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Hillsville, Virginia Court Room Shootout collection

Identifier: AC-725

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of images that were scanned onto CD. The images are of papers pertaining the courthouse shootout in Hillsville, VA on March 14, 1912, and the Allen clan, who were accused of starting the shootout. Other materials dating back to 1903 include newspaper clippings, magazine articles, photos, courthouse plans, and wanted posters. A use was made of the CD.


  • Digitized: 2010


All materials in this collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials from Appalachian State University Libraries' Special Collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The nature of these collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. As a result, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Conditions Governing Use

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Appalachian State University assumes no responsibility.

Historical Note

The shooting at the Carroll County, Virginia courthouse in Hillsville on March 14, 1912 was "one of the rare incidents in American history when a criminal defendant attempted to avoid justice by assassinating the trial judge." The shooting occurred during a trial of Floyd Allen, patriarch of a powerful family who was not only prosperous but active in illegal liquor manufacture and bootlegging, and resulted in the deaths of the Sheriff of Carroll County Lew F. Webb, Judge Thorton L. Massie, an attorney, William M. Foster, the jury foreman, and a subpoenaed witness.

Floyd Allen (July 5, 1856 – March 28, 1913) was an American landowner and patriarch of the Allen clan of Carroll County, Virginia. He was convicted and executed for murder in 1913 after the sensational courthouse shootout, although doubt has been expressed about the validity of the conviction. He was accused of triggering the shooting at the Carroll County Courthouse in Hillsville, Virginia on March 14, 1912, in which five people were killed and seven wounded.


0.01 Linear Feet (1 folder, 2 cds)

Acquisitions Information

The original CD was purchased from Bookworm and Silverfish and accessioned as AC.2010.093.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Anita Elliott, January 2014. This collection was processed as part of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant funded extensive processing of the backlog within the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection between 2012 and 2014.

Hillsville, Virginia Court Room Shootout collection
Processed by Anita Elliott
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository