Skip to main content


Special Collections Online at UT

Donald F. Paine Collection of Hiram Hall, Eugene D. Blanchard, and Stanley Puryear

Identifier: MS-3204

  • Staff Only

Series I: State of Tennessee vs. Hiram Hall documents Paine's research into Hiram Hall's trial for the murder of his wife, Ida Hassler Hall. Ida Hall was bludgeoned to death with a rock and her body dumped into a well on August 18, 1897. The major question at the time was whether she had been killed by her husband, Hiram Hall, or her mother-in-law, Malinda Hall.

Series II: State of Tennessee vs. Eugene D. Blanchard shows Blanchard's trial for the murder of Harry Gervin. On the morning of May 16, 1930 in Knoxville, Blanchard shot Gervin (a contractor hired to work on the construction of the Church Street Methodist Church) five times in the back. The murder was apparently the result of Gervin's affair with Blanchard's wife, Iva.

Series III: State of Tennessee vs. Stanley Puryear documents Puryear's trials for the ax murder of his wife and young daughter on May 2, 1930. Immediately after these killings, Puryear murdered Will Jamison, a black citizen, with a shotgun. Puryear subsequently claimed that Jamison had committed the murders, and four trials and two appeals followed. Finally, on March 4, 1939, the Supreme Court of Tennessee affirmed Puryear's second degree murder conviction for his wife's death.


  • 1897 August-2007 October

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


1.5 Linear Feet


This collection houses trial documents, research notes, newspaper articles, and photographs showing three separate murder cases. The first of these cases is State of Tennessee vs. Hiram Hall. Hall was convicted of murdering his wife, Ida Hassler Hall, on August 18, 1897 near Crossville, Tennessee. The second case researched is State of Tennessee vs. Eugene D. Blanchard. Blanchard was convicted of murdering Harry Gervin in Knoxville, Tennessee on May 16, 1930. The third case included is State of Tennessee vs. Stanley Puryear. Puryear was convicted of murdering his wife, his daughter, and Will Jamison in Memphis, Tennessee on May 2, 1932.

Biographical/Historical Note

Donald Franklin Paine was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1939. He earned his B.A. (1961), M.A. (1963), and LL.B. (1963) from the University of Tennessee. Immediately after graduation, Paine served in the Army as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. He was discharged in 1966 and returned to Tennessee, where he authored the Tennessee Law of Evidence (1974). Paine practiced law with Paine, Tarwater, and Bickers in addition to researching Tennessee's legal history. He was a Reporter to the Supreme Court Advisory Commission on Rules of Practice and Procedure, wrote a monthly column for the Tennessee Bar Journal, and lectured for the Tennessee Law Institute, the University of Tennessee College of Law, and the Tennessee Judicial Conference. Paine also served as President of the Knoxville Bar Association (1983) and of the Tennessee Bar Association (1986-1987). Paine died on November 18th, 2013.


This collection consists of two boxes divided into four series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: State of Tennessee vs. Hiram Hall
  2. Series II: State of Tennessee vs. Eugene D. Blanchard
  3. Series III: State of Tennessee vs. Stanley Puryear
  4. Series IV: Photograph Negatives

Acquisition Note

Donald Paine donated these materials to Special Collections on December 12, 2007.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA