Albert Payson Terhune

Albert Payson Terhune

Born (1872-12-21)December 21, 1872
Newark, New Jersey
Died February 18, 1942(1942-02-18) (aged 69)
Pompton Lakes, New Jersey
Resting place Pompton Reformed Church
Education Columbia University
Occupation Writer
Known for Author
Sunnybank Kennels
Spouse(s) Lorraine Bryson
Anice Terhune
Children Lorraine Virginia Terhune Stevens (1898–1956)
Parent(s) Edward Payson Terhune
Mary Virginia Hawes
Relatives Christine Terhune Herrick (1859–1944), sister
Virginia Terhune Van De Water (1865–1945), sister

Albert Payson Terhune (December 21, 1872 – February 18, 1942) was an American author, dog breeder, and journalist. The public knows him best for his novels relating the adventures of his beloved collies and as a breeder of collies at his Sunnybank Kennels, the lines of which still exist in today's Rough Collies.[1][2]

As a tribute to Terhune, the dog in A Boy and His Dog calls his master Albert. The 1969 novella was written by Harlan Ellison. The 1975 film was directed by L.Q. Jones.


Albert Payson Terhune was born in New Jersey to Mary Virginia Hawes and the Reverend Edward Payson Terhune. His mother, Mary Virginia Hawes, was a writer of household management books and pre-Civil War novels under the name Marion Harland. Terhune had four sisters and one brother, though only two of his sisters lived to be adults: Christine Terhune Herrick (1859–1944); and Virginia Terhune Van De Water (1865–1945).

Sunnybank (41°00′04″N 74°16′32″W / 41.0012°N 74.2755°W / 41.0012; -74.2755 (Terhune Memorial Park)) was originally the family's summer home, with Terhune making it his permanent residence in 1912. He was educated at Columbia University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1893. From 1894 to 1914, he worked as a reporter for The Evening World.

Albert Payson Terhune in conference with his Rough Collies

He boxed exhibition matches with James J. Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons and James J. Jeffries.[3]

His Sunnybank Kennels where he bred and raised rough collies were "the most famed collie kennels in the U.S."[3]

"Bert" Terhune was an active member of the Adventurers' Club of New York.

Terhune was married twice. His first wife, Lorraine Bryson Terhune, died at the age of 23, four days after giving birth to Lorraine Virginia Terhune Stevens (1898–1956) and nine months into the marriage. He later remarried to Anice Terhune; they never had children. He died on February 18, 1942.[1] He was buried at the Pompton Reformed Church in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey.


His estate, Sunnybank, in Wayne, New Jersey is maintained as Terhune Memorial Park – Sunnybank.[4][5] It is open to the public and visitors can visit the graves of many of the dogs mentioned in Terhune's works and view a collection of Terhune's book and dog awards at the Van Riper-Hopper Historic House Museum. Historical and family items from the Terhune home, "The Place," can be found at the Pompton Lakes Historical Museum and the Van Riper-Hopper House Museum in Wayne, New Jersey.


Albert Payson Terhune first published short stories about his collie Lad, titled Lad Stories, in various general-interest magazines, including Red Book, Saturday Evening Post, Ladies' Home Journal, Hartford Courant, and the Atlantic Monthly.[6][7] The first of his novels about his dogs, Lad: A Dog, collected a dozen stories of his collie Lad in novel form. Lad was followed by over 30 additional dog-focused novels, including two additional books about Lad. Published in 1919, the novel was a best seller in both the adult and young adult markets and has been reprinted over 80 times. It was adapted into a feature film in 1962.[8] A man of his time, Terhune is now often criticized by some for his starkly racist depictions of the minorities, hill people and so-called "half-breeds" that peopled parts of northern New Jersey less idealized than Sunnybank.[Since anyone who has read even one of the stories knows that the place is Sunnybank, and not "Sunnybrook," would seem their concern about...racism? is based on here-say only][9][10]

List of works

Terhune in 1922
Terhune's "In Treason's Track" was the cover story for the December 1910 issue of The Argosy
"As the Dice Fell" was originally published in The Argosy in 1912


  1. 1 2 "Albert P. Terhune Dies". New York Times. February 19, 1942. Retrieved May 24, 2007. Writer of Stories About Dogs. Stricken at Pompton Lakes. His Kennel Famous. Did Screen Work. Published 'Lad: A Dog,' First in Canine Series, in 1919.
  2. "Albert P. Terhune, Author, Dies at 69. Dogs Were Central Characters in His Most Noted Stories. Was Outstanding Amateur Boxer in His Earlier Years. Funeral Saturday". Baltimore Sun. February 19, 1942. Retrieved June 30, 2010. Albert Payson Terhune, 69, died today at his forly-four-acre estate, Sunnybank, among the collies that won him international fame as an author.
  3. 1 2 "Milestones". Time magazine. March 2, 1942. Died. Albert Payson Terhune, 69, world's most prolific and successful writer of dog stories (Lad: A Dog; Buff: A Collie; etc.); in Pompton Lakes, N.J. He wrote stories about human beings for more than 20 years before he sold his first dog story. A jut-jawed, athletic heavyweight, who had boxed exhibition bouts with James J. Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons and Jim Jeffries, he wrote eleven hours a day, six days a week for some 30 years. His kennels, Sunnybank, became the most famed collie kennels in the U.S.
  4. "Historical Commission and House Museums – Sunnybank". Township of Wayne, New Jersey. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
  5. "Sunnybank Today". Sunnybank Collies. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
  6. Marshall, Kristina T. (2001). His Dogs. The Collie Health Foundation. p. 29.
  7. Morris, Timothy (2000). You're Only Young Twice: Children's Literature and Films. University of Illinois Press. pp. 32–42. ISBN 0-252-02532-6.
  8. "Lad: A Dog (1962)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  9. Johnson, Howard Eugene (February 27, 2014). A Dancer in the Revolution: Stretch Johnson, Harlem Communist at the Cotton Club. Oxford University Press. p. 28. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  10. Thomas, Elizabeth Marshall (2008). Woof!: Writers on Dogs. Penguin Books. p. 2. Retrieved December 31, 2014.

Further reading

External links

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