Colyar Indicted as Libeler of Col. Felder

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 1, 1913

Grand Jury Develops Sensational Sequel to Famous Dictograph Scandal.

A. S. Colyar, Jr., dictographer of Colonel Thomas B. Felder, Mayor Woodward and C. C. Jones, was indicted by the Grand Jury on the charge of criminal libel Tuesday forenoon.

Colyar is the man who sought to trap Colonel Felder by means of the dictograph into offering a bribe of $1,000 for certain affidavits in the Phagan case in the possession of the police. The dictograph records as furnished an afternoon newspaper by Colyar contained the offer.

Colonel Felder swore the records were padded. Largely on Colonel Felder’s representations, the indictment was procured. John Pascal, of The Journal, was the only witness called by the Grand Jury in considering Colyar’s case.

Chief of Detectives Lanford and Colonel Felder, indicted last week by the Grand Jury, obtained their freedom by making a $500 bond. It was expected that the same bond would be imposed upon Colyar.

Much of the time Tuesday was occupied by members of the Grand Jury in probing into police affairs. Without calling any witnesses, the scandal which has shaken the department was given serious consideration for nearly two hours. The result of the discussion was not made public.

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 1st 1913, “Colyar Indicted as Libeler of Col. Felder,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Colyar Not Indicted On Charge of Libel

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 1, 1913

The Fulton County Grand Jury returned no bill against A. S. Colyar, Jr., Tuesday forenoon on the charge of criminal libel.  Colyar came into prominence a few weeks ago by dictographing Colonel Thomas B. Felder, Mayor Woodward and C. C. Jones in Williams House No. 2.

Colyar is the man who sought to trap Colonel Felder by means of the dictograph into offering a bribe of $1,000 for certain affidavits in the Phagan case in the possession of the police. The dictograph records as furnished an afternoon newspaper by Colyar contained the offer.

* * *

The Atlanta Georgian, July 1st 1913, “Colyar Not Indicted On Charge of Libel,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Dictograph Records Crooked, Says Gentry

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

The Atlanta Constitution

June 11, 1913


Young Stenographer, Who Made the Report of the Conversation in Room No. 31 Williams House, Voluntarily Makes Statement Before a Notary Public in the City of Washington D. C., Where He Is Employed.


Swears That A. S. Colyar Has Made Effort to Purchase His Original Notes, Which Are Now in Possession of His Brotheró”Grand Jury Should Make an Investigation” Declares Mayor James G. Woodward.

The sworn charge that the dictagraph statements, alleged to have been made by Colonel Thomas B. Felder, Mayor James G. Woodward and Charles C. Jones, in Room No 31, Williams house, were “padded” was brought back to Atlanta last night by Ed O. Miles, a private detective, and turned over to Mayor Woodward.

The affidavit was composed and sworn to by George M. Gentry, the stenographer who took the dictagraph conversations. Detective Miles located Gentry in Washington, D. C., where he has been employed during the past two weeks. The affidavit was sworn to before Jeannette Henning, a notary public.


“Gentry was willing to come back to Atlanta with me,” Detective Miles said last night. “He has promised to work out the remainder of the month, and has assured me that he will return at the end of that time, or earlier if he is wanted.”

Aside from the charge that his stenographic notes were “padded” by A. S. Colyar, and that he was paid $50 for the part he played in the dictagraph drama, Gentry says that he left Atlanta because he could not bear the humiliation which he knew he would suffer after he learned that his notes had been altered.

His affidavit bears out the statement made by Mayor Woodward, immediately after the publication of the dictagraph scandal, to the effect that he did not mention the names of Chief of Police James L. Beavers or Detective Chief Newport Lanford. Gentry also swears that a reporter called at his home after the publication of the dictagraph statements and informed him that warrants had been issued for the arrest of Colyar, Gay C. Febuary and himself (Gentry), and that he left the city upon being informed that he would not be allowed to give bond. Continue Reading →

Gentry Now Says Dictograph Record Was Tampered With

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

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, June 11th, 1913

Detective E. O. Miles Gives Out Affidavit From Young Stenographer Repudiating Transcript He Swore to


G. C. Febuary Gives Out a Statement, Telling How Notes Were Transcribed and Affidavits Made

The accuracy of the now famous pictograph records of alleged conversations between Thomas B. Felder, Mayor Woodward, C. C. Jones, E. O. Miles, G. C. Febuary and A. S. Colyar is attacked in an affidavit which E. O. Miles has turned over to Mayor Woodward and which he says he obtained from George M. Gentry, the young stenographer who took down the dictograph conversations.

This affidavit was made in Washington D. C., where Miles, one of the dictographed parties, who is a private detective, says he found Gentry. According to this affidavit, Gentry swears that a number of changes were made in the pictograph records after they were transcribed by him. The only specific change set out in the affdavit, however, is that the names of Police Chief Beavers and Detective Chief N. A. Lanford were written into the record of Mayor Woodward’s conversation by some one other than the stenographer.

In this affidavit Gentry explains his disappearance from the city by declaring that when he compared the published records with his stenographic notes he realized that he had been duped and did not care to face the humiliation which he anticipated would follow.

These dictographed records, duly sworn to by young Gentry and others, were published in The Journal, which declined to print these documents unless they were attested before a notary public. These records and affidavits are still in the possession of The Journal, and this paper has no knowledge concerning the alleged changes.


Young Gentry was permitted to use one of The Journal’s typewriters to transcribe his pictograph notes. He and Febuary were left alone in the news department Wednesday night, May 21, to do this work. They left a copy of the records in a desk drawer for The Journal. Early on the morning of May 23 Gentry furnished The Journal with an affidavit attesting the correctness of the records. Later he came to The Journal office with his notebook and read the proofs which compared with this shorthand notes, and in one or two places he made minor changes, as he said, to better conform to the original notes.

He was advised to preserve his notes so that in the event any question was raised as to their accuracy, he would have the stenographic record from which to make answer.

The Journal does not undertake to say whether there are or are not discrepancies in the transcribed records compared to the shorthand notes. It has simply relied upon the sworn records and statements furnished by Gentry and others, which records and statements, as stated above, are still in the possession of The Journal and in exactly the same condition as they were when turned over to this paper by Gentry, February and others. Continue Reading →

Lanford Answers Felder’s Charge

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, June 8, 1913

Declares That He Has Never Seen Gentry But Once in His Life.

“Tom Felder is a contemptible liar,” blazed Chief Lanford last night when informed of the contents of Colonel Felder’s letter directed to him through The Constitution. “I never saw this Gentry but once in my life, and that was before this dictagraph exposure ever happened. I have never seen him since.

“Gentry telephoned police headquarters Saturday, a week ago, however, and asked for Febuary, my secretary. Febuary happened not to be in at the time. I answered the telephone. Gentry wanted to know if a warrant was out against him. I told him I did not think there was, and that he had done nothing for which a warrant could be issued against him.

“I informed him that if a warrant was served on him, for him to notify me and I would help him out of his trouble. That was the last I heard of him until he left town. I did not have a thing to do with his departure. I have been trying to locate him, and wish I did know his whereabouts. I would bring him back to Atlanta and show by him that the charges that the dictagraph notes were padded is a lie from beginning to end.

“Felder’s row is hoed—he’s at his rope’s end. Give him rope enough and he’ll hang himself. He’s doing it now.”

* * *

Atlanta Constitution, June 8th 1913, “Lanford Answers Felder’s Charge,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Scathing Replies Made to Letters Attacking Them

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

Atlanta Journal

Sunday, June 8th, 1913

Colyar Addresses Felder as “Dictograph Tommy” and “My Dear Co-conspirator in Crime”


J. R. Gray Said: “I Have No Comment to Make—Mr. Felder’s Controversy Is With A. S. Colyar”

Replying to the open letters of Thomas B. Felder, attacking them, A. S. Colyar and Chief of Detectives N. A. Lanford last night gave to The Journal statements, denouncing Mr. Felder in unmeasured terms. Chief of Police James L. Beavers, who was also the subject of attack, was out of the city and, therefore, could not be given the opportunity to reply.

James R. Gray, when shown Mr. Felder’s communication, addressed to him, said:

“I have no comment to make on Mr. Felder’s letter. His controversy is with A. S. Colyar. I suppose Mr. Colyar will wish to reply.”

The statements of A. S. Colyar and Chief Lanford follow below in full:


T. B. Felder Esq., alias Dictograph Tommy.

Sir: As you let last Sunday go by without attempting to prostitute the Sunday press with some more of your hot air and denials, I had thought that perhaps some good friend of yours had given you a hint that even a braying ass can sometimes kill himself and that you had probably decided to withdraw from it newspaper controversy. In my last letter that I wrote to you I offered you what I have been told by many good citizens was a fair proposition, viz: To let fiver honorable gentlemen decide who had lied in the controversy at issue, and you declined to accept the proposition. I will make you a second proposition: I do not know a single member of the honorable supreme court of Georgia, but I am willing to let the chief justice of that honorable court appoint a committee of five honorable citizens, non-residents of the city of Atlanta, and let this committee decide whether you are guilty of unprofessional conduct and a violator of the criminal laws of Georgia, by offering a bribe of $1,000 to G. C. Febuary to steal the papers for you out of the safe, in the Phagan case, and I will only have one request to make of the honorable chief justice when he appoints the committee, and that is that he appoint men in no way connected with the whisky interests and the immoral classes, among whom you have so many clients. I was satisfied when I made you the last proposition that you would not accept it, although I made it in good faith, and I repeat, that you may eliminate me entirely as a witness before the committee, and I have the witnesses of unimpeachable character that will brand you before this committee as a bribe giver, a lobbyist and a grafter. I believe that the people of this fair city are familiar with your record, as it was exposed from the pulpit by the Rev. Len G. Broughton in the Baptist Tabernacle in this city, who publicly denounced you as a lobbyist and a grafter. I have read your letter written this afternoon and addressed to the Hon. James R. Gray, editor and proprietor of The Journal. The clear purpose of that letter is a scurrilous attack upon me, although you have addressed Mr. Gray. I am no saint as I have told you before; I have done wrong in my youth had strayed far away from the teachings and training of a Christian mother and a refined home, and when I first met you I was trying to lead an honorable life, although I was down, and had you had as tenth of the instinct of the gentleman in you that James R. Gray has, you would have tried to help me along life’s pathway in an honorable way and not heed me to go to South Carolina to help you and your co-conspirators frame up against Governor Blease.


I have records in my possession that will show that a certain stool pigeon of yours furnished the money that you sent to me in South Carolina, because you did not have the moral courage to do it yourself. Even though you have stated in me of your first articles that knowing my character that you refused to hire me to go to South Carolina for you—to refresh your memory didn’t you and one of your detectives to Charleston, S. C., with a letter of introduction to me, signed by you, written on the letter head of your then law firm, “Anderson, Felder, Rountree & Wilson?” And furthermore, when I left South Carolina on the 5th day of July, 1911, I drew a draft on your friend for $30, which was endorsed by Rev. B. Lacy Hoge, pastor of the First Baptist church of Charleston, S. C., and after you were through with me, your friend protested this draft and sent it back with the statement that I had no authority to draw the same, although I had drawn, by authority, several hundred dollars’ worth of similar drafts, which Dr. Hoge had cashed, and is it not a matter of fact, that several weeks later the Rev. Dr. Hoge visited Atlanta from South Carolina and threatened to expose you and your friend if you didn’t pay this draft and didn’t you have it paid? Continue Reading →

Felder Makes Answer to Dictagraph Episode

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, June 8th, 1913

Well-Known Attorney Writes Four Cards Covering All the Phases of Situation and Answering All Charges.


Col. Felder Asserts George Gentry, Who Took Down the Stenographic Notes, Will Return and Expose the Deal.

Colonel Thomas B. Felder has written four cards—to Chief of Detectives Newport Lanford, Chief of Police Beavers, James R. Gray, editor of The Journal, and Foster Coates, manager of The Georgian—all bearing on the late pictograph incident which was published in the three papers of Atlanta. He states the whole thing was a “frame-up” from beginning to end and says he will produce proofs of his statements. He says Gentry, who took down the stenographic notes, will return to Atlanta and tell the truth about the whole deal.

In his card to Newport Lanford, Colonel Felder brands him as a crook and applies to him various epithets.

The letters follow:

Apologizes to The Public.

[The letters to Newport Lanford, James Beavers and James Gray have been published on this website previously from the Atlanta Journal. Below is the continuation of this article with the letter to Foster Coates, newly published — Ed.]

Letter to Mr. Coates.

Atlanta, Ga., June 7, 1913.—Mr. Foster Coates, Manager of The Georgian, Atlanta, Ga.—Dear Sir: My acquaintance with you is very limited. It covers a period of but a few months, and, as I now recall, I have never conversed with you on more than half a dozen occasions. I have no claims upon you, either personally or professionally, except the claim that one gentleman has upon another—to decent and fair treatment. This has been accorded me by the newspaper whose policies you control and direct in Atlanta. Continue Reading →

Three Open Letters Given Out Saturday by Thos. B. Felder

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

Atlanta Journal

Sunday, June 8th, 1913

In One of These Letters He Reopens His Controversy With A. S. Colyar About the Dictograph Episode


He Also Makes Another Personal Attack Upon Detective Chief—Declares Beavers Is Unfitted for His Office

Thomas B. Felder, the attorney who was dictographed by the city detectives, Saturday afternoon gave out open letters addressed to James R. Gray, editor of The Journal, Chief of Police James L. Beavers, and Chief of Detectives Newport A. Lanford. These letters purported to be an exposure of what Mr. Felder has characterized as the dictograph frame up. The letter addressed to James R. Gray is largely an attack upon A. S. Colyar, the man who assisted the city detectives in dictographing Mr. Felder. In the letter to Chief Beavers, Mr. Felder declares that he has never charged the chief with being corrupt, but states that he regards him as unfitted for the office of chief of police. In the letter to Chief of Detectives Lanford, Mr. Felder again attacks that official’s character and charges that he is in a conspiracy with Governor Cole Blease, of South Carolina, to kidnap Felder and carry him across the state line.

The communications as given out by Mr. Felder follow in full: Continue Reading →

Jury Will Probe Dictagraph Row

jury-willAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

A. L. [sic] Colyar, Jr., George M. Gentry and G. C. Febuary Summoned at Request of Chief Lanford

An investigation of the separate phases of the row resulting from the dictagraph traps laid by city detectives for Attorney Thomas B. Felder and Mayor James G. Woodward is believed to be forecast on the grand jury by the summoning before it of A. L. Colyar, Jr., George M. Gentry and G. C. Febuary. All these men played an important part of the performance and were summoned it is claimed at the request made by N. A. Lanford, chief of the detective department.

One of the most startling features of the afternoon session was the probing into the affairs of Police Commissioner William P. Fain. Allen Young, a real estate dealer, was put upon the stand and is said to have been asked to furnish proof in regard to the revelations in which Fain was said to have been the central figure in a carousal in an Ivy street house.

Whipping Charge Answered.

It is claimed that Fain also mistreated one of the women most brutally and that when the police answered the women’s screams and raided the place they arrested Fain, who was later given his liberty by order of higher police officials.

Mr. Fain made the following statement to a Constitution reporter:

“In answer to the charges which appeared against me in an afternoon paper, I beg to say in justice to my friends and the public that I am not in the least surprised at any accusations that have been or may be brought against me or any other city official who is publicly known as a strong supporter of James L. Beavers, chief of police and his administration of the police department.”

As the main issue was directed at him and his department, it is but natural that the same muckrakers would also attack his supporters with the hope of at least sway in public opinion to suit their ends regardless of the cost to others. Continue Reading →

Fain Named in Vice Quiz as Resort Visitor

Mayor James G. Woodward (left), leaving Grand Jury room after testifying in vice probe; Thomas B. Felder (middle), who exonerates Beavers of graft charges but declares war on Lanford; Carl Hutcheson (right), who gave Grand Jury list of "houses in our midst."

Mayor James G. Woodward (left), leaving Grand Jury room after testifying in vice probe; Thomas B. Felder (middle), who exonerates Beavers of graft charges but declares war on Lanford; Carl Hutcheson (right), who gave Grand Jury list of “houses in our midst.”

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

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, June 4th, 1913

Police Commissioner Accused Before Grand Jury of Brawl in Disorderly House.

As a climax of revelations made before the Grand Jury in its probe of vice conditions in Atlanta, Police Commissioner William F. Fain was named as the central figure in a carousal said to have been held in a house on Ivy Street some months ago, according to evidence presented at the Wednesday afternoon session.

Mr. Fain was also accused of brutally treating one of the women in the party. When the police answered the woman’s screams and raided the place, it was said that Fain was arrested, but was immediately released by order of a man high up in police circles.

This startling information was given the Grand Jury by a real estate operator and friend of Fain’s who was summoned by the tribunal to give testimony.

Whisky For Resorts.

Before the witness left the hearing, it is declared that he laid bare one of the most sensational stories of vice ever brought to light in this city. That the Grand Jury will probably probe to the bottom of it, and that its veracity will be given the acid test before any action is taken is assured.

Another witness at the afternoon hearing was J. E. Skags, agent for the Southern Express Company. Mr. Skags was asked to testify as to shipments of whisky and other liquors into Atlanta to places of ill-fame.

Chief Beavers also was called before the Grand Jury during the afternoon session. The police official is declared to have told the jurors that to his knowledge Atlanta was better morally at this time than ever before. The chief will be called again later in the investigation.

Chief Beavers Cleared.

Elimination of Chief of Police Beavers from all charges of graft and corruption in the Police Department, made by Colonel Thomas B. Felder, marked the second day’s probe by the Fulton County Grand Jury.

Colonel Felder made this distinction to Chief Beavers personally, and in so doing renewed his accusations against Chief of Detectives Newport A. Lanford.

At the same time it was said evidence of corruption money being paid to the police had been given the Grand Jury. 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 →

Grand Jury Ready to Investigate Charges

grand-jury-readyAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Monday, June 2nd, 1913

Foreman Beck States Position, Probe Awaits Request From Chief Beavers

The Fulton county grand jury will investigate the Felder-Beavers controversy if any of the interested parties ask an investigation, according to Foreman L. H. Beck.

Mr. Beck has not yet been approached on the matter by Chief J. L. Beavers, who has declared that he will ask a grand jury investigation of the charges made against him and his department by Colonel Thomas B. Felder, and unless the police officials make a formal request for an investigation there is little likelihood of the grand jury taking up the matter at the special meeting to be held on Tuesday morning.

The specific object of the meeting, according to the foreman, is the appointment of routine committees, which have not yet been named, owing to the pressure of criminal business, although the jury has only a month more to serve.

Mr. Beck frankly stated his position to The Journal Monday, saying that if the solicitor or any individual member of the jury brings the matter up officially it will be investigated. Also an investigation will be inaugurated, he says, if Chief Beavers or Chief N. A. Lanford request a probe of him as foreman of the jury.

Up to a late hour Monday Chief Beavers had not seen Solicitor Dorsey nor Mr. Beck. The chief stated that he had been extremely busy Monday, but that he would certainly take the matter up during the week. Continue Reading →

Beavers to Talk Over the Felder Row With Dorsey

beavers-to-talkAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, June 2nd, 1913

Dictograph conversations and alleged bribery charges will be discussed by Chief of Police Beavers and Solicitor General Hugh Dorsey at a conference to be held to-day.

Chief Beavers is ready to have every one who had anything to do with the graft charges called before the Grand Jury, and if conspiracy can be proven it is very probable there will be indictments.

However, it is all up to Solicitor General Dorsey just what will be done. It is thought that, owing to the present state of the Phagan case, the dictographers will not be subpenaed for some time.

* * *

Atlanta Georgian, June 2nd 1913, “Beavers to Talk Over the Felder Row with Dorsey,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Grand Jury Meeting Remains a Mystery

grand-jury-meetingAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Sunday, June 1st, 1913

Foreman Will Not Say Whether Beavers-Felder Controversy Will Be Considered

There is still much speculation over the probable action of the Fulton county grand jury on the Felder-Beavers –Lanford controversy, and it is not yet known whether or not the grand jury will make an investigation.

Foreman L. H. Beck, who called a meeting for next Tuesday morning, has refused to commit himself on the matter, although repeatedly asked whether or not the Felder-Beavers controversy would be investigated.

The present grand jury has little more than a month to serve, and none of the routine investigating committees have been appointed, and this is one of the matters which will come before the body next Tuesday.

Chief of Police Beavers, who has requested a grand jury investigation, has not seen or communicated with Foreman Beck since the controversy commenced, according to the latter.

Chief Beavers, however, is expected to thoroughly into the case with Solicitor Dorsey on Monday, and then he will repeat his request for a grand jury probe of the charges against himself, his department and the charges against Colonel Thomas B. Felder.

Solicitor Dorsey states that he does not know the object of the special meeting called by Mr. Beck.

Should the grand jury take up the Felder-Beavers matter, it is very probable that no bill against an individual will be presented for consideration, but that the grand jury will simply have an exhaustive hearing, examining many witnesses and that then it will embody its finding in the usual report to the court.

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Atlanta Journal, June 1st 1913, “Grand Jury Meeting Remains a Mystery,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Special Session of Grand Jury Called

special-sessionAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, May 31st, 1913

Will Reconvene Next Tuesday for Routine Business Only, Declares Foreman Beck.

Lewis H. Beck, foreman of the Fulton County Grand Jury, which has been called to meet in special session at 10 o’clock next Thursday morning, said Saturday afternoon that the Grand Jury positively would not take up either the Phagan case or the Felder-Beavers row.

The purpose of the special session, Mr. Beck said, was to appoint certain committee. Mr. Beck went a step furthere [sic] and said the Grand Jury had been called for no other purpose except to appoint these committees and that no other business would be transacted.

Announcement of the special session for next Thursday was made Saturday morning. It was called by the foreman himself. Following the announcement, unfounded rumors were circulated to the effect that the Grand Jury would delve deeper into the Phagan murder and possibly also look into the Felder bribery charges.

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Atlanta Georgian, May 31st 1913, “Special Session of Grand Jury Called,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Felder Bribery Charge Expected

felder-briberyAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, May 29th, 1913

Believed Beavers Will Try to Have Grand Jury Consider Accusations Against Attorney.

That bribery charges against Colonel Thomas B. Felder and others will be placed before the Fulton County Grand Jury by police officials, was the indication when G. C. February, secretary of Chief of Detectives Lanford, and the person alleged to have been offered $1,000 in bribe money, secured a subpena Thursday afternoon for A. S. Colyar, Jr., to appear before Solicitor General Dorsey and give testimony Friday morning.

The subpena formally summoned Colyar, who was the author of the dictographing of Felder and Mayor Woodward, to appear before the Grand Jury. The preliminary hearing, however, will be in Solicitor Dorsey’s office.

That February carried away with him a number of subpena blanks is taken to mean that others will be called upon to testify.

At the hearing of testimony Friday morning it is believed that Lanford and Police Chief Beavers will endeavor to show Solicitor Dorsey the plausibility of their bribery charges and ask that the matter be placed before the Grand Jury.

In line with this action, Chief Beavers called upon Carl Hutcheson, the attorney, again Thursday morning for the list of “protected disorderly houses” which Hutcheson declared be held, and which Hutcheson said he would reveal in an effort to prove that vice under police protection is rife in Atlanta. Continue Reading →

A. S. Colyar Released From Bond on Thursday

AS Colyar ReleasedAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, May 29th, 1913

Tennessee Authorities Failed to Forward Requisition Papers on Date Agreed

A. S. Colyar, the Tennessean, who figured conspicuously in the recent dictograph sensation involving bribery charges and countercharges of graft between Colonel Thomas B. Felder, Mayor Woodward and others, on the one hand and Chief of Police Beavers and Chief of Detectives aLnford [sic], on the other was released from his bond Thursday at 2 p. m. by Chief Beavers.

Colyar’s name jumped into the news when the dictograph matter became public and the following day there came a wire from the Knoxville police to the Atlanta police, asking that Colyar be arrested and held for them. They charged an indictment for forgery. Accordingly, Colyar was arrested. He said the charge was four years old and had never been prosecuted. He alleged a conspiracy.

A few hours later, Colyar was released on bond.

Thursday was the day set by the Tennessee police for the delivery of requisition papers and the extradition of Colyar to Tennessee.

No documents came, but instead Chief Beavers received a letter from the Knoxville chief of police requesting that Colyar be held until June 3.

Chief Beavers declined to accede to this. His reply to the Knoxville chief was quoted by him to be that immediate action would have to be taken on Thursday or he would order the release of Colyar and his bondsmen. Continue Reading →

Felder Barely Missed Being Trapped by His Own Dictograph

Felder Barely MissedAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, May 27th, 1913

Last week, when the detectives were laying their plans to trap Colonel Thomas B. Felder with a dictograph, they came very near trapping the colonel with his own instrument.

The amusing incident, which has just come to light, revolves about Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey.

Before a dictograph was installed in the Williams house room the city detectives told the solicitor that the attorney was negotiating for the purchase for $1,000 of certain papers in the Phagan case.

The solicitor said nothing about the confidences of the detectives, and a short time later Colonel Felder told him “that he was going to get the detectives.”

The solicitor said nothing of the attorney’s confidences.

A short time later, however, the detectives came in and asked the solicitor if he could get them a dictograph.

Mr. Dorsey says that he thought the officers wanted it for use in some phase of the Phagan case. In fact, he was busy and didn’t even ask why they wanted the delicate little instrument, but immediately thought of Mr. Felder and the Burns people. Continue Reading →