You Are There: Atlanta Georgian, August 8th, 1913

Witnesses Attack Conley Story

Atlanta Georgian
August 8th, 1913

Say Mary Phagan Did Not Reach Factory Before 12:10


The vital time element which may serve alone to convict Leo Frank or set him free, entered largely into the evidence presented Friday by the defense at the trial of the factory superintendent. Two witnesses testified that Mary Phagan did not arrive at Broad and Marietta streets the day she was murdered until about 12:071/2 o’clock, the time the English Avenue car on which she rod[e] from home was due there. One witness, W. M. Matthews, motorman on the car, testified that Mary did not get off at Forsyth and Marietta, but continued on the car and rode as far as Broad and Hunter where the car arrives at about 12:10 o’clock, [t]he conductor corroborated Matthews.

This testimony strongly supports the contention of the defense that Mary Phagan did not enter the factory until after 12:10 o’clock and that Monteen Stover, therefore, was in the factory and had left before the Phagan girl ever entered the doors. If the defense succeeds in establishing this, the visit of the Stover girl to the factory will be of tremendous significance because it is in direct conflict with the explicit testimony of James Conley that Mary Phagan entered the factory and supposedly was strangled before the Stover girl went up the stairs. Miss Stover testified that she did not see Frank in his office, but admitted she did not enter the inner office and [t]he defense will try to show Frank could have been writing at his desk and the girl not have seen him.

Seeks to Discredit Epp’s Story.

Arnold Throws Doubt on Epps.

Attorney Arnold, who was conducting the examination during the forenoon, sought aslo [sic], to throw a deep shadow of suspicion upon the story of young George Epp’s, who testified that he rode uptown with Mary Phagan the day she was killed.

Matthews said that another girl was seated with Mary the latter part of the ride to own. He did not recollect that Epp’s was on the car at all. The motorman said that he was relieved at Broad and Marietta streets and that he sat behind Mary and her companion all the way to Hunter Street. He said the two alighted at Hunter Street and proce[e]ded toward Forsyth on which the factory is located.

This is in direct contradiction to the story of Epps, who testified that he and Mary left the car at Forsyth and Marietta streets and that he walked with her toward the factory as far as the viaduct.

Hollis did not remember seeing Epps on the car. He said Mary was alone when he collected her fare after the car got on English avenue. He left the car at Forsyth and Marietta streets and did not see Mary Phagan alight there.

Albert Kauffman, an architect, was called to discredit several of the State’s witnesses. He had blue prints of the Selig home which he displayed to the jury to show that it was impossible for Albert McKnight to have seen from the kitchen into the dining room as he testified he did on the Saturday afternoon that Frank came home from the factory.

Denies Stover Girl’s Story.

His testimony was to the effect that Monteen Stover could not have seen over the safe door into Frank’s office at the time she declared she was unable to find him on her visit to the factory.

He said that there was room for several bodies to pass down the scuttle hole into the basement. He exhibited a diagram of the factory to show that Frank could have sat in his office and not been aware of anything taking place beyond the time clock, for example, anyone coming up or going down the stairs.

Miss Daisy Hopkins, who, C. B. Dalton said, was his companion on visits to the factory basement, was called by the defense and denied Dalton’s statements.

She said she never had spoken to Frank, and that Frank never had spoken to her.

Solicitor Dorsey made an attack on her character and forced her to admit she had been in jail on a statutory ch[a]rge. It was brought out, however, that she was released without trial.

Frank, for the first time during the trial, took an active part in helping direct the course his case was taking. He arose from his seat several times to make suggestions to his lawyers, and at his request certain questions were put.

Before Daisy Hopkins was called, Solicitor Dorsey said he wanted to ask Harry Scott one more question. Attorney Rosser said he also wanted to ask one more question of Boots Rogers, Detective J. M. Starnes and George Epps. Detective Scott was the first witness called.

Dorsey asked:

Q. Mr. Scott, how long did it take you to get Jim Conley to write after he had admitted that he could write and you dictated it to him without delay?—A. Two or three minute.

Daisy Hopkins on Stand.

Miss Hopkins is a woman of very small features, with bright, keen eyes and wore a cotton striped dress that looked a bit too short. She wore white shoes and stockings. Mr. Arnold began the questioning:

Q. Did you ever work for the National Pencil Company?—A. Yes, I went to work there about October 1, 1911, and quit June 1, 1912. […]


Girl Mentioned by Conley Swears That Leo Frank Never Spoke to Her


[…] Q. What department?—A. Packing department.

Q. What floor?—A. Second floor.

Q. How many other girls worked there?—A. Sometimes there were as many as ten.

Q. Did you know Leo M. Frank?—A. I knew him when I saw him. I saw him pars around the factory.

Q. Did he ever speak to you?—A. No, never in my life.

Denies Drinking Frank’s Office.

Q. Did you ever go into Frank’s office and drink beer and cold drinks with other women?—A. No, I never went into his office and I don’t drink.

Q. Do you know C. B. Dalton?—A. I know him when I see him.

Q. Did you ever speak to him?—A. I went to his home once to see his sister and spoke to him. That is the only time.

Q. Did you ever go to the pencil factory with Dalton?—A. No, I never did,

Q. Did you introduce him to Mr. Frank?—A. No, I did not.

Q. Did you ever go into the factory and go into the basement with Dalton?—A. No, I don’t even know where the basement is. I never have been in it.

Says She Was Married.

Dorsey took the witness on cross-examination.

Q. Were you ever married?—A. Yes.

Q. Where?—A. Redair.

Q. Who did you marry?—A. E. A. Sills.

Q. Who married you?—A. Preacher Miles.

Q. Who is your doctor?—A. Dr. Pound.

Q. What is he treating you for?—A. Stomach trouble.

Q. Were you ever in jail?—A. No.

Q. Do you know this man here, Garner, my deputy?—A. No.

Q. Did he get you out of jail?—A. No, he was along.

Q. What were you charged with?—A. Somebody told tales on me.

Q. Who brought you down here?—A. Mr. Burke.

Bill” Smith Her Lawyer.

Arnold took the witness on the redirect.

Q. Who got you out of jail?—A. My lawyer.

Q. Did you pay anything?—A. I only paid my lawyer his fee.

Q. Who was your lawyer?—A. Mr. Bill Smith.

W. M. Mathews, motorman on the English Avenue car on which Mary Phagan is supposed to have come to town from her home, Saturday, April 26, followed Miss Hopkins on the stand.

Q. What was your run on April 26?—A. English avenue that runs to Bellwood.

Q. What time did you pass Lindsay street?—A. Ten minutes to 12.

Q. Was that on schedule?—A. Yes.

Q. Did a little girl named Mary Phagan get on at Lindsay street?—A. Yes.

Sat Behind Mary Phagan.

Q. What is the distance from Lindsay street to Broad street?—A. About two miles.

Q. What time did you get to Marietta and Broad streets?—A. At 12:07 1-2. We were on time.

Q. Do you recollect where this little girl got off?—A. At Broad and Hunter streets.

Q. What time did you reach that point?—A. About two and one-half minutes later. It took that long on account of the crowds.

Q. It took that long?—A. Yes, I was not running the car then. I was sitting behind Mary Phagan. There was a little girl on the seat with her.

Q. Where did she get off?—A. At Broad and Hunter streets.

Q. What time was it then?—A. 12:10 as near as I could recollect.

Q. Where did she go when she got off?—A. She walked to the sidewalk with the girl that was with her.

Q. Did you see this little girl get on the car?—A. Yes.

Q. Did a little boy get on the car with her?—A. No.

Didn’t See Epps Boy.

Q. Do you know this little boy Epps?—A. Yes.

Q. Did he get on the car with her?—A. No.

Q. He didn’t sit on the seat with her?—A. No; I didn’t see him.

Dorsey took the witness.

Q. You said you arrived at Broad and Hunter streets at about 12:10 o’clock. Why do you say about 12:10 if you are sure of it?—A. It was about that time.

Q. Didn’t you tell Detective Whitfield, of the Pinkertons, that you might have been three or four minutes ahead of schedule?—A. No.

Q. You are sure you never told him that?—A. No.

Q. How is it that you are willing to tell this jury that Mary Phagan did not get off at Marietta and Broad streets?—A. Wait a minute and I will tell you. There was an ex-conductor sitting by me. He had a pin on his coat. I took it off and leaning over to Mary Phagan I said: “Little girl, this is your picture.” She said: “No, it ain’t.” That made me positive.

Can’t Describe Clothing.

Q. Tell me how these little girls were dressed?—A. I don’t remember, except they were dressed in something light.

Q. Well, tell us anything that Mary Phagan had on?—A. I don’t know anything except she had on a dress and hat.

Q. Yes, she had on shoes and stockings, too?—A. Yes, and her dress was light colored.

Q. You didn’t see George Epps?—A. No, I didn’t see him.

Q. Would you know George Epps if you were to see him?—A. I would know him if I were to see him now.

Q. Tell me one thing about him by which you can identify him?—A. I can’t remember.

Q. What color was Mary Phagan’s hat?—A. It was light color.

Q. You say it was a light color. Just what color was it?—A. I don’t know.

Q. What did you say light color for? Come, don’t—

Arnold Calls Halt.

Attorney Arnold interrupted.

“Just wait a minute. That is not the form to question him.”

“All right, I’ll put the question differently,” said Dorsey.

Q. Mr. Matthews, you did not observe what color her clothes were?—A. No, sir.

Q. What time did you hear about her murder?—A. Sunday morning.

Q. What time did you go down to identify her?—A. About 6:45 in the afternoon.

Q. You recognized her as the little girl you had carried down the day before?—A. Yes.

Q. How did you recognize her?—A. Well, I knew her. One day she was late and and I waited for her and she said she was mad because she was late. Every time after that I would ask her if she was mad.

Fails on Color of Hat.

Attorney Arnold took the witness and showed him the dress Mary Phagan wore.

Q. Was this the dress she wore that day?—A. I am not sure, but it looks like it might have been.

Solicitor Dorsey took the witness. He showed the witness Mary Phagan’s hat.

Q. Is this the light hat you just now told the jury Mary Phagan had on? (The hat was of dark lavender material.)

Q. The girl you saw had on a light hat?—A. That’s what I remember.

The witness was excused, and W. T. Hollis, conductor on the English avenue car on which the Phagan girl rode to town Saturday, April 26, took the witness stand. Arnold examined him.

Q. What is your business?—A. Street car conductor.

Q. Where were you on April 26?—A. On the English avenue and Cooper street line.

Q. Did you cross Lindsay street?—A. Yes.

Conductor Saw Girl.

Q. On what street?—A. Bellwood avenue.

Q. How many miles is it from this point to the heart of the city?—A. I couldn’t say.

Q. What time do you leave the other end of the line?—A. On the hour, quarter and half.

Q. What time did the car that left at 15 minutes to 12 get to the city?—A. It took 22 1-2 minutes.

Q. Did the little girl get on at Lindsay street?—A. Yes.

Q. Did you know her name then?—A. No.

Q. When did you see her again?—A. The next day at the morgue.

Q. Did this little boy, George Epps, get on the car and ride with her?—A. No; he was not with her when I collected the fare.

Q. Was the car crowded?—A. There were only three passengers.

Q. What time did you get to Broad and Marietta streets?—A. About 12:07 1-2.

Epps Boy Didn’t Get Off.

Q. Where did you get off?—A. At Marietta and Forsyth streets.

Q. Did this little girl get off there?—A. No; I left her on the car.

Q. Did this little boy, Epps, get off there?—A. No.

Q. How long did it take to get from Broad and Marietta to Hunter street—A. About 2 1-2 minutes, as a rule.

Q. Do you recollect how she was dressed?—A. No.

Q. You don’t know whether these are the clothes?—A. No; I never noticed.

Attorney Hooper took the witness on cross-examination.

Q. There was nothing unusual about her coming in that day, was there?—A. No.

Q. There was no particular reason why you should remember these things, is there?—A. No.

Never Ahead of Time, He Says.

Q. You don’t know whether these are her clothes, or not, do you?—A. No.

Q. You always notice when anything happens to throw you off your schedule, don’t you?—A. Yes.

Q. But you don’t pay any attention to being a few minutes ahead of time, do you?—A. We don’t ever come in town ahead of time.

Q. Are you ever late?—A. Yes; sometimes.

Q. Was there anyone sitting with Mary Phagan on the car?—A. No.

Q. You didn’t see a little girl sitting beside her?—A. No. When I got her fare, she was sitting alone, as I remember.

Q. She usually came down early in the morning—factory hours—didn’t she?—A. Yes; she usually caught the car that gets to town at 7:07. She said she was fifteen minutes late when she caught the car, when she said she was mad.

Q. Which end of the car did she get on?—A. The front end.

Q. Which end were you on?—A. The back end.

Q. And you say you overheard a conversation between her and the motorman?—A. Yes; he asked her if she was mad, and she said yes, she was late.

Said She Was Late.

Q. She went down early in the morning, as a rule? Yet, when she said she was late, it was ten minutes to 12 o’clock?—A. Yes.

Attorney Arnold took the witness on the redirect examination.

Q. Are the cars on this line long or short?—A. Short cars.

Q. Was there any difficulty in hearing what was said on the front end when the car was standing still?—A. No.

Q. No such thing as being ahead of time ever happens?—A. No, sir; it is against the rules of the company.

Attorney Hooper took the witness again.

Q. Do you mean to say that you obey the rules of the company so well that you are never ahead of time nor never run a little late?—A. It isn’t against the rules of the company to be late.

Q. Then you are never early—not even when going to the barn?—A. It isn’t against the rules of the company to come in ahead of time when going to the barn, so long as you don’t run reckless.

Q. And that day you brought Mary Phagan in was your last trip?—A. Yes.

Defense Turns Over Books.

Attorneys for the defense at this juncture turned over to the prosecution the cash book and the bank book of the National Pencil Company. Hollis was excused and Albert Kauffman, an engineer, who drew a plot and diagram of the Selig residence where Frank resided, took the stand.

He was examined by Attorney Arnold.

Q. What is your business?—A. Civil engineer.

Q. Have you made a drawing of the Selig residence on Georgia avenue?—A. Yes.

Q. When?—A. Last week.

Q. Did you make a plat of the kitchen, the dining room, the reception hall, the parlor and the hall?—A. Yes.

Q. How many feet is it from the kitchen door to the passageway?—A. Fourteen feet.

Couldn’t See Mirror.

Q. How wide is the passageway?—A. Two and one-half feet wide and about two feet long.

Q. Did you stand in the kitchen door and see if you could see the mirror in the dining room?—A. Yes.

Q. Could you see it?—A. No. No part of the glass was visible.

Q. Were you present when a photographer took views of the place?—A. Yes.

Q. Standing on the south side of that door, did you see the sideboard?—A. Not within two or three feet of it.

Q. Have you drawn a plat of Georgia avenue?—A. Yes.

Q. Did you draw a diagram of the block bounded by Pulliam street?—A. Yes.

Q. How far is it from the Selig home to Pulliam street?—A. 221 feet.

Q. How far to Washington street?—A. 175 feet.

Q. What does this represent? (A diagram of the pencil factory was displayed.)—A. That is the pencil factory.

Gives Dimensions of Factory.

Q. What is the size of the elevator shaft?—A. Six by eight.

Q. What is the length and breadth of this hole? (A spot where the ladder goes down into the basement of the factory was indicated).—A. Two feet by 2 feet 3 inches.

Q. What is the distance from the elevator to the spot where the body was found?—A. 176 feet.

Q. To the boiler?—A. 90 feet.

Q. From the elevator to this toilet?—A. 118 feet.

Q. The distance from the elevator to the back stairway?—A. 135 feet.

Q. The elevator to the chute? First, the dimensions?—A. 5 feet wide, 15 feet long.

Q. Was that large enough for a human body to go down?—A. One or several.

Q. How far from the elevator is it?—A. About 30 feet.

Q. How far is the back door from the elevator?—A. 165 feet.

Q. The total length of the building?—A. 200 feet.

Q. What are the widths of the walls?—A. Four feet.

Q. What kind of a bunk is in that inclosure back there by the boiler?—A. A big box.

Q. What is in it?—A. All kinds of trash.

Q. How far is the trash pile from the spot where the body was found?—A. Sixty-one feet.

Q. The toilet?—A. Twenty-one feet.

Q. From the back door?—A. Forty-two feet.

Q. What about the line of vision from the toilet to where the body was found?—A. An angle of 43 degrees.

Q. How far would the line of vision throw you from this partition?—A. About 3 feet.

Q. Could you see a body there?—A. Not all of it.

Q. Is it an accurate plan of the first floor?—A. Yes.

Q. What is the width of the front door?—A. Six feet.

Q. What is the length of this partition from the front door?—A. Twenty-six feet.

Q. From the front door to the stairway, how far is it—A. Thirty-six feet.

Q. From the staircase to the elevator shaft?—A. Thirteen feet.

Q. From the stairway to this hole?—A. Ten and one-half feet.

Q. Is there a long hallway on the first floor?—A. Yes.

Trap Door Near Tragic Spot.

Q. Does it extend to the west end of the building?—A. Yes.

Q. What is it used for?—A. Maybe a storeroom.

Q. Was it closed?—A. Yes.

Q. What was in there?—A. Two toilets.

Q. How far back?—A. About 90 feet.

Q. Is this the spot directly over where the body was found?—A. Yes.

Q. What did you find on the right hand side, next to the toilet?—A. A trap door.

Q. Were there steps?—A. Yes.

Q. How near to this chute was the body found?—A. About 20 feet.

Q. When the trap is open, where does it lead to?—A. To the basement.

Q. What is it used for?—A. To send boxes down.

Q. Did you observe the door of the safe when it stood open in the outer office?—A. Yes.

Q. To what extent did it close off the view to the inner office?—A. Entirely.

Q. Could you see over that safe door?—A. Yes.

Q. Could a girl?—A. I don’t think so.

Q. To the right of the door in the inner office, what did you find?—A. A desk.

Q. Are there two windows there?—A. Yes.

Q. They open on the street, don’t they?—A. Yes.

Office 150 Feet From Dressing Room.

Q. This is Frank’s desk?—A. Yes.

Q. A person on the other side of the street could see the desk, couldn’t they?—A. Yes.

Q. How far is it from Frank’s office to the dressing room?—A. One hundred and fifty feet.

Q. What kind of a view is it from Frank’s office to the stairway?—A. None at all.

Q. What kind of a view of the clock?—A. He could see about one-quarter of the first clock.

Q. What are these open spaces (pointing to the diagram)?—A. Passage ways.

Q. How wide are the doors to the metal room?—A. Six feet.

Q. How far from that door is it to the ladies’ room?—A. About 10 feet.

Frank Makes Suggestion.

Q. From that point how far is it to the lathe?—A. Twenty feet.

Q. From this lathe to the point where Conley said he found the body?—A. Thirty-seven feet.

Q. How far from the ladies’ toilet?—A. Nineteen feet.

Here Frank arose from his seat and walked across to Attorney Rosser to make a suggestion for a question.

Q. What is the size of these vats?—A. Six by four.

Q. Could you get a girl into one of these?—A. Yes.

Q. Did you find in this whole building a cot, a bed or a sofa?—A. No.

Q. Did you find anything that looked like a bedroom, except the ladies’ room?—A. No.

Hooper Cross-Examines.

Attorney Hooper took the witness on cross-examination.

Q. Who told you the location of the body?—A. Mr. Schiff.

Q. He was under Mr. Frank in the factory?—A. Yes.

Q. Then if that location was wrong all of your measurements were wrong?

Arnold objected and his objection was sustained.

Q. You based all your measurements on Mr. Schiff’s location of the body?—A. Yes.

Q. If that was wrong, all of your measurements were wrong—I mean about lines of vision, etc.?—A. Yes.

Q. You found a gas jet burning in the basement? Where was it?—A. Near the front.

Q. On the third floor you depended for light on the front doors and windows?—A. Yes.

Q. These are all glass?—A. Yes.

Q. There is also a gas jet further back?—A. I didn’t see any.

Q. On the first floor you say there is a trap door near the elevator two feet by two feet three inches, leading to the basement?—A. Yes.

Trap Door Small.

Q. A man of your size would have a hard time getting through there, wouldn’t he?—A. Yes.

Q. Two people couldn’t get through?—A. No.

Q. The scuttle hole back on the first floor leads to the basement?—A. Yes, to the dustpan in the back.

Q. A man doesn’t look in a curved line, does he?—A. No, sir.

Q. Well, what do these curved lines on the second floor mean?—A. Those indicate the direction he probably walked.

Several of the jurymen were inattentive to these demonstrations.

Q. Anyone coming into this office could see if anyone was in there, couldn’t he, if the door adjoining was open?—A. Yes.

Q. Nobody standing on the fourth floor at the head of the stairway could see down to the second floor?—A. I don’t think they could.

Q. Don’t you know they couldn’t?—A. They might have a little view.