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Author Topic:   The Hillsville Courtroom Tragedy
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Posts: 2
From:New Rochelle, NY USA
Registered: Sep 2003

posted September 02, 2003 12:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fd10801   Click Here to Email fd10801     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have in my possession a copy of "The Inside Story of the World Famous Courtroom Tragedy", 'Edited and Sold by E.J. Cooley'

Could anybody out there tell me more about it, or share information about it?


If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not crucify Him. They would ask Him to dinner, hear what He had to say, and make fun of it.
Thomas Carlyle

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Posts: 51
From:Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted September 03, 2003 01:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for OceanArcher   Click Here to Email OceanArcher     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Allens' Property to be Taken Away
The Beckley Messenger, Beckley, W. Va.
Tuesday, October 22, 1912
Allens' Property to be Taken Away
Bristol, Va.-Tenn., Oct. 15. --With trial of Sidney Allen, chief of the Allen clan, and his nephew, Wesley Edwards, whose capture was announced recently, Virginia criminal law will have exacted all the toll it can for the bloody courtroom tragedy of the 15th of last March, when Judge Thornton L. Massie, Commonwealth's Attorney Foster, Sheriff Webb and others were ruthlessly slain at the hands of the Allens.
But there is still another phase of the law's demand which will have to be satisfied. The Allens were thrifty mountaineers. By farming, merchandising and stock raising they had accumulated considerable money.
Sidna Allen occupied a mountain mansion. He was prior to the Hillsville tragedy one of the magnates of the Carroll county mountains. He was looked to by most of his neighbors as being ahead of them from the standpoint of business and wealth.
This home was surrounded by all the ordinary comforts of life in the mountains. Sidna owned valuable mountain lands, and his estate was worth probably not less than $30,000, if it did not reach the value of $40,000. The other Allens were not worth so much as their chief, but most of them had comfortable homes and practically all of them were noted for their mountain hospitality.
But this property of the Allens, like the men who passed it, is doomed. In Virginia there is a penalty for such slaughters as was committed at Hillsville, aside from the penalty demanded by the criminal statutes. The civil law provides for the financial side in the event a life or lives are taken without just cause.
Consequently following close upon the Hillsville tragedy, three civil suits were filed against the Allens. S. Floyd Lanbreth, administrator of the estate of the slain commonwealth's attorney, William Foster, brought suit to recover $10,000; S. P. Massie, administrator of the late Judge Thornton L. Massie, brought suit for $10,000; and J. W. Webb, administrator of the slain sheriff, L. F. Webb, brought suit for a like amount. The amount sued for in each case is the maximum that can be sued for in a death claim in Virginia.
In all of these suits attachments were issued at the same time the suits were filed against the property of Sidna Allen, Floyd Allen, Victor Allen, Claude Swanson Allen, Friel Allen, Sidna and Wesley Edwards, Byrd Marton. The attachments were issued on affidavits of the plaintiffs that defendants were non-residents: were disposing of property to defraud creditors and for other statutory grounds.
The present status is that the attachments of the property of the persons under arrest are tried and convicted have been set-aside by the court.

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Ron Hall
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Posts: 1
From:Hillsville, VA USA
Registered: Dec 2003

posted December 18, 2003 07:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ron Hall   Click Here to Email Ron Hall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[QUOTE]Originally posted by fd10801:
[B]I have in my possession a copy of "The Inside Story of the World Famous Courtroom Tragedy", 'Edited and Sold by E.J. Cooley'

Could anybody out there tell me more about it, or share information about it?


E. J. Cooley and his twin brother ran a school in Hillsville, VA in 1912. In March that year at the trial of Floyd Allen, a gun fight broke out in the courtroom and the Judge, Sheriff, Prosecutor, a Juryman and a Witness were killed. Five others were wounded. Floyd and his son, Claude were executed the next year. Floyd's brother and his 3 nephews were captured, tried and sentenced to prison terms.

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New Member

Posts: 1
From:Brandy Station, Va, Culpeper
Registered: May 2004

posted May 16, 2004 10:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ACB515   Click Here to Email ACB515     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just now read this forum, so my reply is a little late. Jackson Allen was my great, great, great, great, grandfather. I'm know some of the info behind the Allens. And I also own the book. Unfortunately I have never visted Hillsville although I am planning to this year.

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