Holloway, Witness for Defense, Riddled By Cross-Examination

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 9th, 1913

E. F. Holloway, watchman and timekeeper at the pencil factory, whose testimony Solicitor Dorsey riddled on cross-examination, followed General Manager Darley to the stand.

He gave his answers rapidly, making them frequently even before Attorney Arnold had finished propounding his questions. He is a man who looks older than 60, with cold gray eyes and thin lips.

His general appearance causes the lover of Dickens to think that the aged witness had stepped from one of that author’s novels. He became confused upon the cross-fire of the solicitor, and perspired profusely.

Same Rule for All.

He was examined directly by Mr. Arnold.

“Was it a habit of Jim Conley to register as he pleased?”

“You applied the same rule to him as you applied to all of the help?”

“Did you ever see Frank pinch him or touch him?”
“Never saw Mr. Frank even touch him.”

“Do you recall a Saturday that you missed since you have been employed with the pencil company?”
“Not a one.”

“Who would relieve you before Lee went to work on Saturday afternoons?”
“Kendrick, the nightwatchman.”

“At what time?”
“Four o’clock.”

Continue Reading →

Defense Will Seek to Show That Mary Phagan’s Body Was Tossed Down a Chute in Rear of Pencil Factory And Not Taken Down by Elevator As the State Insists

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 9th, 1913

Eleven Witnesses Are Introduced Friday to Prove Discrepancies in Time Given by Witnesses for the State. Miss Daisy Hopkins Goes on Stand and Swears That She Never Visited Factory With Dalton, But on Cross-Examination She Admitted Having Been in Jail Recently—She Denied That She Knew Frank.


Confesses That He Had Told Detectives the Day That He Caused the Arrest of Conley That “If He’s Convicted, Remember He’s My Nigger”—From Present Indications the Trial Will Be Continued for Two Weeks Longer, and Defense Will Introduce Character Witnesses.

The defense in the Leo M. Frank trial introduced eleven witnesses Friday and a mass of testimony to prove that witnesses for the state were incorrect as to time was presented.

From questions put to Ira Kauffman, civil engineer, who made a drawing of the building, it was evident the defense will seek to show that the body of Mary Phagan was never taken down on the elevator, but was thrown down a chute in the rear of the building leading from the first floor to the basement.

Blood Spots Found.

It is stated that the defense has found blood stains on the floor of the dark passageway leading up the rear of the building.

Continue Reading →

State Confronts Watchman Holloway With Previous Affidavit

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

Atlanta Journal
August 9th, 1913

Solicitor Dorsey Fiercely Attacks Evidence Given by the Witness For Defense Afternoon Session

He Also Implies That Watchman Was Trying to Fix Crime on Conley to Get Reward. Holloway Admits Signing Statement Produced by the Prosecutor—Other Witnesses for Defense Heard

After Solicitor Dorsey riddled E. F. Holloway, day watchman at the National Pencil factory, with volleys of questions regarding former statements made by the witness and which he could not explain or make coincide with his testimony Friday afternoon, court adjourned at 6:45 o’clock until 9 o’clock Saturday.

The solicitor also trapped the watchman and the witness for the defense. The solicitor also made the sensational implication that the bloody stick found by Pinkertons in the factory was planted by Holloway himself. The solicitor further implied that Holloway was working for a reward and had turned up Conley for that purpose.

After Holloway had declared that Daisy Hopkins’ character was good as far as he knew, the solicitor asked him about a paper he had signed previously stating the contrary. He admitted that he signed the paper. The solicitor asked the witness if he hadn’t told the detectives to return to the factory on a certain day and he was sure they would find something. The witness denied this.

Continue Reading →

Confusion of Holloway Spoils Close of Good Day for the Defense

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 9th, 1913

What promised to be a very favorable day for the defense in the trial of Leo M. Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan, was partly spoiled at its close Friday by the bewilderment of E. F. Holloway, day watchman at the pencil factory, in a maze of conflicting statements.

Holloway’s confusion under the fire of the Solicitor General was more than offset by the importance of the testimony which had gone before, two of the witnesses giving testimony which was intended to establish that Mary Phagan did not enter the National Pencil Factory on the day of her death until after Monteen Stover had come and gone.

Besides giving the lie direct to Jim Conley’s tale, this testimony, if it stands as the truth in the minds of the jurors, upsets the State’s theory that Monteen Stover visited the office of Leo Frank while the superintendent was in the metal room with the Phagan girl.

Conley said on the stand that he saw Lemmie Quinn, then Mary Phagan and then Monteen Stover go up to the second floor. The Stover girl said that she entered the factory at 12:05 o’clock. It was 12:10 when she left, she testified. She looked at the time clock both times.

Continue Reading →

E. F. Holloway Testimony

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

The article below is just a piece of the printed testimony of E. F. Holloway from the Atlanta Constitution. Unfortunately, most of the beginning part of this article is missing from our archives.

Atlanta Constitution
August 1st, 1913

“Who was the next man?”

“Mr. Darley.”

“Who was the next man or woman?”

“Mattie Smith.”

“Did you turn the building over to Newt Lee?”

“How many negroes worked in the building?”

“Seven or eight.”

Continue Reading →

Holloway Denies Affidavit He Signed for Solicitor

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 1st, 1913


Machinist at Pencil Factory Tells Jury of Discovery of Murdered Girl’s Pay Envelope and of Strands of Hair Near Her Machine in Metal Room on Second Floor.


E. L. Holloway, Who Swore in Affidavit That Elevator Was Closed on Saturday, the Day of the Murder, Admits on Stand That He Was Mistaken—“I’ve Been Trapped,” Cries Dorsey.

The first piece of new testimony of any importance which has developed since the beginning of the Leo M. Frank trial came Thursday morning, when R. B. Barrett, a machinist employed at the National Pencil factory, testified that he had found what was supposed to be Mary Phagan’s pay envelope near her machine in the metal room. Up to this time the matter of the pay envelope had been a complete mystery. Barrett also testified to having discovered blood stains on the floor near her machine, and a strand of hair on the machine. The blood stain had been wiped over with some kind of white preparation.

The whole gist of Solicitor Dorsey’s questioning was to prove that the murder was committed on the second floor. The testimony of this witness and others seemed to bear out this contention.

Continue Reading →

Watchman Swears Elevator Was Open; Changes Evidence

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

Atlanta Journal
August 1st, 1913

E. F. Holloway Angers Dorsey When He Testifies Contrary to Affidavit—Had Told Dorsey Elevator Switch Was Locked

Court adjourned at 4:58 o’clock until 9 o’clock Friday morning after a day of surprises in the trial of Leo M. Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan, in the National Pencil factory building.

That the switch board which controls the motor used to operate the elevator in the National Pencil factory, where Mary Phagan was murdered was left unlocked Saturday morning when he left the building at 11:45 o’clock, and that anybody could have entered and run the elevator up and down the shaft during the balance of the day, was the statement of E. F. Holloway, one of the factory’s watchmen at the trial of Leo M. Frank late Thursday afternoon.

Although Holloway made an affidavit for Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey, which he identified in the court room, swearing to the fact that he left the switch box locked on that Saturday, he positively declared on Thursday that he left it unlocked, and when confronted with his own signature answered, “I forgot.”

Continue Reading →

Defense Not Helped by Witnesses Accused of Entrapping the State

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 1st, 1913


Has the State succeeded in thoroughly establishing the fact that little Mary Phagan’s tragic death was effected on the second floor of the National Pencil Factory, in Forsyth street?

It has not, of course—but it has set up by competent evidence a number of suspicious circumstances, which, if properly sustained later along, will prove damaging in the extreme to Leo Frank.

Unless these circumstances, trivial in some aspects, are braced up and backed up, however, by other much stronger circumstances, they will give the jury, in all probability, little concern in arriving at a verdict.

Thursday was not a sensationally good day for the State, although it was much better than the day before.

Twice Thursday the Solicitor General claimed that he had been “entrapped” by witnesses—and this, with the lamentable fall down of John Black the day before—served to give rise in the minds of some spectators to a faint suspicion that the State didn’t have its case very well in hand.

Continue Reading →

Holloway Accused by Solicitor Dorsey of Entrapping State

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 31st, 1913

Here are the important developments of Thursday in the trial of Leo M. Frank:

Harry Scott, Pinkerton detective, is accused of having “trapped” the prosecution by Solicitor Dorsey, when he testifies that Frank was not nervous when he first saw him.

He is fiercely grilled by the defense after having testified to finding blood spots on the second floor, wiped over with a white substance. He testifies in addition that Herbert Haas, attorney for Frank, asked him to give him reports on his investigations before he gave them to the police and that he refused. He admits making statements that he omitted at the Coroner’s inquest.

Monteen Stover testifies that she did not see Frank in his office when she entered the factory at 12:05. She admits not having seen bureau and safe in the room.

Continue Reading →

Mincey Affidavit Not New to the Solicitor

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

The Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, July 15, 1913

State Officials Refuse to Consider Seriously Statement of Insurance Agent

Despite the claim that many witnesses to corroborate the assertions of W.H. Mincey, the insurance agent and school teacher who claims that Conley confessed to him can be produced by the defense of Leo M. Frank, state officials refuse to consider seriously Mincey’s testimony as an important element in the case.

Details of the Mincey affidavit are corroborated by E.F. Holloway, an employe of the National Pencil factory, who states that he remembers Mincey’s visit to the scene of Mary Phagan’s murder on the Tuesday following the crime.

Mincey states that he was told that 20 negroes were on duty at the factory on the day of the murder, although about eight of them were employed by the concern. He further detailed a conversation with a factory employe, who allowed him to look about the place that day.

Holloway says that he remembers the visit of a man who asked particularly about the negroes employed at the factory, and otherwise fully corroborates the details of the visit to the factory as given by Mincey.

Solicitor Dorsey, it was learned Tuesday, has known for some weeks that the Frank defense possessed the Mincey affidavit and as a result he has made a vigorous probe of the affiant’s past career, and of his movements on the day that Mary Phagan was murdered, the day that the negro Conley is supposed to have told him that he had killed a girl.

Solicitor Dorsey will not discuss his investigation of the man, but it is known that he does not consider the man’s probable testimony as important.

The solicitor spent Tuesday morning examining a number of the state’s witnesses, and he is spending practically his entire time in preparing the Frank case. He expects to be ready when the case is called on July 28, a week from next Monday.

* * *

The Atlanta Journal, July 15th 1913, “Mincey Affidavit Not New to the Solicitor,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Holloway Corroborates Mincey’s Affidavit

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 15, 1913


Watchman Remembers of Visit of Witness to Factory on Day of Crime.

Further corroboration of several of the important details in the remarkable affidavit of W.H. Mincey, insurance agent and teacher, who swore he heard Jim Conley confess killing a girl, came Tuesday in a statement by E.F. Holloway, day watchman at the National Pencil Factory.

Holloway substantiated in every particular the story of Mincey’s visit to the factory the Tuesday following the crime and recalled the general trend of the conversation, which was practically as Mincey related it in his signed statement published exclusively in The Georgian Monday. The defense has obtained an affidavit from Holloway as to the circumstances of the day.

“I remember Mincey coming here Tuesday,” said Holloway. “He was a quiet, retiring fellow, and I guess we scared him out. There were a lot of people in the factory, and the excitement after the murder was at its height. Several detectives were there and there were a score of people bothering the detectives and the factory authorities with their theories on the killing.

Wanted Negroes Arrested.

Continue Reading →

Mincey’s Own Story

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, July 14, 1913

*Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the Night Edition under the headline “Mincey Tells of Confession.”

Tells How Conley Confessed Killing Girl


The Georgian Secures Remarkable Statement From Chief Witness for Defense in the Trial of Frank. Declares Belief in Conley’s Guilt.

On Thursday, July 10, The Georgian published the exclusive story of an affidavit in the possession of the lawyers for Leo M. Frank, accused of the murder of Mary Phagan, made by W.H. Mincey, an insurance agent, the substance of which was to the effect that Jim Conley, the negro sweeper at the pencil factory, had confessed that he killed the little girl.

In his affidavit, Mincey declared that he met the negro Conley at Electric avenue and Carter street on the afternoon of the murder; that Conley was intoxicated and when approached by Mincey for insurance became angry and exclaimed, threateningly: “I have killed a girl to-day; I don’t want to kill nobody else.”

The Georgian has now secured from Mincey a complete statement of his connection with the Phagan case. It is as follows:


Continue Reading →

Conley Not Right Man, Says Mincey

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Friday, July 11, 1913

Insurance Man Who Made Affidavit Says Conversation Was With Some Other Negro—Saw Conley at Station.

It was disclosed Thursday afternoon that William H. Mincey, the insurance agent who has made an affidavit to the effect that Jim Conley on the date of the Phagan murder drunkenly admitted that he had slain a girl had appeared at police headquarters during Conley’s grilling and had positively failed to identify the negro.

This was told a Constitution reporter by Detective Harry Scott of the Pinkertons and Detective Chief Newport Lanford. The insurance agent, they declared, had come to the police station while Conley was being cross-examined and had asked to see the prisoner.

He wanted to see if he could identify Conley as the negro whom he had seen drunk at the corner of Electric and Carter streets on the afternoon of Saturday, April 26. He was admitted to Conley’s presence. After asking the negro a number of questions pertaining to a conversation he had held with the black encountered at Electric and Carter streets, Mincey, the detectives assert, declared he could not identify the suspect.

He’s not the man I saw, Lanford and Scott say the insurance man declared.

Conley was asked by Mincey on that date if he had not talked with him about the issuance of a life insurance policy. Conley denied having ever seen the man. Mincey, the detectives say, was positive in his declaration that Conley was not the negro with whom he had held the conversation.

Did Not Approach Detectives

Continue Reading →

Says Conley Confessed Slaying

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, July 10, 1913

*Editor’s Note: Articles with the titles “Tells of Conley Confession” and “Says Conley Confessed” also appeared in other editions of the Georgian.


Attorneys for Frank Will Put Main Reliance of Defense on the Startling Affidavit Made by W. H. Mincey and Now in Their Possession.

That Jim Conley, negro sweeper at the National Pencil Factory, made a virtual confession to him that he attacked and killed Mary Phagan is the startling allegation made in an affidavit by William H. Mincey, until recently a solicitor for the American Insurance Company, of 115 1/2 North Pryor Street.

It became known Thursday that this affidavit, which is in the hands of the defense, will be the principal reliance, aside from the alibis which have been established for Frank, in bringing an acquittal of the accused man and obtaining a conviction against the negro.

No other evidence, in all of the more than two months’ investigation of the mystery, has been so damning and so direct. The defense has practically only to establish the credibility of Mincey to assure itself of victory.

Said He Had Killed Girl.

Continue Reading →

Conley Star Actor in Dramatic Third Degree


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

Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, May 31st, 1913

In all the grim annals of Atlanta’s criminal history an illiterate negro, Jim Conley, stands out to-day the principal figure in one of the most remarkable and dramatically impressive “third degrees” ever administered by the city police.

A chief of police, ordinarily stolid and unmoved, and chief of detectives and members of his force, a Pinkerton operative—all men in daily touch with every sort of crime and evil—hung with tensest interest on each word as it came from the lips of the negro, and watched, as wide-eyed as any tyro in man-hunting, the negro’s every move as he re-enacted Friday afternoon what he steadfastly asserted was his part in the ghastly Mary Phagan tragedy.

Factory Men Look On.

Dumb under the spell of the drama in which Conley played a triple role—first in his own personality, then as Leo M. Frank, and, finally, as the young girl victim—two employees of the factory listened to the damning accusations that unconcernedly, almost glibly, were made against their superintendent. They were Herbert Schiff, chief clerk, and E. F. Holloway, the timekeeper.

Both had reckoned Frank innocent. They had said many times that he could not have committed the shocking deed. More likely, they had declared, it was the negro himself. Yet here they were the spectators of a grewsome performance in which Frank was represented as nervous and shaking and half in a panic as he directed the carrying of Mary Phagan’s limp and lifeless body to the elevator on the second floor of the factory and down into the dark and dirt-strewn basement. Continue Reading →

Silence of Conley Put to End by Georgian


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

Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, May 31st, 1913

That The Georgian played a conspicuous part in obtaining the latest and most important confession from Jim Conley, the negro sweeper, in which he admitted his complicity in the crime, was the declaration of Chief of Detectives Newport Lanford late Friday afternoon.

Chief Lanford, in telling of the cross-examination of Conley on Thursday afternoon which resulted in his confession, said that Conley for a long time persisted in maintaining that he knew no more of the crime than what which he had related previously.

After several hours of futile questioning the chief showed him a copy of The Georgian quoting officials of the pencil factory to the effect that they believed Conley the guilty man. It was then that Conley made his startling affidavit fixing the deed upon Frank.

All Questions Failed.

“All lines of questions had been tried without avail,” said the detective chief, in relating the incident. “We had put Conley through a rigid third degree, and still he declared that he knew nothing more of the crime. It seemed that all the theories the detective force had so carefully and painstakingly built up were about to shattered. Continue Reading →

Detectives Seek Corroboration of Conley’s Story

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

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, May 29th, 1913

They Declare That They Are Anxious to Get at the Truth of the Murder Case, Regardless of Who Is Guilty

Little if any credence is placed by the city detectives in the theory of the officials and employes of the National Pencil factory that Mary Phagan was killed by James Conley, the newro [sic] sweeper, and that his motive was robbery.

The detectives have accepted as true Conley’s second affidavit, in which he swears that he wrote the notes found by Mary Phagan’s body, and that he did so about 1 o’clock on the day of the murder, at the dictation of Superintendent Leo M. [F]rank, who is now under indictment by the grand jury.

However, they are somewhat puzzled by the discrepancies in the time of certain occurrences as sworn by Conley and testified at the coroner’s inquest by other witnesses.

Harry Scott, the Pinkerton detective who is working with the city detectives on the Phagan murder case and who developed the fact that Conley could write, notwithstanding his denials, declared that the shortest route to a complete solution of the mystery is to bring the negro Conley and Superintendent Frank face to face. He says the negro insists that he is anxious and willing to confront Mr. Frank with his story, and that if Mr. Frank and his attorneys agree, they (Conley and Mr. [F]rank) will be brought together to discuss the truth or falsity of the negro’s declarations. Continue Reading →

Conley Says He Helped Frank Carry Body of Mary Phagan to Pencil Factory Cellar


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

Atlanta Constitution

Friday, May 30th, 1913

Helped Frank Dispose of Mary Phagan’s Body Conley Now Confesses

Negro Sweeper Who Swore to Detectives That He Wrote Murder Notes Found Near Dead Girl’s Body Now Admits His Complicity in Case, According to Statements Which Have Stirred Police Headquarters as Nothing Since Murder.


Police and Detective Heads Refuse to Go Into Details of Negro’s Statement Or to Discuss What He Said, But Declare That It Will Prove a Big Factor in the Murder Case—Negro Will Be Subjected to Another Third Degree Today.

Dumbfounding his hearers with the confession that he had helped Leo M. Frank lower the lifeless body of Mary Phagan into the darkness of the pencil factory basement, James Conley, the negro sweeper, is authoritatively said to have made that astounding admission during a strenuous third degree at police headquarters late Thursday afternoon.

He is said to have minutely described the movements of himself and Frank as they packed the mutilated form from the office floor of the building down into the dark cellar, where it was left in the desolate recess in which it was discovered the following morning.

Saying he had found the girl stone dead when he entered the building at 1:15 o’clock with the suspected superintendent, he is declared to have admitted that he and Frank proceeded immediately to remove the corpse, silently and with utmost precaution, to its hiding place in the basement.

Conley Asked No Questions.

Through fear he states he did not ask his employer how the little girl met her death. He is said to have told the police that he asked no questions, carried out Frank’s instructions to the letter, and departed directly after he emerged from the grewsome trip into the basement. Continue Reading →

Burns Joins in Hunt for Phagan Slayer

Burn Joins in Hunt for Phagan Slayer

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

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, May 29th, 1913

All Evidence Gathered by His Operatives Sent to the Noted Detective.

James Conley, the negro sweeper at the National Pencil Factory who has turned suspicion on himself with a maze of contradictory statements, was put through a gruelling third degree examination at police headquarters this afternoon. Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott said as the grilling began before Chief Beavers and Chief Lanford that he expected to glean important information. Scott had interviewed factory employees and was convinced that there were many things to be cleared up before the negro’s second affidavit, on which the police rely so much, could be accepted.

With the maze of contradictory statements sweeping an avalanche of suspicion upon the head of James Conley, the negro sweeper, the potent information was unearthed Thursday that Detective William J. Burns personally will take charge of the investigation into the Mary Phagan murder case which his operatives have been conducting.

Despite the published report that Burns operatives had withdrawn from the case, and despite the procedure of the State in prosecuting its case against Leo M. Frank, the pencil factory superintendent, the Burns investigation will continue and from now on be under the famous detective’s direction.

This information came from Detective C. W. Tobie, William J. Burns’ lieutenant, Thursday morning. It tends to show that Tobie, who has had charge of his agency’s investigation here, does not consider the case as closed.

Mr. Tobie went so far as to deny emphatically the published interview with him, in which he was quoted as declaring Frank to be the guilty man. Continue Reading →

Conley Was in Factory on Day of Slaying

Conley Was in Factory

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

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, May 28th, 1913

Police Secure Admission From Negro Sweeper During Examination for Phagan Clews.

Admission that he was in the National Pencil factory on the day of the murder of Mary Phagan was gained from James Conley, the negro sweeper on whom suspicion has turned, after cross-examination by detectives at police headquarters.

The negro, who became the center of attention with his amazing story that Leo Frank had told him to write the death notes, changed his narrative again to-day. Confronted by E. F. Holloway, a foreman in the plant, he admitted having been in the factory after having steadily maintained that he was on Peters Street between 10 and 2 o’clock that fatal Saturday and at home all other hours of the day.

Says Confession Is Near.

Holloway, after leaving the secret grilling at which the admission was obtained, declared he was sure it was only a matter of hours before Conley would confess. He asserted that if he had been allowed to put questions to Conley he could have gotten important information.

The police questions were, of course, all put with the idea of gaining information against Frank.

Chief Lanford had announced that he would go before Judge Roan with a request for an order allowing him to confront Frank with the negro, so that Conley’s statement would be admissible in court. Lanford, however, failed to carry out his plans, although he would not admit they had been abandoned.

Found Negro Falsified.

Conley told the officers when he was first arrested that he could not write. Later they found releases that he had written for watches, and he admitted he had been lying. He gave them an address on Tattnall Street when they took him in custody. It later was found that he had not lived there for six months or a year. Continue Reading →