Horace Dinsmore is the father of Elsie Dinsmore. He is also father to Horace, Jr. and Rosebud Dinsmore, and husband to Rose Allison Dinsmore. He is known to be strict and exacting, though very indulgent when little Elsie behaves in line with his desires.
Horace Dinsmore eloped with Elsie Grayson when they were 17 and 16 respectively. They were soon separated when his parents and her guardian found out about the marriage. Elsie Grayson soon died from heartbreak after being told a lie about Horace's death, leaving him a baby daughter, Elsie. But Horace put Elsie in the care of servants from her mother's plantation, and left to travel in Europe. Afterwards, her charge was given to his father and stepmother. Eight years later, he returned, but he was stern, coldhearted, and loved to punish Elsie for every slight thing. She eventually wins his love, and a few years later while traveling, Horace falls in love with Rose Allison. With Elsie's consent, they marry and have Horace Jr. and Rosebud Dinsmore.
After the death of Elsie's husband, Edward Travilla, who was also his childhood friend, Horace moves to Ion with his wife Rose to support his daughter and help bring up the children still at home.