Taylor, Don Alonzo

About the author

Don Alonzo Taylor (b.1872) lived in North Dakota for much of his life. His Old Sam books were originally tales he told his children, and sprang from his own youth as a pioneer. One of Taylor’s children, Hazel Hohanshelt was a teacher (she became known as Alpine’s last one room schoolteacher) and after seeing the hold his stories had on her pupils, she edited them into book form.  

The reprints are puzzling. As far as I know Old Sam, Dakota Trotter in its most recent (2001) incarnation is a reprint of both books. It’s now out of print, and I think the most recent printing (2008) is just the first volume. If you can elucidate, please get in touch!

Finding the book
Easy to find, and one volume at least is still in print.

Links and sources
Don Alonzo Taylor’s daughter, Hazel Hohanshelt
A review of Old Sam, Thoroughbred Trotter, and useful biographical information
Thank you to Lisa Catz for the summary and photograph.


Old Sam
Old Sam, Thoroughbred Trotter
Old Sam and the Horse Thieves

Bibliography (horse books only)

Old Sam, Thoroughbred Trotter

Follett Publishing, Chicago, 1955, 160 pp, illus Lorence F. Bjorklund.
Reprinted as Old Sam, Dakota Trotter, Bethlehem Books, 2001
(with Horse Thieves – see note above).

The Scott children are given a beautiful trotting horse, after they begged for his life when he was to be shot. The horse, Sam,
recovers, but is left with a crooked leg, and a slight limp from one leg being shorter than the other. He earns his keep as a work horse, until the Scotts realize he can still trot faster than the other horses in the area.

Old Sam and the Horse Thieves

Follett Publishing, Chicago, 1967, 160 pp, illus Lorence Bjorklund
Reprinted as Old Sam, Dakota Trotter, Bethlehem Books, 2001
(with Trotter- see note above).

The sequel: the Scott children are helped by Sam to capture horse thieves.