Guide to the Hillsville, Virginia Court Room Shootout Papers, 1903-1984, undated

Summary Information

Title: Hillsville, Virginia Court Room Shootout Papers, 1903-1984, undated
Collection: AC.725
Extent: 0.01 linear feet (1 user copy and 1 archival copy with examples in folder)

The Hillsville Virginia Court Room Shootout Papers includes a CD of scanned images of newspaper articles, wanted posters, courtroom floorplans, and other related papers to this incident in 1912.

Creator: unknown

Biographical/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.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of scanned images on CD of papers about 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. An archival CD copy was made of the CD.


The original CD was digitized so it, an archival copy and some printed examples are located in a folder in the Small Accession Box 24.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections.

Acquisitions Information

The original CD came from Bookworm and Silverfish. Accession number 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.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.725: Hillsville, Carroll County, Virginia Court Room Shootout Papers, W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

Papers, 1903-1984, undated ACSC_Box 24, Folder 17