Frank Gee Patchin (1861-1925)

American author who wrote mainly adventure stories for boys in the early 20th century. These included such series as The Battleship Boys, The Range and Grange Hustlers and The Pony Rider Boys. This latter series was one of the earliest examples of a children's pony series - possibly the first ever to feature a riding club - and concerned a group of young lads who formed a pony group and set off on various adventures with their ponies. It is mainly of the western/ranching persuasion with plenty of adventure and danger thrown in, and is unashamedly aimed at boys. It was a fairly long series and may have gone on further but for the death of the author in 1925.

Most of the books are now available as print-on-demand titles and also, being out of copyright, can be read on-line for free. Some can also be downloaded as free e-books from Amazon.

Unfortunately I do not have any biographical information about the author at pleasant. If anyone knows anything about him I would be grateful if you could drop me a line.

Pony Rider Boys Series:
Early example of a pony adventure series in which four teenage friends - Tad Butler, Walter Perkins and Stacy 'Chunky' Brown - form a club in which they aim to have fun and excitement on their ponies as they go on various travels across the USA. Aimed firmly at boys, the series was concerned with ranch riding, cowboys 'n' injuns, and various other exciting derring-dos designed to appeal to young males.

NB - Reading order is correct up to no. 8. 9 onwards is the possible correct order but needs to be confirmed.

1) THE PONY RIDER BOYS IN THE ROCKIES
(ALTEMUS [USA] 1909)
Reprinted in hardback by Saalfield.
In print at the moment via various print-on-demand publishers.
SUMMARY: A group of boys decide to form a pony riding club of their own when one of their number - Walter - needs fresh air to improve his health. But Tad, the best rider of all and the one who loves horses the most, is disconsolate as his family cannot afford a pony. However when an old sick horse is going to be shot he offers to work for free for its owner in exchange for the animal and takes her home to restore her to health. But when the boys organise a riding and camping tip to the Rockies, he knows he won't be able to join them as Jinny is too old and slow to keep up with the other boy's ponies. Will he ever be able to join in with his pal's fun?

2) THE PONY RIDER BOYS IN TEXAS
(ALTEMUS [USA] 1910)
Reprinted in hardback by Saalfield.
In print at the moment via various print-on-demand publishers.
SUMMARY: The boys take part in a cattle drive, learn how to shoot and swing a lariat and get mixed up with cattle thieves.

3) THE PONY RIDER BOYS IN MONTANA
(ALTEMUS [USA] 1910)
Reprinted in hardback by Saalfield.
In print at the moment via various print-on-demand publishers.
SUMMARY: The boys set out to ride the famed 'Custer Trail' and get mixed up in a feud between sheep and cattlemen and captured by Blackfoot Indians!

4) THE PONY RIDER BOYS IN THE OZARKS
(ALTEMUS [USA] 1910)
Reprinted in hardback by Saalfield.
In print at the moment via various print-on-demand publishers.
SUMMARY: The intrepid lads find themselves in danger, trapped and their ponies stolen. Can they escape and solve a mystery at the same time? You betcha!

5) THE PONY RIDER BOYS ON THE ALKALI
(ALTEMUS [USA] 1910)
Reprinted in hardback by Saalfield.
SUMMARY: The boys find more adventure and danger as they trek through the harsh deserts of Nevada.

6) THE PONY RIDER BOYS IN NEW MEXICO
(ALTEMUS [USA] 1910)
Reprinted in hardback by Saalfield.
In print at the moment via various print-on-demand publishers.
SUMMARY: The boys encounter the fierce Saboba Indian tribe.

7) THE PONY RIDER BOYS IN THE GRAND CANYON
(ALTEMUS [USA] 1912)
Reprinted in hardback by Saalfield.
In print at the moment via various print-on-demand publishers.
SUMMARY: Visiting the legendary Colorado landmark, the boys are cut off from the trail by a rockfall.

8) THE PONY RIDER BOYS WITH THE TEXAS RANGERS
(ALTEMUS [USA] 1920)
Reprinted in hardback by Saalfield.
In print at the moment via various print-on-demand publishers.

9) THE PONY RIDER BOYS ON THE BLUE RIDGE
(ALTEMUS [USA] 1924)
Reprinted in hardback by Saalfield.

10) THE PONY RIDER BOYS IN NEW ENGLAND
(ALTEMUS [USA] 1924)
Reprinted in hardback by Saalfield.

11) THE PONY RIDER BOYS IN LOUISIANA
(ALTEMUS [USA] 1924)
Reprinted in hardback by Saalfield.

12) THE PONY RIDER BOYS IN ALASKA
(ALTEMUS [USA] 1924)
Reprinted in hardback by Saalfield.
In print at the moment via various print-on-demand publishers.

Other editions:

PONY RIDER STORIES
(SAALFIELD [USA] Publishing date unknown)
SUMMARY: An omnibus edition containing 4 of the series:
Texas Rangers, New England, Louisiana, Alaska

Collector's Info:
Originally published by Altemus. Reprinted later in hardback by Saafield. The same dust jacket design was repeated for more than one title. Many are now in print as print-on-demand paperbacks and some are also available to read on-line. Older editions of the books are easy to find in America, but can be harder elsewhere. Some of the titles are available as e-books, many being free to download from Amazon or Project Gutenberg (see links).