Vice Scandal Probe Postponed for a Day

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Wednesday, July 9, 1913

Because the attorney of Lena Barnhart, who is accused by Hattie Smith of being a white slave procuress, pleaded for time in which to obtain witnesses to the effect that the Barnhart woman had been introduced to the girl and had been her benefactress, the recent hotel vice scandal which was to have been given an airing yesterday in police court was postponed until today at 2:30 o’clock.

Chief Beavers ordered detectives Tuesday morning to summon C. V. Kistner, proprietor of the Hotel Cumberland, to appear in recorder’s court and bring the guest register of his establishment. It is rumored that the registers of a number of hotels will be probed within a short while.

The case against Elijah Murray, the negro bell boy of the umberland [sic], and against J. Cox, the man who figured in the first arrest in the case, were all postponed until today. Each will be given an airing.

* * *

The Atlanta Constitution, July 9th 1913, “Vice Scandal Probe Postponed for a Day,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Caught Drinking, Three Policemen Fired Off Force

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Wednesday, July 9, 1913

Three Officers Are Suspended for Ninety Days, and Two Exonerated and Their Pay for Lost Time Restored.


Mayor Intimated He Would Ask Charges Be Preferred Against Moon, Who Said He Drank to Secure Evidence.

The scandal in the police department which grew out of revelations that eight policemen visited the resort of Ola Bradley, a negress, at No. 129 Auburn street resulted in the dismissal of three, exoneration of two, and suspension of three for ninety days, by the police board, at 1:30 o’clock this morning.

The policemen discharged were Robert A. Wood, J. P. Born and E. C. Folds.

Patrolmen J. E. McDaniels and L. W. Evans, who were under charges for neglect of duty for failure to report the visits of their partners to the resort, were found not guilty and were restored to the ranks with pay for lost time during suspension.

Three Are Suspended.

Continue Reading →

Girl to Tell Her Story of Vice to Recorder

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

The Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, July 8, 1913

Hattie Smith, Now Penitent, Will Make Confessions in Open Court

Resolved to quit the life into which she so recently drifted, Hattie Smith, the Atlanta young woman whose revelations of vice “from the inside” gave the police some startling information Monday, will appear in police court on Tuesday afternoon and repeat in detail the story which she has recounted to the police. Upon the strength of that story Lena Barnhart, a white woman, and Elijah Murray, a negro bellboy, were arrested in the Cumberland hotel Monday and will be arraigned with Hattie Smith in court. The bellboy is involved by the Smith girl’s story as an agent, a pernicious go-between.

“Stay away from these cheap hotels in Atlanta,” is the advice that the Smith girl is now anxious to give to other young women. She asserts that she is going to follow it herself, and that when she has atoned for whatever violation she has done to the law, she will go back to her father’s home on Marietta street and stay there and behave. Her father called at police headquarters Monday afternoon and told her that she would be welcomed at home. Before the young woman was arrested, the father had requested the police to find her. He reported that she had been missing since last Wednesday.

According to the Smith girl, the Barnhart woman was registered at the Cumberland hotel as Lena Revarson. They became acquainted in a soft drink stand. The Barnhart woman invited her to the hotel, according to Hattie Smith, preceding her there and registering her as Lucile Evans and securing a room for her, for which she applied and to which she was assigned later.

It is said that other arrests may follow in this matter, and that probably several men may be arrested upon the strength of the Smith girl’s story. Other women may be involved yet, it is said.


Continue Reading →

Girl Tells of Life in Slavers’ Hands

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 8, 1913

Hattie Smith Warns Young Women of Atlanta Against the Wiles of Procurers.

The startling expose of vice conditions by Hattie Smith, the prety [sic] 17-year-old girl, one of the alleged victims of the “system,” resulted Tuesday in an aggressive war n [sic] the downtown hotels.

Chief Beavers declared he would stamp out vice if he had to detail a special officer at every one of the hotels in question. Several additional arrests will be made before noon, it is believed.

The Smith girls repeated her story with many additional details of the “system” which is said to be the most completely organized in the history of Atlanta.

Taking a lesson from her own harrowing experience, she has issued a warning to young girls to beware of the women procurers, who, she says, ply the streets with pleasant smiles and entice girls to well-known hotels of the downtown district, where the “system” is so completely organized that there is never a chance of detection or escape for the unfortunate victim.

No Chance to Escape.

Continue Reading →

Accused Policemen Will Face Commission Tuesday

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

The Atlanta Journal

Monday, July 7, 1913

The entire board of twelve police commissioners, including the mayor and the chairman of the police committee of council as ex-officio members, is expected to be in attendance Tuesday evening at the trial of the eight policemen recently suspended by Chief J. L. Beavers.

Chairman Carlos Mason, who has missed only one meeting during his five years’ service on the board, returned Monday from a vacation especially to attend the trial, and all other members are expected to be there.

The eight suspended policemen are involved in the police scandal revolving around the raiding of a blind tiger, disorderly house and dance hall, operated at 127 Auburn avenue by a negress by the name of Ola Bradley.

The majority of the suspended policemen have engaged attorneys to defend them before the police commissioners, and lively scenes during the trials are expected.

As the evidence against most of the policemen is largely of the same character and will be delivered by the same witness, it is expected that all of the eight trials will be completed at the meeting Tuesday evening.

* * *

The Atlanta Journal, July 7th 1913, “Accused Policemen Will Face Commission Tuesday,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Young Woman Tells Startling Story of Vice From “Inside”

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

The Atlanta Journal

Monday, July 7, 1913

Confessions to Chief of Police Beavers Involve Downtown Hotel, Mention Names of Other Women and Men


Police Again Arrest Mrs. Frierson, Recently Pardoned by Mayor Woodward in Controversy With Judge Broyles

Revelations of vice conditions from the inside were laid before Chief of Police Beavers Monday morning by the confession of a young woman who gives her name as Hattie Smith and says that her parents live at a certain number on Marietta street.

Chief Beavers immediately detailed men to investigate the disclosures, and the indications were that several arrests would follow and that a case would be made against at least one downtown hotel and perhaps against two.

The young woman, who says that she is seventeen years old, told the chief a story replete with startling admissions and placed in his hands the evidence which, if it is corroborated, will convict several people of serious charges.

She had been arrested in a downtown hotel with a man. Her companion was released upon a small bond, being cited to appear in court with her Monday afternoon.

The young woman admitted a joy-riding career during several months past, leading up finally to the day recently when with the aid of another woman more experienced than herself she established a residence in one of the downtown hotels. Her admissions involved that hotel and others, and involved, too, several men whom she named. The other woman arranged the details of her hotel residence, said she registered her on the hotel registry, and otherwise encouraged her.

The charge against her on the police docket is “disorderly conduct.”

The police believe that her arrest and confession together form one of the most important chapters in the crusade against vice in Atlanta.


Continue Reading →

Police Hunt Principals in Expose

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 8, 1913

Search Records of Guests for the Leaders of System Named by Girl Victim.

A general rounding up of hotel registers by detectives for the identification of notorious men and women added the latest sensation in the vice investigation instituted following the startling disclosures of Hattie Smith, the pretty 17-year-old girl, who claims to be the victim of the “system.”

The first move was made Tuesday morning when the manager of the Cumberland Hotel was subpenaed to appear in Police Court with his register that afternoon. The register will be examined by the Smith girl to identify the names of men and women who, she claims, frequent the hotel.

Detectives say they will examine every hotel register figuring in this latest expose to identify the names of parties involved. In each case the register will be searched carefully and the name of every person noted as to character and general reputation.

Get Evidence for Court.

Continue Reading →

Operations of Slavers in Hotels Bared

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, July 7, 1913

Victim Tells Beavers Names of Women and Man Engaged in Traffic in Girls.

A new and sensational expose of vice conditions said to be prevalent in Atlanta was made Monday morning by Hattie Smith, a pretty 17-year-old girl, who was arrested in a hotel which was raided Sunday night.

If the statements of the Smith girl, who made a confession of her own guilt to the Chief, are true, Atlanta is in the clutches of one of the best organized vice systems in existence.

Certain downtown hotels, the girl claims, are the rendezvous of women procurers who go out on the streets and entice young girls in where they are provided with every comfort and convenience, in addition to being carried out on long automobile rides by strange men.

Gives Chief Names.

Continue Reading →

Police Chief to Probe Vice Protection Charge

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

The Atlanta Journal

Thursday, July 3, 1913

Beavers Stirred by Details Reported by Physician—Assigns Men to Report

Following the charges of a prominent Atlanta physician regarding vice conditions and alleged police protection in this city, Chief of Police Beavers despatched an officer to confer with this physician Thursday morning.

The officer will endeavor to obtain even more information than has been furnished the chief and will try to substantiate that already given. He will pay especial attention to the statement of the physician that he reported a disorderly house to the police and that the proprietors of it were “tipped off” by some officer.

Chief Beavers is concerned over this phase of the question. He admits that there must be something in the charges, as the source of his information is reputable.

“It is a grave charge,” he declared Thursday morning. “I am satisfied that Atlanta’s police department is as free of anything like giving protection to vice as any in the United States, yet it is entirely possible that there are some men in it who would ‘graft.’ If there are I want to know more than anyone else, for it is not fair for the department’s reputation as a whole to suffer for what can be traced to a few individuals.”

The alleged disorderly houses reported to the chief are being watched closely, but he said that no evidence against them had been obtained yet.

Sergeant L.S. Dobbs, who has been investigating the locker clubs to see if they had any members of the police departmet [sic] enrolled, has finished his work and reported to the chief that he was unable to find any police members. He said that there are a number of local fraternal organizations with police members, and that these orders have locker club attachments, but that so far as he could learn no policemen were in the habit of using them.

Chief Beavers declared that there was nothing wrong with an officer belonging to a fraternal order, provided he did not use his membership for anything other than fraternal purposes.

Chief of Detectives Lanford declared Thursday morning that he had taken steps to investigate the charges made by the physician that several of his men had been seen drinking in two downtown locker clubs.

* * *

The Atlanta Journal, July 3rd 1913, “Police Chief to Probe Vice Protection Charge,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Findings in Probe are Guarded

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, July 2, 1913

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

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

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

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

List Given to Jury.

Continue Reading →

Jail Sentence for Woman Convicted in Vice Crusade

screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-11-04-16-pmAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Mrs. N. Powell, Charged With Operating Disorderly House on Spring Street, Gets Heavy Sentence


Case is One of Few on Record Where a Woman Is Sentenced to Jail Without Alternative of Paying Fine

Mrs. N. Powell, of 95 Spring street, was convicted in the city criminal court Friday on the charge of operating a disorderly house, and was sentenced to serve a term of four months in jail by Judge A. E. Calhoun.

This is one of the few cases on record where a woman, charged with operating a disorderly house, has received a straight jail sentence without the alternative of paying a fine.

It is understood that Mrs. Powell through her attorneys, Jackson and Gober, will appeal from the decision of the city court.

The case of Mrs. Powell is made doubly interesting by the fact that she some time ago secured a temporary injunction restraining Chief of Police Beavers from raiding her house or forcing her to move.

Chief Beavers had given Mrs. Powell instructions to move before she secured the injunction, and the police official, when blocked in his effort to move the woman by the order of the superior court, resorted to the city court, where she was indicted on a charge of operating a disorderly house. Continue Reading →

Grand Jury May Drop Vice Probe

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

Atlanta Constitution

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Foreman Beck De[c]lines to Talk of Probable Action of Jury—Felder to Issue a Public Statement.

“The grand jury has finished its questioning of witnesses with its adjournment, and unless members of the jury should desire that those of the several witnesses summoned, who have not been heard, should be brought before them, there is nothing more to do.” This was the statement made yesterday by L. H. Beck, foreman of the grand jury, which adjourned at 2 o’clock after a three-day probe in vice conditions in Atlanta.

Foreman Beck stated that the body would meet again Tuesday, but at the instance of the solicitor, and to take up the criminal business which the present probe and the lengthy examination preceding the indictment of Leo M. Frank had greatly delayed.

Asked as to the nature of the action that the grand jury would take in regard to the results of its vice probe, the foreman replied that he was not in a position to state this.

“We have tried to follow the words of Judge W. D. Ellis, who requested this jury to look into alleged vice conditions here,” he replied, “and whether we make definite indictments against offenders, or take action by giving a general report to a judge of the superior court, is something that has not been determined.”

Lanford Makes Statement.

Newport Lanford, chief of detectives, was the first witness to be called Thursday morning. According to his statement the grand jury members questioned him about conditions here principally, although they also asked him in regard to the pictograph affair, and also asked why there was a bitterness between him and Colonel Thomas B. Felder.

A. L. Collar, Jr., who sprung into prominence as a result of the recent dictagraph row, and who is now under arrest on forgery charges in Knoxville, was next called before the grand jury. With Collar and G. C. February, secretary to Chief James L. Beavers, the grand jury closed its examination and hearing of testimony. Continue Reading →

Chief Says Law Balks His War on Vice

L. H. Beck, foreman of Fulton County Grand Jury that is investigating vice conditions in Atlanta, the Felder bribery charges and the famous dictograph row. Mr. Beck is the one who launched the probe of reports that vice exists here.

L. H. Beck, foreman of Fulton County Grand Jury that is investigating vice conditions in Atlanta, the Felder bribery charges and the famous dictograph row. Mr. Beck is the one who launched the probe of reports that vice exists here.

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

Atlanta Georgian

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Resort in Spring Street Flourishes While Injunction Prevents Police Interference

It became known Friday that Chief of Police James L. Beavers made the startling charge before the vice investigating Grand Jury that the courts of the State of Georgia made it impossible for him to close the most notorious resort that had ever operated in Atlanta.

S. C. Glass, a member of the Grand Jury, who was not present at the session Thursday when it was announced the vice probe had been concluded, said Friday that he, too, knew of the existence of the place and would demand at the next session that the tribunal go deeper into vice conditions and take some decisive action.

Mr. Glass made the emphatic statement that conditions were worse than they were before the restricted district was closed and that it was up to the jury to do something to relieve the situation. He said the Philadelphia ministers had not far exaggerated the street evil; that the respectable community was being encroached upon by houses of ill fame, and that women of questionable character walked the streets of Atlanta daily brushing elbows with the wife and school girl.

Resort is in Spring Street.

The house in question is in Spring Street. The place was raided several months ago. Recorder Broyles ordered the woman held for the City Court and asked Chief Beavers to have her moved from that locality. The woman’s lawyers applied for and secured an injunction from the Fulton Superior Court restraining the police from moving her. The restraining order still is in effect.

The case of Mrs. N. P. Powell, of 95 Spring Street, was on trial before Judge Andrew Calhoun, in the City Court, Friday. Chief Beavers, who appeared against her, stated that the house was still being operated in violation of the law, but that he was powerless to act. He said the woman, if found guilty, would pay a fine and go back and he could do nothing but make a new case, which, he said, would be several weeks in getting to court. 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


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 →

Challenges Felder to Prove His Charge

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

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Attorney Reiterates Graft Accusations Following Lanford’s Defiance—Offers More Proof.

Newport A. Lanford, Chief of Detectives, issued a statement Thursday morning defying Colonel Thomas B. Felder, or anyone, to substantiate the charge of graft made against him and his department in the Grand Jury’s probe of vice conditions and alleged corruption in the detective and police departments.

“I defy Felder, or anyone, to prove to the Grand Jury that a penny of graft has ever gone into the detective department, and I defy him to substantiate one of his blackmailing utterances against me. He can’t do it, and he knows he can’t.”

Colonel Felder, in turn, reiterated Thursday morning every charge of corruption he has made against Chief Lanford and his detectives. He said he had presented a great amount of evidence along this line to the Grand Jury and was in readiness to present more when that body called him at its session to-day.

“Opens Grand Jury’s Eyes.”

“I have given the Grand Jury a great number of facts in this matter and I think they are beginning to see things about like a great many people in Atlanta see them.”

“In next Sunday’s issues of the Atlanta papers I will issue a statement setting forth in full the foundation for every statement I have made and showing the people how corrupt their Chief of Detectives really is. I will not comment here on how great a failure he is as a detective. When William J. Burns reads of some of his marvelous deductions in the Phagan case, the great detective will bow his head in shame and pronounce himself a timid amateur. Continue Reading →

Felder Exonerates Beavers, But Says Lanford is Corrupt

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

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, June 4th, 1913

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vice List Wanted by Chief Beavers; Promises Probe

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

Atlanta Constitution

Wednesday, June 4th, 1913

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


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

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

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

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

Beavers Asks For List.

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

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

Gives List of Houses.

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

Chief Beavers to Renew His Vice War

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

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, May 28th, 1913

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

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

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

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

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

Dorsey to Confer With Felder.

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

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

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 →