Chicago Daily Journal

U. C. FACULTY ACTS IN CASE OF THOMAS
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Prepares Report of Professorís Affair with Officerís Wife for Judson
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Faculty members of the University of Chicago assembled today in special session to discuss action regarding Prof. William Thomas, taken into custody Thursday night at the Brevoort hotel in company with Mrs. R. M. Granger, the young wife of a lieutenant in the United States army now in France.

The meeting was called following a lengthy conference between Dean James Weber Linn and Dean James Rowland Angell. Dean Angell is acting president of the university in the absence of President Harry Pratt Judson.

Up to Chicago Police

Federal agents who have been investigating the case for possible violation of the Mann act or violation of the five-mile zone law, announced that they had not secured sufficient evidence to prosecute under federal statutes and had turned the matter over to the Chicago police department for action. If there is any prosecution it will be in the morals court, or at the Harrison street police station, on the charge of disorderly conduct.

It was stated at the office of Acting First Deputy Morgan A. Collins that instructions had been given to co-operate with the stateís attorneyís office in securing warrants for the arrest of both Prof. Thomas and Mrs. Granger. The only evidence on which prosecution can be based will be the quite frank admissions made by both of them when questioned by federal authorities.

Faculty members would say nothing concerning the probable action to be taken at the session, but it was the expectation that recommendations would be made in readiness to present to President Judson on his return from Washington next Monday.

Meanwhile at the Thomas home in the quiet university neighborhood, at 6132 Kimbark avenue, there were early signs of life. Prof. Thomas appeared on the front porch soon after the sun arose, and nervously paced back and forth, with a frown on his broad forehead.

Preparing Formal Statement

The pace back and forth was ceaseless, and the nervousness shown was evidence of more agitation than the working out of some scholarly theory would cause. It was interrupted by the appearance on the scene of a reporter for The Journal, who had been a student in some of Prof. Thomasí classes and had known him personally.

The professorís greeting of his former student was cordial, but there were traces of forced joviality in the laugh with which he declared he would be in no hurry to issue a reply to his critics.

"I am preparing a formal statement," he declared. "Until then I will have nothing to say about the matter."

Woman at Thomas Home

"What about Mrs. Granger ?" asked the reporter.

"She is here," said the professor. "Mrs. Thomas has taken her in to protect her from the knocks and buffets of the world. She was alone and helpless, and Mrs. Thomas has provided a harbor for her here."

"Did she not promise the federal authorities not to see you again ?" asked the reporter.

"She promised nothing of the kind so far as I know," declared Prof. Thomas.

From within there was a womanís voice, possibly that of Mrs. Thomas, heard ad-


( 3) monishing Mrs. Granger that it was time to get up.

"When will you issue your statement ?"

Prof. Thomas gave a forced laugh. "I am in no hurry," he said. "I will issue it when it is prepared. Perhaps today, perhaps Sunday. Why should I hurry?"

A few moments later Mrs. Thomas, garbed in a pink kimono, emerged to talk to the reporter. "There is nothing I wish to say now," she declared, "I am in the midst of breakfast. I have been under some nervous strain in the last few days, naturally, and do not wish to miss my coffee.

Prof Thomas then came out. The two, to all outward appearances, were on terms of perfect understanding. Mrs. Thomas laid her hand on her husbandís arm and beckoned him back toward the dining room. "Do not talk." she said.

"I am inclined to think my statement will not be ready today," said the professor. "I am in no hurry.

"Silly Girl," Says Mrs. Thomas.

In the opinion of Mrs. Thomas there is nothing unusual in the attitude she has assumed as protector of the "other woman." Dressed in black, slight in stature, hair just turning gray — she appeared altogether the woman best described as "motherly" as she talked to a reporter for The Journal in her home today: such a woman as would be expected to forget self entirely in a great crisis.

"Mrs. Granger is nothing but a silly young girl," she said, "who has done a silly and foolish thing, It is my duty as an older woman to protect and take care of her. I consider her as I would a daughter, and if she were my daughter I would be truly grateful to any other woman who would treat her as I am doing.

"Mrs Granger is quite hysterical and not responsible for many of the things she said. However, I donít see anything extraordinary in taking her into my home. I only did my duty as a wife and mother.

"Everything will be straightened out in a short time and then I will have a statement to issue. For the present it is my duty to care for this poor, silly girl."

Son Attacks Camera Men

A few moments later Prof. Thomas in hat and coat came out of the front door. A battery of cameras held by newspaper photographers clicked. Shouting in rage, the professorís 22-year-old son leaped through the doorway and began striking with his fist right and left. Some of the camera men came back to their offices bearing bloody proof that the son of the Thomas family does not subscribe, in personal matters, to the pacific views of his mother.

Mrs. Granger, looking younger than the twenty-four years she claims, vivacious and pretty, was not so reserved, however, in telling of the holds for her dear "daddy," the elderly professor who captured her heart as she turned from her farewell to her soldier husband departed for France.

"I am not sorry, only humiliated," she declared as she discussed the detainment of herself and Prof. Thomas at the Brevoort hotel, Thursday night and the subsequent questionings to which se and the professor were subjected by District Attorney Clyne.

Discreet at Colonial

G. W. Wayson, manager of the Colonial hotel, denied that Mrs Granger and her sister, Mrs. Della Raines, had ever requested permission for Prof. Thomas to go their rooms to work on Liberty bond speeches, or in any way offended against conventions.

"These young women took a room here March 31," said he, "and had acted in every way in a modest, ladylike manner. I never saw Prof. Thomas here, but others have told me that he called several times and conversed with Mrs. Granger in the hotel parlors. Because of the difference in their ages, it was thought to be merely a friendship and attracted little attention. The scandal was a complete surprise to us, and we are in no way to blame. Their conduct on our premises was entirely discreet.

 

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