Trial of Leo Frank Postponed by Judge

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Wednesday, June 25, 1913

Date of Trial Changed From June 30 Until July 28 at Plea of Attorneys for Defense.

The first appearance in open court of the indictment against Leo M. Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan came yesterday afternoon when Judge L. S. Roan, presiding over the criminal division of superior court, summoned attorneys for both sides, and after a hearing changed the date of trial from June 30, as set by Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey, to July 28.

This and the legal move by the defense in serving upon Solicitor Dorsey, Police Chief James L. Beavers, Detective Chief Newport Lanford and other detectives and officials for the state, with formal subpoenas duces tecum, commanding them to bring to court all affidavits they may have which bear upon the state’s case against Frank, were the only changes in the present situation.

Judge Roan also decided that the trial of Frank would be held not in the regular room in which he holds his division of court, but in one of the rooms in which the civil division of the superior court sits.

Where Trial Will be Held.

This was done, the judge explained, because the ceiling is very low in the courtroom in the Thrower building, where his court regularly sits, and the room is ventilated by windows only on one side. The trial will be held, according to present plans, in one of the courtrooms in the old city hall, corner South Pryor and East Hunter streets, where the ceilings are higher and windows can be thrown open on both sides of the room to allow ventilation. Continue Reading →

Both Sides Called in Conference by Judge; Trial Set for July 28

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, June 24, 1913

Dorsey, Beavers and Lanford Summoned to Appear June 30 With All Affidavits They Have Secured Relative to the Phagan Slaying Case.

Just before the conference with both sides in the Frank case started Judge Roan intimated strongly that he would set the case for July 14 or July 28 and hold it in some more commodious court room than the one in which he sits on the fourth floor of the Thrower building. Judge Roan’s personal inclination leans to a date in July, and it is not likely that the State or defense will object to acceding to his wishes.

The date was definitely fixed for July 28 at the conference.

The first important legal move by the defense in the battle for the life and freedom of Leo Frank, accused of the strangling of Mary Phagan, was made Tuesday in the issuance of subpenas duces tecum for the prime movers in the prosecution of the factory superintendent.

The following have been subpenaed to appear:

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, who will prosecute the prisoner.

Chief of Police James L. Beavers, who was the leader in obtaining incriminating affidavits.

Pinkerton Detective Harry Scott, to whom is generally given credit for the admissions gained from Conley.

All other city detectives who have worked on the case.

All of them are ordered to produce any affidavits they may have bearing on the case in court June 30, indicating that the defense will be prepared to go on with the trial at that time.

Judge Roan, however, had called a conference of the attorneys on both sides of the case for 2 o’clock in the afternoon, when he announced that he would set the date definitely after the attorneys had been given an opportunity to say whether or not their cases would be in shape to present if the trial were called the last of this month.

Plan to Use Same Evidence.

The startling move on the part of the defense was taken to mean that Frank’s lawyers propose to use to free their client the very evidence the detectives and Solicitor General have collected to send him to the gallows.

The most significant demand is made upon Chief Beavers, who is commanded to bring into court the famed series of affidavits made by the negro sweeper, Jim Conley. It is evident that Attorneys Rosser and Arnold, who are conducting the defense, intend to tear the contradictory stories of the negro to tatters and make his statements so utterly ridiculous and improbable that the jury not only will refuse to accept them, but will interpret them as an effort of Conley to get from under the blame for a crime that he committed himself. Continue Reading →

July 28 Is Date Agreed Upon for Trial of Frank

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

The Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, June 24, 1913

Judge Names Date After Statement From Reuben R. Arnold, In Which He Said Trial Would Last Two Weeks

DEFENSE TAKES STEPS TO GET STATE’S EVIDENCE

Subpenas Duces Tecum Issued, Demanding Production of Affidavits and Popers [sic] in Possession of Solicitor

Leo M. Frank, accused of the slaying of Mary Phagan, will not be tried before superior court Judge L. S. Roan next Monday. The judge in a conference with attorneys at 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon formally set the trial for Monday, July 28, and no attempt to reopen the questions of arraignment will be made. Both the prosecution and the defense agreed to this date.

Any attempt made to put Frank on trial on next Monday was silenced when Reuben R. Arnold, speaking for the defense, said flatly that the trial would take at least two weeks. The assurance that the trial would last some time and the fact that it likely would be held in the stuffy little court room in the Thrower building, if scheduled Monday, practically caused the postponement.

Solicitor Dorsey, for the state, and Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, for the prosecution, were summoned to the court house by Judge Roan at 3 o’clock and a discussion of the matter was opened.

SOLICITOR ANNOUNCED READY.

Solicitor Dorsey announced that he was ready and made the declaration that his witnesses would not take more than two days at the outside. He said if the defense had any he didn’t think they would take any longer.

This remark brought a grunt from Luther Z. Rosser and the Arnold statement that the trial would take two weeks.

“We have the witnesses,” both of the lawyers for the defense asserted.

Both Attorneys Rosser and Arnold told the court that in the event of a postponement of the case for Monday that they desired it to go over until after the week of July 14, when both would be engaged in the trial of Mattie Flanders in Swainsboro. Mr. Rosser represents the defense of Mrs. Flanders and Mr. Arnold the prosecution.

This came when Solicitor Dorsey suggested that the case be tried on July 7.

Judge Roan, in fixing July 28 as a date suitable to all concerned, said that there would be no break in the week, as there would with July 4, that a good court room for the trial could be obtained about July 13, that the jail could be cleared of routine cases by that time and previously made engamenest [sic] would not be interrupted.

All lawyers concerned were in court and the judge asserted that lack of preparation could not be offered as an excuse when the case was called on July 28.

The attorneys for Leo M. Frank Tuesday afternoon secured subpoenas duces tecum to be served on Chief James L. Beavers, Chief N. A. Lanford, Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey, Assistant Solicitor E. A. Stevens, Hary [sic] Scott, of the Pinkertons; City Detectives John Black, Pat Campbell and J. N. tSarnes [sic], and Secretary of Chief Lanford, G. C. Febuary, calling upon them to produce in court Monday June 30, or any other day that the Frank case might be on trial, all affidavits or statements secured from Jim Conley, the negro sweeper; Monteen Stover and Grace Hix. Continue Reading →

Gentry, Found by Journal, Says Notes Will Show Enough to Justify What Was Sworn To

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

The Atlanta Journal

Sunday, June 15, 1913

“Upon Reading My Notes Before the Court It Will Be Proven That There Is Enough of It There to Justify What Was Written and Sworn to be Me as Being Practically the Gist of What Was Said,” Says Young Stenographer of Dictograph Records Transcribed by Him

“I WAS ALLOWED TO READ PROOF OF WHAT WAS PUBLISHED ABOUT FELDER CONFERENCE,” HE SAYS

“As Far as What The Journal Published, Will Say, as Far as I Can Remember, What They Printed Were the Facts In a General Way, and the Changes Were Immaterial.” Located by The Jounaal’s [sic] Washington Correspondent, Gentry Talks Freely.

By Ralph Smith

WASHINGTON, D. C., June 14.—Living under an assumed name and holding a lucrative position as an expert stenographer, George M. Gentry, of Atlanta, who made the famous dictograph notes, was located in Washington today by the Journal correspondent. He has been here since May 27. He left Atlanta via the Southern railway on the evening of May 26, following the Felder exposure. He claims to have seen no one from Atlanta other than E. O. Miles, and The Journal correspondent, though he is in communication with the members of his immediate family.

Gentry’s real identity is unknown to his employers, and at his request his present address and the place of his employment are withheld by the correspondent. Their publication, he believes, might cause him unnecessary annoyance.

“I left Atlanta because I feared that I might be arrested for perjury,” he said.

Gentry today voluntarily made an affidavit, elaborating and elucidating the statements contained in the affidavit he recently gave to E. O. Miles. This affidavit, made today, was sworn to and subscribed before Isaac Heidenheimer, of 1226 Pennsylvania avenue, notary public, for the District of Columbia. It was witnessed by Senator William Hughes, of New Jersey and Congressman Frank Doremus, of Michigan.

The original and a carbon copy are in the possession of The Journal correspondent, and Gentry himself has a copy. The affidavit was written by Gentry, without suggestion or dictation from anyone.

“Unfortunately I did not go into enough detail in my previous affidavit, hence the necessity of making a further one,” swore Gentry today.

Continuing the affidavit says, “I neglected to mention in same (the Miles affidavit) that I was allowed to read a proof of what The Journal published, in connection with the Felder conference. This conference was transcribed first and printed in Friday’s issue of the Journal. The other conferences, all of which were held Wednesday afternoon and evening, preceding the date of publication, were not published until after the Felder conference was published. I made one or two changes in the proof of the Felder conference, this being the only proof I was allowed to see. As I remember in one instance, I had written the word “intrude” any my notes contained the word “intruding.”

“Further than this I do not remember of any change that I made in same, with the exception of ordinary corrections, such as marking misspelled words, adding periods and commas, and striking them out.” Continue Reading →

Grand Jury Will Probe Affidavits About Dictagraph

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

The Atlanta Constitution

June 12, 1913

Investigation of Charges and Counter Charges Will Begin at Early Date and Will Be Exhaustive One.

LANFORD SAYS GENTRY WILL DENY AFFIDAVIT

Affidavit Is Made Declaring Dictagraph Instrument Was Secured by Chief Lanford For Use in Phagan Case.

Following close on the heels of the publication of the George M. Gentry affidavit, in which the young stenographer states that his typewritten report of the dictagraph conversation was padded, and says that he left town after he had discovered that he had fallen in with a “crowd of crooks,” comes the assurance that the grand jury will at once make a searching probe of the detective department in an effort to establish the truth regarding the many charges and counter charges that have been afloat since the dictagraph sensation was sprung.

Members of the grand jury take the position that if the Gentry affidavit is true, it constitutes a stinging indictment of the detective department—an indictment which should not be allowed to stand longer than it will take to uncover the facts.

Records True, Says Lanford.

Chief of Detectives Lanford defends his department and his own personal connection with the sensation with the declaration that the dictagraph reports, as published, were absolutely correct, and that reports to the contrary are not only false, but will be proved untrue.

Impeiled by public sentiment the dictagraph incident created, it is authentically stated that the grand jury probe will be made at a very early date, and will be an exhaustive one.

While contradicted by Gentry’s affidavit and statements from the trio of dictagraph “victims”—Mayor Woodward, Colonel Felder and Charles Jones. G. C. Febuary, secretary to Chief Lanford, stoutly maintas that the dictagraph notes were accurate and that there were no discrepancies whatever in the published copies. Continue Reading →

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

NOTEBOOK WILL PROVE REPORTS WERE ‘PADDED,’ HE SAYS IN AFFIDAVIT

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.

ASSERTS THAT HE LEFT ATLANTA WHEN INFORMED OVER TELEPHONE HE MIGHT BE PUT UNDER ARREST

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 WILLING TO RETURN WHENEVER HE IS NEEDED HERE.

“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

AFFIDAVIT OBTAINED IN WASHINGTON D. C.

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.

GENTRY READ PROOFS.

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 →

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”

SEND HIM TO CREMATORY, SAYS DETECTIVE CHIEF

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:

COLYAR’S REPLY.

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.

HAS THE RECORDS.

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 →

New Conley Confession Reported to Jury

George Gentry, operator of the dictograph, alleged to have trapped Colonel T. B. Felder and Mayor Woodward. Gentry now is missing.

George Gentry, operator of the dictograph, alleged to have trapped Colonel T. B. Felder and Mayor Woodward. Gentry now is missing.

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

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Probers Question Colyar and Febuary About Alleged Admissions by Negro.

Chief Lanford, in discussing the near-fight between himself and Attorney Felder in Solicitor Dorsey’s office Thursday morning, characterized his opponent as all bluff.

“Felder is a coward and void of all truth,” declared Chief Lanford. “If I had been left with him alone for one minute I would have showed the rascal up. I wouldn’t have cared if he had a dozen pistols. Felder hasn’t the nerve to pull the trigger anyway.

“I would have taken a thirty-day suspension just to have given Felder what he deserves. Felder knows that I meant to do it, too, and he did not rise out of his chair to face me until he saw that there were plenty of men about to prevent a conflict.”

It became known this afternoon that the Grand Jury Thursday had investigated a sensational story that A. S. Colyar, the dictograph man, had been trying to dispose of what purported to be a confession from James Conley, negro sweeper, that he had killed Mary Phagan in the National Pencil factory.

The Grand Jury was told that such a document had been displayed to various persons and that Colyar had offered it to W. C. Tobie, the Burns man who worked on the case some time.

Colyar was summoned before the jury. G. C. Febuary, secretary to Chief Lanford, was also summoned because the Grand Jury had heard that he took down the alleged confession. Both Colyar and Febuary denied the existence of such an affidavit. Febuary, questioned very closely, said that every affidavit made by Conley and taken down by him had been made public and that in none of them did Conley confess to the killing.

Jury Probes Vice Reports.

In an atmosphere pregnant with excitement and at times so threatening that Solicitor General Dorsey was forced to appoint a deputy sheriff to preserve peace in his office, the Fulton County Grand Jury continued, its investigation of vice conditions in Atlanta Thursday morning.

Gathered in the ante-room to where the hearing is being conducted were the leaders of the opposing factions, Colonel Thomas B. Felder, for the one side, and Chief of Detectives Newport Lanford, Police Chief Beavers, A. S. Colyar and G. C. Febuary, for the other. Sympathizers with each were present, crowding the offices and adding to the general uneasiness that prevailed.

The first sensation of the morning occurred with the rearrest of Colyar on request of the Chief of Police of Knoxville, Tenn. Colyar was taken into custody by Deputy Sheriff Plen[n]ie Miner when he appeared, at the Thrower Building to testify before the Grand Jury. Continue Reading →

Grand Jury Probe of Vice Conditions Finished Thursday

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

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Jury Adjourned Until Next Tuesday Without Drawing Any Bills—Inquiry Not Likely to Be Resumed, It Is Said

LANFORD TELLS JURY OF COL. FELDER’S ENMITY

Declares It Dates Back to Case He Made Against Charlie Jones and Was Accentuated by Dictograph Episode

The most interesting testimony given to the Fulton county grand jury Thursday was that of Detective Chief N. A. Lanford, who a few minutes before he was called to the stand had engaged in a near-fight with Colonel Thomas B. Felder.

Chief Lanford is himself authority for what transpired in the grand jury room, where he remained in the neighborhood of a half hour.

“I was questioned principally about vice conditions,” he said, “although a number of questions were asked me concerning the dictographing of Felder and others.”

“Some of the grand jurymen inquired why Felder seemed so bitter toward me. I told them that as far as I knew his feeling toward me dated back several years ago when I made a case against Charlie C. Jones for operating a disorderly house on Jenkins street. Felder was Jones’ attorney in that case.

“I also expressed the opinion that his bitterness had perhaps increased since I made public the dictograph records and certain affidavits showing that he was not duly employed in the Phagan case, and that he was no doubt further embittered by reason of the fact that these publications put a stop to his collection of public subscriptions with which to employ Burns detectives. 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 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

BEAVERS AND FELDER ASK INVESTIGATION

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.

MORE WITNESSES WILL GIVE TESTIMONY TODAY

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 →

Grand Jury Called to Meet Tuesday in Special Session

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

Atlanta Journal

Saturday, May 31st, 1913

Meeting Called by Foreman Lewis H. Beck, but He Declined to Say What the Jury Will Investigate

WILL FELDER’S CHARGES BE SIFTED BY JURY?

Chief Beavers Silent—Colonel Felder Not Informed About Meeting, but Says It’s Matter of Indifference to Him

A special session of the Fulton county grand jury has been called for next Tuesday morning at 10 o’clcok, the purpose of which is unannounced and unknown.

The call was issued by the foreman, Lewis H. Beck, who declines to state what matters will be considered by the grand jury. The impression is general that Foreman Beck has yielded to the demands of Police Chief James L. Beavers that a searching probe be made into the charges preferred by the city detectives against Colonel Thomas B. Felder, involving an alleged attempt to bribe Secretary G. C. Febuary to take certain papers from the safe of the chief of detectives, and also to thoroughly inquire into Colonel Felder’s counter charges that the police and detective departments are corrupt and are affording protection to disorderly houses and gambling resorts.

NOT THE PHAGAN CASE.

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey gave out the first information that the grand jury had been called in special session, but stated that he did not know why nor what for. He did not think the called session would consider any phase of the Phagan murder case, although some persons were inclined to believe the grand jury might take up the confession of James Conley, the negro sweeper. However, if this were true Solicitor Dorsey would certainly know about it, for it would be he that would bring this matter to the grand jury’s attention.

Chief Beavers only smiled when questioned concerning the special meeting of the grand jury. He would not say whether he was advised concerning it or whether it had been called at his instance. The chief’s attitude strengthens the belief that the grand jury is preparing to investigate the charges of the city detectives and the counter charges of Colonel Felder. Continue Reading →

Chief James L. Beavers’ Reply to Mayor Woodward

Chief James LAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution

Tuesday, May 27th, 1913

“If Beavers and Lanford permitted Febuary, ‘a trusted man,’ to go out and circulate lies about corruption in the police department in an effort to trap someone, they have debauched their officers, and the sooner they are put out the better it will be for the men who work under them.”

Mayor James G. Woodward made the above reply to Chief James L. Beavers in a statement to The Constitution late Monday afternoon. They mayor declared that Febuary’s part in the conspiracy has destroyed his usefulness with the department, and he is not fit to serve with honorable men.

“In my opinion, and I believe every decent citizen of Atlanta will agree with me, Febuary is not fit to serve in the department in any capacity.” Mayor Woodward continued. “How can Beavers or Lanford, or the members of the police commission, place faith in him. He has dragged the department through filth of his own making. He has cast reflection, by his act, on the blue uniform.”

Beavers’ Charge Refuted.

Mayor Woodward scathingly denounced Chief Beavers’ allegations that he (Woodward) urged the reopening of the Manhattan avenue district. He admits telling Beavers that the district would be opened as a result of public demand for the interest of society, because of the scattered conditions.

He declared that he has never placed a straw in the way of Chief Beavers’ vice crusade, and explained that whenever he called the chief to his office it was for the purpose of referring complaints to him—complaints of bad conditions in respectable neighborhoods.

Mayor Woodward said that on one occasion he referred to the chief a letter written by a respectable woman—the mother of little children—who complained that there was an immoral house near her home, and she wanted the police to protect her and her babies.

“This woman told me that she had written Chief Beavers about the house some ten days before she wrote me, and nothing was ever done,” Mayor Woodward said. “All that I have ever heard of the complaint is that the house is quieted down.” Continue Reading →

Mayor Gives Out Sizzling Reply to Chief Beavers

Mayor Gives Out Sizzling

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

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, May 26th, 1913

Mayor James G. Woodward Monday gave out a sizzling interview in reply to Police Chief Beavers’ accusations, which he concluded with this statement:

“If Beavers and Lanford authorized February [sic]. ‘a trusted man,’ to go out and tell lies about corruption in the department in an effort to trap somebody, they are unworthy to hold the places they occupy, and the sooner they are put out the better it will be for the police department and the city.

“February has proved that he is not fit to serve in the police department in any capacity.”

Mayor Woodward, before beginning his statement, said he wanted to make it clear that he was vigorously opposed to public controversies with heads of departments. He said it was not the way to run the city’s business, and but for Chief Beavers’ attack, which misrepresented his position, he would say nothing. Continue Reading →

Five Good Men Say if Charges Are Untrue, Says A. S. Colyar to Col. Felder

Five Good Men

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

Atlanta Journal

Monday, May 26th, 1913

[A substantial portion of the beginning of this article is illegible with the PDF copy in our possession. If anyone has a copy of this newspaper, please let us know and we can complete the transcription of it. Thank you! — Ed.]

… if I did introduce you to my wife and you [2 words illegible] make the remark that you had had the pleasure of meeting her in Chattanooga? And yet one of our alleged newspapers that has been very busy defending your good name, and painting mine blacker than hell in this community, has the audacity to publish in their Sunday morning edition a statement that my wife became so disgusted with me that she separated with me a year ago.

This statement is without any foundation whatever, and an alleged representative of this alleged newspaper had the effrontery (fortunately for him that I was absent) to approach my wife in the hotel parlor on Friday night in the presence of another lady and try to scare her to death with threats, which I would hate to believe met your approval.

I wish to say to you, sir, that in any controversy that I might have with you, or any other man, and I become so low and so prostituted that I forget my mother and your mother and our wives, are women, pure, sweet women, of this bright and beautiful southland, and make an attack upon them, I want some one to shoot me as they would a mad-dog. Continue Reading →

Thomas Felder Brands the Charges of Bribery Diabolical Conspiracy

Thomas Felder Brands

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

Thomas B. Felder, the Atlanta lawyer who is accused of having offered a bribe for an affidavit of J. W. Coleman, stepfather of Mary Phagan, now in the possession of the police, yesterday issued the following statement: To the People of Atlanta:

The publication of the sensational “story” in The Atlanta Journal on yesterday afternoon relating to myself and my connection with the Phagan case is but the symptom or manifestation of one of the most diabolical conspiracies ever hatched by a venal and corrupt “system” to protect crime in a civilized community.

To be more specific, this conspiracy was formed just after the arrest of Newt Lee and Leo Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan. The controlling genius of it is Newport Lanford, chief of the city detectives; its object is to shield and protect the murderers of this innocent child, and in its wicked ramifications it marks our distinguished (?) chief of detectives as the Lieutenant Becker of our “system,” and renders his co-conspirators as dangerous to the lives, liberty and property and reputation of our citizens as the bloody and deadly Society of the Mafia.

Part Played By Papers.

Pity it is that the press of the city has been and is being made the innocent, if effective, instrument in their hands to further and effectuate the object of this wicked conspiracy by prostituting their potential columns in the exploitation of the mass of forgeries and perjuries which has been given to the public through their columns, for be it known that these papers have tacitly sanctioned the utterances of Colyar by reproducing his affidavits in the face of the fact that the editors and proprietors of all would without hesitation swear that they would not believe him on oath if called upon to do so. Strangely enough, a portion of the criminal record of this man Colyar is reproduced, showing him to be a man steeped in crime and infamy, while in the parallel column is published his defamatory utterances against me. Continue Reading →

Here Is the Dictagraph Record of Woodward’s Conversation

Here is the Dictagraph Record

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

Going to A. S. Colyar’s room in Williams House No. 2, on Forsyth street, Wednesday afternoon to make efforts to get information of alleged grafting on the part of Chief of Police Beavers and Chief Lanford, Mayor James G. Woodward walked into as neat a trap as was ever devised. The same dictagraph which was alleged to take down the statements of Colonel T. B. Felder, is said to have been working while the mayor of Atlanta was in conference with E. O. Miles, a private detective; Febuary, Chief of detectives Lanford’s clerk, and A. S. Colyar.

The mayor admits frankly he was there, but says he offered no money, but that he would subscribe to a fund to unearth graft in any city department; and also said that his visit had nothing whatever to do with the Phagan case.

“These parties told me they had evidence of the corruptness of Beavers and Lanford. I wanted to see what they had,” he is quoted as saying.

Part of the conversation, as alleged to have been taken down by George M. Gentry, nephew of the president of Southern Bell Telephone company, dealt with the early arrival of Miles, who discussed the Phagan case with Colyar.

After Mayor Woodward arrived in the room, Colyar stated that Febuary had the goods on certain members of the police and detective department. There was some discussion about the right of the police to arrest anyone who could get such evidence. Mayor Woodward staying that he didn’t understand how such an informer could be thrown in jail. Continue Reading →