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Special Collections Online at UT

Donald Paine Collection Regarding Tennessee v. Louis Fain

Identifier: MS-3441

  • Staff Only

This collection consists of Donald Paine’s research materials and resulting articles and lecture regarding the case of Tennessee v. Louis Fain. These records include an audio CD and information pamphlet from a presentation held at the Knoxville Bar Association’s Lunch and Learn event, a draft of an article to be published in April 2010, a column in the August 2009 edition of Dicta, notes regarding Louis Fain’s life and family, notes regarding Carrie Allen’s life and family, correspondence between Paine and others who have researched the case, notes and correspondence with Allen’s relatives, and photographs of Allen's and Fain's gravesites. Also included are derivative court records, transcripts, and notes on the trial personnel, derivative newspaper articles discussing such subjects as Allen's death, Fain’s trial and execution, and the similar death of Mary Hawkins in 1951, and photographs, an article, and copies from a Ron Allen publication regarding the history of the Mechanicsville neighborhood where Fain lived.


  • 1932 November-2009 December

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.


0.5 Linear Feet


This collection consists of Donald Paine’s research materials and resulting articles and lecture regarding the case of Tennessee v. Louis Fain.

Biographical/Historical Note

Carrie Allen (1908-1932) was from Bean Station, Tennessee. She moved to Knoxville and worked at the S & W Cafeteria. She lived in a boarding house on West Church Avenue. Louis Fain (1906-1934) lived in Mechanicsville with his father and sister. He sold illegal Prohibition whiskey. On November 28, 1932, after a night of drinking and poker, Fain entered Allen’s dwelling with the intent of burglary. He raped, robbed, and murdered Allen. On February 22, 1933, Fain was convicted and sentenced to death by electrocution. The Supreme Court upheld this conviction on January 13, 1934, and Fain was electrocuted on February 26, 1934. He confessed to the murder shortly before dying.

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 November 18, 2013.


This collection consists of a single box.

Acquisition Note

Donald Paine donated these materials to Special Collections.

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