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Collies In The Meadow-Lorraine Terhune

All of you know I love Albert Payson Terhune's books and his collies and I thought you might be interested in learning a bit about his family.  His first wife died shortly after giving birth to Lorraine and he married Anice who was his lifelong companion.  Below is what I have learned about his daughter Lorraine. I hope you find it interesting...


She was born two months early and her mother died 4 days later. In
Litvag's book it is written Terhune went through a period of blaming
his daughter for what happened. Apparently he fought with this
feeling, hated himself for it but eventually overcame it. Lorraine
spent her first eight years being raised by her famous Grandmother.

At eight Lorraine moved in with Albert and Anice. By all accounts
she was treated very well. However, Anice made it clear she was to be
the first choice of Terhune, not his daughter. So, while they got
along well, there was no deep love there. From what I've read
Terhune was proud of Lorraine, but as years passed things became cold
between Lorraine and Anice and never deepened with Terhune. She loved
animals playing wth Lad and the collies. But, her big love seemed to
be horses which enjoyed riding around Sunnybank

At 13 she had diphtheria and was nursed by her grandmother. She was
described as a bright, witty, brash, with an irreverent sense of
humor which didn't set well with Anice, who was very victorian in her
views of womanhood. She was called Larry by her friends. The
description of her says she had her father's chin, chestnut hair,
medium sized and "well built." She loved dancing, going to parties
and good conversations.

Lorraine went to school at Graham School in Manhattan, where she did
very well. Then she joined the Red Cross course in Nursing. She
decided to become a nurse, which did not set well with Bert and
Anice. So, she and they compromised on her doing nursing and working
on her writing abilities which it is said she was good at. She became
a nursing student at Columbia-Presbyterian hospital in New York
City. During this time she also wrote, became a nurse and then
discovered she had diabetes.

In 1923 Lorraine, who was a nurse in training married Dr. Franklin A.
Stevens. Terhune gave her a huge wedding. For two years Lorraine
lived with Dr. Stevens then left him and moved to Manhattan. He was
a small man no bigger than Lorraine, quiet and reserved and reserved
while she was "happy-go-lucky" and witty and making everyone laugh.
When she left they remained on good terms and never divorced,
speaking to each other regularly on the phone.

Lorraine's diabetes became worse so she started writing. She
struggled for she would not accept her father's offer to help her get
in the publishing world. She felt Bert was a mediocre writer who did
not deserve his success, and that he was a pompous windbag. She
hated Anice and called her "dear little anus." She never advertised
she was a Terhune, going by Lorraine Stevens.

Despite all of this Lorraine was always welcome at Sunnybank and came
for the holidays and occasion. In the area of Money Terhune paid her
rent and gave her money to live on. However, some friends said
Terhune was stingy with her, although I think him paying the rent
sure doesn't sound stingy. Litvag in his book says that Lorraine
never let on about her money problems to Terhune and thus he never
had a chance to give her more money if needed. It is known Lorraine
was not good with her money also. Once, a friend chided Anice for
not taking better care of Lorraine and she replied they regularly
sent her money, sometimes up to a thousand dollars regularly (this is
in the twenties, the average person made about $600 a year.... Anice
also said she could move back to Sunnybank at anytime and they would
gladly take care of her.

Litvag says in his book she "lived a happy, rather care-free, near-
Bohemian sort of existence.." Seems she spent her time writing,
going to parties, entertaining friends, going to the theater. She
was called by some at this time "the rowdy duchess."

She dated men, had sexual relationships but never got divorced.
Lorraine hung out with the literary crowd. In the early 30's she
began to get published in magazines. However, her friends state she
was getting lazy and only wrote when she needed money. As more of
her writings appeared Terhune asked to help her get into the
publishing world using his connection.l She refused any help.
Terhune said she was a much better writer than he was and she readily
supported this claim...

In 1937 she stopped writing and then turned to adapting screenplays
into fiction for magazines. She did this the rest of her life.

After Terhune died Lorraine received a regular allowance from Anice.
It covered the rent which doesn't seem to have sat well with Lorraine.
The two would get together at Christmas, and Anice would stop by to
see Lorraine when she went into Manhattan.

Was it all bad between Lorraine and Anice? Perhaps not, for when
Anice published her book in 1929 entitled the White Mouse, Lorraine
sent her a very nice letter congratulating her about the book.
Litvag in his book says the letter was "brimming with praise for the
novel, it appears to have been written with great love and warmth."
It was addressed to Dear Mother.

In her later years Lorraine stayed mostly at home and her few
remaining friends kept close to her. She loved to read. Her only pet
was a cat. Her health deteriorated in the 50's. She used insulin
for her diabetes, smoked heavily, had asthma, possibly emphysema and
when she needed medicine would call her husband who would get her a
prescription. She had sleeping problems and took sleeping pills

On January 13, 1956 she was found by a neighbor in a diabetic coma on
her apartment floor. Just before midnight she died.

Anice had her brought home for the funeral and buried in the Terhune
plot at the cemetary.

Anice and albert with some Sunnybank Collies


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