Chicago Daily News

THOMAS MAY ESCAPE MORALS COURT TRIAL
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Doubt Raised as to Whether Evidence Sustains Charge Against Professor.
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The charge of "disorderly conduct" which is written in the docket of the Morals court against the names of Mrs. R. M. Granger, wife of a soldier now "somewhere in France," and Prof. William Isaac Thomas, associate professor of sociology of the University of Chicago, may have to be stricken out because of lack of palpable evidence to bear out any one of the instances stated specifically in the definition of "disorderly conduct," it was pointed out to-day by a city official.

Will Ask For New Warrants.

Because of this Detective Sergeant J. W. Murphy, who made the original arrest last Friday, announced this afternoon that he would go before Judge Kearns in the South Clark street court late today to swear out, if possible, new warrants against the couple, charging a more serious offense. He declared he would serve the warrant on Mrs. Granger tomorrow, in bed if necessary, unless she put in her appearance this afternoon as was agreed upon.

United States District Attorney Clyne admitted that his operatives were still investigating the case for evidence that might lead to the preferring of charges by the government on grounds of violating the Mann act. He added, however, that he knew nothing of another woman in the case.

Prof. Thomas, accompanied by Attorney Peter Sissman, associated with Clarence Darrow, was arraigned before Judge Graham in the Morals court this morning, but because of the illness of Mrs. Granger, which thus far has prevented the serving of a warrant, the case was continued until next Friday. Mr. Darrow returned from Louisville, Ky., early today, and was to meet Prof. Thomas in the course of the day to plan the defense.

Cityís Case May Collapse

Unless the couple pleads guilty when the case is called on Friday and accepts the penalty of a fine anywhere from $1 to $200, it is believed the cityís case will collapse. It would then be up to the government to say whether or not it would prosecute the professor and Mrs. Granger on charges of having violated the five mile zone act when they registered at the Brevoort Hotel, where they were arrested last Friday. If the decision reached by the government should be negative, it is thought further prosecution of the case would be abandoned.

The Thomas home at 6132 Kimbark avenue, which is now serving as a haven of refuge from publicity for Mrs. Granger, today was again enveloped in an almost impenetrable silence. Among the visitors this morning was Florian Znaniecki, who is author, with Thomas, of a book just off the University of Chicago Press, entitled "Polish Peasants in Europe and America." Znaniecki shooed reporters away with a walking stick. With him was his wife.

In the preface of his new book, Prof. Thomas admits that his ideas may be somewhat peculiar and expresses the opinion that "people may find fault with my ideas."

Canít Find Della Raines

The whereabouts of Della Raines, artistís model and sister of Mrs. Granger, were still unknown today. A woman believed to have been Miss Raines was seen in the Thomas home today, but it also became known that the model had registered at the Auditorium Hotel.

While in court today Prof. Thomas maintained silence. He would not comment on any of the features of the case and would not say whether he would give out a statement to present his side of the case.

"No, I donít know where Miss Raines is," he replied smilingly, when asked about the young woman. Miss Raines spent Saturday night at the Thomas home, but left hastily yesterday morning after breakfast, without announcing where she was going, according to Prof. Thomas.

"The name, "C. Roland," which Prof. Thomas is alleged to have registered at the Brevoort, adding "and wife, Gary, Ind.," was said today to be the first initial and middle name of his second son, according to a woman living in the neighborhood of the Thomas Family in Kimbark avenue.

Acting President James R. Angell of the University of Chicago today declared that no action would be taken by the university authorities until after the return of President Judson and that whatever action was decided upon would be taken by the board of trustees and not by members of the faculty. A similar statement came from J. Spencer Dickerson, secretary of the board of trustees, who added that there had been no meeting of the board since the case was made public. This was in denial of a report that Thomas had been expelled from the university faculty.

Dr. Harry Pratt Judson, president of the University of Chicago, is still in Washington and will not return to Chicago for a day or more, according to his aids at the university office, who said his mail was still being sent to him at the nationís capital.

Mysterious Doings at Residence

Yesterday was filled with mysterious comings and goings in the Thomas residence at 6132 Kimbark avenue. Della Raines, artistís model, sister of Mrs Granger, was also a member of the family circle in the professorís home, where Mrs. Thomas has established an unprecedented record of hospitality by taking the "other woman" under her protecting care. The views of Mrs. Thomas are apparently shared by her son, Dr. William A. Thomas, who not only has attempted to protect his father from busy camera men, but has been acting as physician and nurse to the woman who calls his father "daddy."

The rear door of the Thomas home has become a frequently used exit by members and guests of the Thomas household. Late yesterday evening two heavily veiled women left by way of the back door and made a brief expedition in a car said to be owned by the young Dr. Thomas. The professor himself also used the rear door as a means of escaping public observation when he went for a walk in Jackson park.

While waiting for his case to be called the professor watched with evident interest the not unfamiliar surroundings of the Morals court. It is said he was a frequent spectator at the proceedings in this court in his capacity of a student of sociology, but that it was the first time in his life that he himself was one of the participants in such a case.

Although a little bit pale, he showed no signs of discomfort and nervousness, and it was with a pleasant though firm voice that he waved reporters away when they asked him about the case.

When the case was called Attorney Sissman explained to Judge Graham that because his office had been called in only yesterday to represent Prof. Thomas, he had had no time to consider it and that therefore he would like to have the case continued until next Monday.

Case Continued Until Friday

"Thatís too long," put in City Prosecutor Starr. — Upon Judge Grahamís suggestion the case was continued until Friday, on which day, it is hoped, Mrs. Granger will be able to appear with the man whom she called her "daddy man."

Scores of men and women, charged with disorderly conduct and other offenses against public morality gazed with curiosity at the college professor who had been cited into the courts on similar charges and whose case had attracted such widespread attention. But the professor paid no attention to the crowd and eluded reporters and photographers when he left the city hall.

Flowers for Mrs. Thomas

That the generosity and big-heartedness displayed by Mrs. Thomas, who gave shelter to "the other woman" has met with the sympathy and approval of the wives of other members of the college faculty, was evidenced to-day when several large boxes of blooming spring flowers were received at the Thomas home, including some flowers from Mrs. William Nitze, wife of the head of the romance department.

On the campus it is rumored that Prof. Thomas may be given a long leave of absence, of perhaps six months or more, that he may escape the publicity to which he has been subjected as a result of his arrest.

 

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