Chicago Daily News
PROF. THOMAS ADMITS BEING
AT LOOP HOTEL.
Charges "Malicious Attack" and Promises and Explanation Later.
‘I LOVE HIM,’ SAYS WOMAN
"Yes, I was at the Brevoort hotel yesterday afternoon, but I will not discuss this thing now. It is simply a malicious attack against me. I will take it up in another manner."
So spoke Prof. William I Thomas, associate professor of sociology of the University of Chicago, said to have been the "C. Roland, Gary, Ind." who registered at the Brevoort Hotel yesterday with Mrs. R. M. Granger of Washington, D.C., wife of a lieutenant in the American expeditionary force in France, causing their being taken into custody by department of justice officials for alleged false registration at a hotel within the five mile zone and alleged Mann act offenses.
Prof. Thomas spoke to a reporter for The Daily News at his home, 6132 Kimbark Avenue, after he had all day steadfastly refused to be seen.
Says She Loves Prof. Thomas
Meanwhile, Mrs. Granger, questioned by District Attorney Clyne, is said to have told of her relations with the 55 year old scientist, telling Clyne in tears:
"I love Prof. Thomas, but I love my husband better. He is the finest man in the world."
While Mrs Granger was being examined, Prof. Thomas was brought in. They were questioned in the presence of a federal agent specializing on Mann act cases. Prof. Thomas was released shortly after being taken to the federal building last night, while Mrs. Granger, after being held overnight, it is said, was released this morning.
In her talk to-day, Mrs Granger, it is said, continually alluded to Prof. Thomas as "Dad" or "Daddy."
Refers to Him as "Daddy"
"My husband left for France in February," she is said to have related. "I decided to join "Daddy" in Chicago. Then began a delightful existence with my wonderful Daddy. He is the possessor of all the wisdom of the ages. He knows the mind. One must know him to realize why such a relation as ours was possible. We met every day, sometimes at his office in the university; then, when intruders had left the Harper Memorial library, we would wander through those wonderful halls and, choosing a darkened corner, we would bare our hearts."
"Did you ever consider Mrs. Thomas?" she was asked
"No," was the reply.
"What are your feelings about your husband?" she was asked.
"I did cry several times when I though of him to-day," she said. "But not in sorrow of my love for Dr. Thomas.
"I hope my husband doesn’t hear of this."
Silent at the University
Mrs. Thomas, wife of the professor, who was secretary of the national woman’s peace conference, and one of the supporters of Henry Ford’s peace ship trip, was very calm in politely refusing to discuss the case. The office of Prof. W. I. Thomas at the University of Chicago was locked all morning. It was said by professors and students there that the professor was in Washington. Despite this statement, there was a continual buzzing of gossip around the Midway. There were several rumors that gained ground, one of them, according to an employe in the offices of the university, being that Prof. Thomas had been arrested as a spy suspect. This rumor was set to rest at once.
Edward Peters, house detective, and Thurlow B. Horner, clerk of the Brevoort hotel, today identified a photograph of Prof. Thomas as the man who visited the hotel in the company of Mrs. Granger yesterday.
"I love Mrs. Granger and am determined to stand by her to the end, no matter what the consequences," "Dr. Thomas" is said to have told Federal Investigator Harry Allen, who took the man and woman into custody yesterday following a summons from the hotel employes. Allen says that the mysterious person has been positively identified as Prof. W. I. Thomas and that he talked freely to Allen of the case.
Met at Mrs. Granger’s Hotel
Actions of Prof. Thomas and apparent attempts toward clandestine meetings in the Colonial hotel, where Mrs. Granger had apartments with her sister, Mrs. Della Raines, were the subject of gossip in the south side family hotel today, and incidentally, brought out new details of their meetings. G. W. Wayson, proprietor of the hotel, spoke of his suspicions this morning and also of one effort Mrs. Granger made to have the professor permitted to visit her room, supposedly to assist her in preparing a liberty loan speech, which she explained she was to make.
"There was considerable gossip about the hotel," Mr. Wayson said, "and the happenings of yesterday, I guess, confirm some stories that had come to me. Last week, Tuesday or Wednesday, Mrs.
( 2) Granger came to me and asked me for permission to have Dr. Thomas go to her room, supposedly to help her with a speech. She said she was talking in behalf of the liberty loan and that she wanted the professor to assist her to prepare the speech. I told her I could not permit it and Mrs. Granger then insisted that there could be nothing wrong because her sister, Mrs. Rains, would be present. I told her that would not change the case and then she begged to be permitted to have the professor a visitor on condition that the door of their suite would be opened.
Man Visits Mrs. Granger’s Room
On these conditions I permitted a man to visit her. The man who was rather old and of dignified appearance called at the hotel at about 11 o’clock. They sat in the room and talked together for some time. Mrs. Rains was present and the door of the apartment was open."
Dr. Thomas, who is 55 years old, has two grown sons. Mrs. Granger, who is 24 years old, has a 3 year old child living with her mother at Fort Worth, Tex. she said.
Dr. Thomas has been prominent as an exponent of radical beliefs upon sex matters for some years. His advocacy of a common standard and of legitimacy for all chidren, whether born in or out of wedlock, caused a storm of protests from many quarters.
His first book, "Sex and Society," excited comment and he followed it with a series of lectures.
A statement once made by Dr. Thomas saying that girls who have led a life of immorality "make good wives because they have had their fling," indicated his disapproval of the conventional views upon morality.