Laurence Alden Horswell


July 4, 1893 – November 3, 1977
(excerpted from The American Dachshund, November-December 1977)

Laurence Alden Horswell was interested in Dachshunds for 48 years.  He studied engineering, made a profession of advertising, and he applied both techniques to Dachshund activities.  The late Mr. Horswell was a member of the DCA from 1932-1950, honorary member since 1951; secretary 1937-45; president 1946 -50, a director 1933-1950 and 1952-65.  He served as chairman of DCA’s Information Committee 1933-50 and 1952-62.  At least fifteen regional clubs bestowed honorary membership.  He designed the DCA lapel pins, bronze plaques, sunburst medals, and initiated the regional affiliation plan to provide opportunity for exhibitors in all parts of the country to compete for Parent Club trophies.  Mr. Horswell was an AKC Delegate from 1930 to the mid-60s.

The Horswell kennel name, “Festigkeit”, registered in 1937, meant ‘soundness’ and with ‘Adel” and ‘Typ” meaning respectively ‘high spirit’ and ‘typiness’, was used on bronze, silver and gold medals.  With the late Mrs. Horswell, he owned all three varieties of Dachshunds, including the rare example (at that time) of a deeply-pigmented chocolate, and the winner of the first Miniature class (nine competing) at Westminster 1935 under the late Dr. Herbert C. Sanborn.  A show champion bitch of theirs [Ch. Diana v. Kniepkampheim – a granddaugher of Ch. Cid vom Wederhavelstrand and great-great granddaughter of Ch. Kensal Call Boy] placed at the first twelve field trials and produced three champions in one litter.

Mr. Horswell judged Dachshunds since 1934, and all hounds since 1953.  During his judging career he judged at the largest shows from coast to coast, including the DCA 50th Anniversary Specialty in 1945, Westminster, Morris & Essex, International KC of Chicago, Harbor Cities, and in Germany and South America.  One of his last judging assignments was Connecticut Yankee DC in 1969.  Using a card system of notations when judging, he accumulated descriptive card-notes on more than 5,000 Dachshunds.

Mr. Horswell’s monthly articles on Dachshund affairs appeared as the Parent Club column in Popular Dogs from 1933, when it was a weekly, through 1956, and in the AKC Gazette 1933-1950, 1952-62, in addition to other articles of general interest to owners of pure-bred dogs.  He contributed to The American Dachshund from its inception to the late 1960’s.
He was a versatile and authoritative writer; dog editor of All-Pets magazine and of All-Pets series of 30 breed paperbacks; associate editor of Dog World, and he was a feature writer for Kennel Review.  He won three annual awards from the Dog Writers’ Association of America in 1962, 1963, 1964; he received the first Gaines ‘Dog Man of the Year’ Fido award in 1946, and “Dog Writer of the Year’ in 1964.  The late Mr. Horswell was the most prolific writer of  Dachshunds that America has produced.

In 1954, Mr. and Mrs. Horswell wrote Pet Dachshund, so named as one of the series of 30 breeds, from which an enlarged diagrammatic chart with breed Standard summary has served educational purposes of many clubs and kennels.  Pet Dachshund was widely used as operating instructions’ to accompany puppies into new homes, and included comprehensive treatment of all phases of breeding and management of Dachshunds of all ages.  In its last edition, the book sold over 56,000 copies.

The late Laurence Alden Horswell married Dorothy Allison White on December 1, 1928.  Together they were a judging team that passed judgement on hundreds of Dachshunds in the ’40s, ’50s and early ’60s.  They were an annual fixture ringside at the great DALI shows held in New York.  Mr. Horswell was a descendent of the Aldens (maternal) from the Pilgrim Colony that landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620.  He died November 3, 1977.  He is survived by a sister, Carol Johnson of Montclair, NJ, and a brother Robert.  Following a private service and cremation, interment was alongside his father and mother at the family home and plot at Saugatuck, MI.

Sanford Roberts

Our appreciation to fellow dog writer, Lois Meistrell, for news of Mr. Horswell’s demise and other information concerning the family.

Horswell's Skeletal Diagram

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