder’s office, is counted upon to supply this evidence. Mr. Hutcheson was called before the Grand Jury shortly before noon. While he did not carry in with him the list of resorts said to be operating now in this city, which he has compiled, he declared that if this document were asked for by the jurymen he would hand it over to them.

That the Grand Jury was in possession of sufficient information to indict the keepers and proprietors of at least 30 houses of disreputable character was the announcement made by Mr. Hutcheson when he emerged from the session chamber after he had been before the jurors for more than an hour.

Says He Furnished Proof.

He said that he had furnished positive evidence that these resorts and houses of assignation existed and that the policemmen [sic] on the beats knew of their existence.

“But did you give them positive information that Chief Beavers and Chief Lanford knew of their existence?” he was asked.

“I told them enough so that they must draw the conclusion that Beavers and Lanford could hardly help but know,” he replied. “The heads of departments always are responsible for the workings of the men under them.” — Added from the “Evening Edition” of the same paper — Ed.]

Colonel Thomas B. Felder appeared before the Grand Jury Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock, prepared, he said, to substantiate every charge he had made against the police department and its heads, and promising to open the eyes of the city to a condition of affairs that was startling in the extreme.

“I have not been served with a subpena to go before the Grand Jury,” Colonel Felder said, “but Mr. Hutcheson has been, and I will be there in case I am called upon. The people of Atlanta have no idea how far-reaching this thing will be. I will show the conditions as they are, and the men higher up will not escape. If the grand jury takes up this thing fully it will be the most sensational probe that has ever been made into affairs in Atlanta.”

The announcement that the Grand Jury would take up the Felder-Beavers-Lanford dictograph controversy with the attending charges of corruption and bribery was made late Monday afternoon when Foreman L. H. Beck had the assistant solicitor general serve a number of subpenas to those concerned.

Mayor Woodward, Chief of Police Beavers, Chief Lanford, Charlie Jones, proprietor of the Rex saloon; Carl Hutcheson, City Detective John Black and Mrs. Mina Formby were the persons summoned. Continue Reading →

Grand Jury Told of Vice Conditions


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

Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, June 3rd, 1913

Carl Hutcheson Names 30 Places In His Testimony

He Declares He Obtained Information First-Hand by Visiting Places Mentioned and Registering


He Declined to Make Public His Information—Grand Jury Begins Probe of Charges About Disorderly Houses

Decidedly the most sensational evidence submitted to the grand jury Tuesday in its investigation of vice conditions in Atlanta, which investigation is said to have grown out of the recent charges published by Colonel Thomas B. Felder and Attorney Carl Hutcheson, was the testimony of the latter.

After emerging from the grand jury room, where he remained for more than an hour, Mr. Hutcheson was charged by a battery of newspaper photographers to whom he waved his hands and gleefully exclaimed: “I gave ‘em the dope, boys!”

Later he stated that he had given the grand jury, “all told,” a list of thirty places—hotels and houses where vice is permitted to flourish. He declared that he had secured his information about the places first hand; that his evidence was not based on hearsy information.

Mr. Hutcheson said he had registered at a number of the hotels where he had arranged to have women sent to his rooms. He declared he had furnished the grand jury the names under which he had registered and that his own personal evidence was sufficient to justify many indictments.

To the grand jury Mr. Hutcheson exhibited a hotel kye [sic] which he stated he had forgotten to return. He declared that he had detailed his night visits to various places which are openly violating the law.


“I was allowed to tell my story in my own way,” said Mr. Hutcheson, “and was interrupted by but few questions from the grand jurymen, who manifested much satisfaction over the facts which I furnished them. Frequently the jurymen gave vent to satisfied exclamations.

“I have not charged graft in the police department and was, of course, not questioned along this line. I did charge that disorderly houses were being protected if their presence was known to the police and I insisted that if the police did not have such knowledge they were incompetent. Continue Reading →

Grand Jury Calls for Thos. Felder and Police Heads


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

Atlanta Constitution

Tuesday, June 3rd, 1913

Subpoenas Served Monday Night on the Principals in Dictagraph Case and in Charges of Corruption.


Mayor Woodward, Col. Felder, Chief Beavers, Chief Lanford, Carl Hutcheson and Jno. Black Subpoenaed

That the Fulton county grand jury will undertake today an investigation of both sides of the Beavers-Felder controversy was made apparent by the formal summons issued last night to all the principals in the affair.

An added element of mystery to the investigation comes in the attempt made to summon Mrs. Mima [sic] Formby, the woman who made affidavit that Leo M. Frank, now indicted for the murder of Mary Phagan, attempted to rent a room from her for himself and a girl on the night of the murder.

Many Subpoenas Issued.

Mayor Woodward, Chief Beavers, Colonel Felder, Chief Lanford, Charlie Jones, proprietor of the “Rex” saloon; Attorney Carl Hutcheson, City Detective, John Black and Mrs. Formby were the principals upon whom Foreman Beck ordered subpoenas served Monday night.

Charlie Jones was served in person with a summons to attend the grand jury this morning in the case of “The State versus John Doe,” the orders, with the exception of Mrs. Formby, who is said to have left the city, were notified by telephone that their presence was required Tuesday morning before the grand jury.

The charges made by Chief Lanford and other detectives in his force that Colonel Felder had offered a bribe of $1,000 for an affidavit made by Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Coleman, parents of the murdered Phagan girl, and also for other affidavits in the case, and the ensuing charges hurled at the police department by Col. Felder and Attorney Hutcheson, in which the department was charged with graft and corruption stirred Atlanta.

Beavers Asks Probe.

Chief Beavers immediately asked that the grand jury take the matter up and go to the bottom of the charges against himself and the men under him, and Colonel Felder declared that he was ready at any time for the charges against him to be investigated.

That the grand jury would take up the matter at an early date and probe, it has been the general belief of Atlantans who read of the various charges, and when it was announced last week by Solicitor Dorsey that the grand jury would meet on Tuesday morning it immediately became the general belief that the special session would be for this purpose. Continue Reading →

Chief Asks Hutcheson for “Protected List”

chief-asks-hutchesonAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, May 29th, 1913

Lawyer Not Ready Yet, Is Answer—Beavers Says He Is Disappointed

Chief of Police James L. Beavers called Attorney Carl Hutcheson over the telephone Thursday morning and asked if the list of “protected disorderly houses,” which Mr. Hutcheson promised in a card several days ago was ready.

Mr. Hutcheson is said to have replied that the list is not yet ready and that he will telephone the police official when it is completed.

Chief Beavers in the telephone conversation is said to have reminded Mr. Hutcheson that Thursday is the third day since the publication of Mr. Hutcheson’s card stating that the list could be furnished in three days.

Chief Beavers is said to have declared in the telephone conversation that he had hoped to receive the list of disorderly houses in his morning mail, and was very much disappointed in not finding it.

The chief told Mr. Hutcheson that if the latter had the list in his office that he (Beavers) would be glad to send a call officer for it, as he is very anxious to get the information.

Mr. Hutcheson told the police official, it is said, that he would telephone him when the list is complete.

In the course of the conversation Chief Beavers said that he wanted the list in tangible shape; names of persons operating the houses, street numbers, etc., and he asked Mr. Hutcheson to sign the list.

Mr. Hutcheson answered that he didn’t propose to have any one dictate to him as to how or when he should get up the list, and that he intended to use his own judgment in making it up and submitting it.

* * *

Atlanta Journal, May 29th 1913, “Chief Asks Hutcheson for ‘Protected List,'” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Chief Beavers to Renew His Vice War

Chief Beavers RenewsAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, May 28th, 1913

Declares That He Will “Clean Out” Disorderly Places When Hutcheson Furnishes List.

Renewed crusades to clean out vice in Atlanta have been precipitated by the publication Tuesday of an open letter to Chief of Police Beavers by Carl Hutcheson, an Atlanta attorney.

Chief Beavers called up Hutcheson with a demand for his information, asking names, addresses and character of occupants, and declared Wednesday that he would proceed to clean up if the requested information was furnished.

Hutcheson is now preparing a list of the places which he declared are immoral and told the chief he would place the list in Beavers’ hands three days hence. Hutcheson was asked by the chief to swear to the character of the inmates of each house he names and to sign his name to his affidavit, and will be called as a witness in prosecuting the landlords.

“We will have some clean-up sure,” said Chief Beavers Wednesday. “When I get Hutcheson’s information I will prove that I am giving no protection to anybody. I would be glad to have every one report to me any resort that they might know of. It will help in the crusade. I will take speedy action against them all.”

Dorsey to Confer With Felder.

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey declared Wednesday that he would confer with Colonel T. B. Felder relative to the proposed Grand Jury probe of his corruption charges against police officials and the counter charges of bribery made against him by the police.

Colonel Felder would not comment on the affair at all, other than to say he was not yet ready to issue his statement substantiating his sensational charges. Continue Reading →

Carl Hutcheson Again Attacks Chief Beavers

no-place-for-a-strangerAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, May 28th, 1913

Calls Rim [sic] “a Contemptible Liar” and a “Pig Head.” Chief Asks for That List

Attorney Carl Hutcheson renewed his attack on Police Chief Beavers Wednesday when he gave out an open letter referring to the chief as a “malicious and contemptible liar,” a “pig head,” and asserting that he didn’t have “enough brains in his head to rattle in a gourd after the water was turned off.”

Mr. Hutcheson objects to the chief’s reference to him as “small fry” and “only a cog in the gang machine.”

The first open letter written by Mr. Hutcheson appeared in The Journal Tuesday afternoon. It was addressed to both Police Chief Beavers and Detective Chief Lanford. Mr. Hutcheson declared in this letter that the chiefs should be removed from office because, as he alleged, immoral houses were being operated on Spring, Ivy, Pryor and other streets, without police interference.

Mr. Hutcheson, in his first letter, announced that he had the addresses in his possession which he would furnish to the chiefs if called upon to do so within three days. Continue Reading →

Felder Aide Offers Vice List to Chief

Felder Aide OffersAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, May 27th, 1913

Attorney Carl Hutcheson Accuse Beavers of Permitting Unlawful Houses to Operate.


Detective Head Declares “Ring” Is Trying to Fix Charge of Bribery Against Him.

Ignoring the fresh volley of charges made by Carl Hutcheson, an attorney, who offers to cite resorts which are allowed to operate by the city police. Chief Beavers Tuesday morning reiterated his declaration that the entire matter would be laid bare before the Grand Jury for decision.

Detective Chief Lanford revealed another angle of the warfare when he declared that the fight being made against him was backed by the gambling ring of Atlanta. C. C. Jones was named as the leader of the opposition in this fight.

Beavers in commenting upon Hutcheson’s charges, declared that they were inspired by Thomas B. Felder, with whose office Hutcheson is connected, and that the attack was not therefore that of Hutcheson, but of Felder and his “gang.”

Hutcheson, a young lawyer connected with the firm Felder, Anderson, Whitman & Dillon, wrote an open letter to Chief of Police Beavers, charging him with permitting unlawful houses to operate uncertain city streets and promising to give addresses if the Chief asks personally for them within three days.

Beavers to Ignore Attack.

Characterizing Carl Hutcheson as of too little importance to warrant an answer to his charges made against the police force. Chief Beavers declared that he would ignore him altogether.

“I don’t care to answer Hutcheson’s attack,” said the police official. “Hutcheson is too small a fry to even take notice of. An answer to him would give him too much dignity. This young man is in Felder’s office and is merely being used as a tool of Felder and his gang. Felder prompted him to make the statement that he did, and so I will pay no attention to Hutcheson. Continue Reading →

Col. Felder Ridicules Idea of Grand Jury Investigation of City Detectives’ Charges


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

Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, May 27th, 1913

Declares Chief Beavers Is Only Bluffing, and That if All the Allegations Made by the Police Were True, It Wouldn’t Be a Case for the Grand Jury, as He Has Violated No Law in Seeking Evidence of Corruption In Police Department


He Expects the Solicitor’s Co-operation — James Conley Is Identified by Mrs. Arthur White as the Negro She Saw Lurking Near the Elevator of the Pencil Factory on Day of the Tragedy—“This Is H— of a Family Row and No Place for a Stranger,” Says Tobie

Colonel Thomas B. Felder Tuesday ridiculed the statement of Police Chief James L. Beavers that he would insist upon the grand jury making a searching investigation of the charges against Colonel Felder and also the countercharges published by the latter against the police and detective departments.

Colonel Felder appeared to be very much amused while discussing Chief Beavers’ declaration, which he branded as bluff and bluster. “I don’t believe Beavers has the least idea of going b[e]fore the grand jury,” he said, “but even should he do so there is nothing for the grand jury t[o] consider.

“If all the charges which the police and detectives have made against me were true no law has been violated. I have a perfect right to seek truthful evidence from whatever source I may choose.

“If the grand jury cares to investigate my charges against the police and detective departments I will have no hesitancy in supplying it with a list of the disorderly houses and gambling places which are operated in Atlanta without police interference, and an amazingly long list it will be, too.

“Why, there are more houses of an immoral character in the territory between the Baptist Tabernacle and the governor’s mansion than ever existed in the old segregated district, and places of this kind are scattered throughout the city, no section being immune from them. Continue Reading →