Women of Every Class and Age Listen With Morbid Curiosity To Testimony of Negro Conley

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 5th, 1913

By Britt Craig.

There was a chorus girl who sat next to an aged and withered woman who is undoubtedly a grandmother—a great-grandmother, maybe; there was a painted-cheeked girl with hollow eyes who bore the unmistakable stain of crimson, who sat between a mother who held in her lap an eager 13-year-old.

There was a wrinkled and worn old woman with the lines of care stamped indelibly, who hobbled into the room on a crutch and sat beside a man who chewed tobacco and whispered profanity. Over in a corner there was a graceful young woman with a wide hat and flowing plume and pretty features crowned with a wealth of auburn hair.

They all were at the Frank trial yesterday, listening intently to Jim Conley’s ugly story, many parts of which brought shame to the cheeks of the hardened court attaches. They sat throughout his tale, eager, expectant, apparently thrilled through and through and intent upon missing nothing.

Not a single one left the courtroom until adjournment time. On Friday afternoon, when Dr. Harris gave intimate testimony of details of his examination of Mary Phagan’s body a number of women arose from their seats, shielded their blushing cheeks with newspapers, and strode from the courtroom.

But Monday it was different. Jim Conley’s tale reeked at times and yet not a woman left the courtroom. Instead they leaned forward, bent upon escaping nothing of the odious details that came from the negro’s mouth. A mother held a child in knee dresses on a knee in a position in which the child could see and hear perfectly.

The mother held a fan, with which she fanned briskly at times. That is, at times when there was a lull in the story. But it stopped, the fan did, and was held poised in expectation, when Conley would resume relating his story.

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Women and Girls Thronging Court for Trial of Leo Frank

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 2nd, 1913

Fully one-fourth of the big audience at yesterday afternoon’s session of the Frank trial was composed of women and girls. It was the largest crowd of the entire case, and, to the credit of Deputy Sheriff Miner and his force, was handled more effectively than at any preceding session.

There were many strange faces. The women sat in conspicuous seats, fighting many times to obtain a location in view of the witness stand and the tables at which sat the state’s lawyers and counsel for the defense. Many were small girls, especially one, who did not look over 14, and who wore a big hat that covered a mass of brown curls.

There were all types of feminine auditor—the woman of social position and the working women, most of the latter coming into the courtroom later in the afternoon when their working hours were at an end.

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Atlanta Constitution, August 2nd 1913, “Women and Girls Thronging Court for Trial of Leo Frank,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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 →

“Thousands in Atlanta Living the Life of Mary Phagan’s Murderer”—Rev. W. W. Memminger

Thousands In Atlanta

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

Atlanta Constitution

Monday, May 26th, 1913

“Thousands of people in Atlanta are living the lives today that the murderer of Mary Phagan lived, and which culminated in the atrocious crime,” declared Rev. W. W. Memminger, pastor of All Saints’ Episcopal church. In a sermon yesterday morning which he devoted in great part to pleading for a better standard of morals in the daily life of man and woman.

The woman who uses paint and powder, who dances the turkey trot and who dresses in a suggestive manner came in for scathing remarks from the rector, but the man who boasts of being the stronger sex, and yet bends his efforts to tearing down woman’s standard, instead of upholding and protecting virtue and purity, was given even greater blame.

“Women are wrong to adopt any suggestive manner of dress or to use paint and powder which for hundreds of years has been the mark and symbol of a certain type of women,” said the pastor, “and I agree with the church councils which have passed resolutions deprecating it.” Continue Reading →

Women Declare Phagan Murder Must Be Solved

Women Declare

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

Atlanta Constitution

Tuesday, May 20th, 1913

“Freedom of Murderer Is a Menace to Honor and Life of Every Woman,” Writes Mrs. James Carr.

Optimistic over the prospects for solving the Mary Phagan mystery, C. W. Tobie, chief of the William J. Burns criminal department, told a reporter for The Constitution yesterday morning that he was confident the girl’s murderer would be apprehended and convicted in a surprisingly short while.

“What if Mary Phagan were your child?” is the subject of an eloquent plea made to the women of Atlanta by Mrs. Jane F. Carr for the apprehension of the slyer. Women of all walks of life and classes are uniting in one combined effort to assist in investigation.

Mrs. Carr’s plea is an apt illustration of the widespread sentiment felt by the women of the city. It will be recalled that six prominent women advanced the suggestion to Attorney Felder that Detective Burns be employed, and the fund was started by The Constitution. Women’s clubs and organizations all over Georgia are ready and willing to lead every aid possible.

Women Are Interested.

Mrs. Carr’s letter follows: Continue Reading →

Cases Ready Against Lee and Leo Frank

Cases Ready

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

Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, May 20th, 1913

Solicitor General Dorsey Declares All Evidence Will Go to the Grand Jury Friday.

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey announced Tuesday morning that the State’s case against Leo M. Frank and Newt Lee in connection with the Phagan murder, would go to the Grand Jury Friday of this week. He said that he could anticipate no new arrest or development that would make it necessary to change this plan.

Mrs. Jane F. Carr, 251 Ponce De-Leon Avenue, in an open letter, asked every woman in Atlanta to contribute to the fund to employ the Burns detective and Mr. Burns himself to work in the Phagan investigation. She appealed to women of every walk in life to give according to their means.

“What if Mary Phagan were your child?” was the subject of her letter.

Felder Asks for Funds.

The Burns fund, after going above the $2,000 mark, slacked considerably. Colonel Thomas B. Felder said this sum would not sufficient if it became necessary for the Burns men to make an exhaustive investigation, and asked the people to contribute liberally to the end that Atlanta’s greatest mystery be satisfactorily cleared. Continue Reading →