My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

John E. Frost, ex-president of the Commercial Club of Topeka, and a citizen who has been prominently identified with public affairs in Kansas for very many years, was born April 22, 1849, at Rome, New York, and is a son of Hon. Thomas Gold and Elizabeth A. (Bancroft) Frost.

Mr. Frost comes of distinguished ancestry which extends in both paternal and maternal lines to old and honorable English families and early New England settlers. The father of Mr. Frost was prominent in politics and in the law prior to 1857, when he removed to Illinois, and took up his residence at Galesburg. The closing years of his life were spent in Chicago, and in both cities he was a representative legal practitioner and the recipient of many honors.

John E. Frost had liberal educational opportunities, including collegiate advantages at Knox College at Galesburg, Illinois, and at Hamilton College at Clinton, New York. At the latter institution he carried off honors at his graduation in 1871. He then read law, not so much for the practice of the profession as to thoroughly inform himself upon points which might come up in his business transactions later in life. His business career began and has been mainly connected with land and immigration interests and probably no man in Kansas more thoroughly masters questions relative to these lines than does Mr. Frost, after more than 30 years devotion to their study. In 1904 he was elected a trustee of Hamilton College, his alma mater. He is a member of the Chi Psi college fraternity.

From 1872 to 1879, Mr. Frost was district agent of the land department of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company, and after his removal to Topeka, in 1882, he filled still higher offices with the company until 1890 when he was appointed general land commissioner for the corporation, in which office he continued until his resignation in 1898, when he purchased the still unsold lands of the company in Kansas.

Mr. Frost has held many honorable positions and offices with dignity and efficiency. As president of the Exhibitors’ Association at the International Cotton Exposition, in 1881, at Atlanta, Georgia; as vice-president in 1895 of the National Irrigation Congress at Denver and as its president in 1896, at Albuquerque, New Mexico; and as vice-president and treasurer of the Kansas Commission of the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition at Omaha, in 1898, he displayed not only all necessary executive ability, but also the courtesy, tact and diplomacy so essential in a public representative.

Since coming to Topeka he has been interested in many of the city’s most successful enterprises and has shown a most commendable amount of public spirit. As president of the Commercial Club from 1901 to 1804 he encouraged and headed many movements looking to the material development of the city and, with the brain of a scholar, the vigor of a worker and the heart of a gentleman, enjoys the esteem of all who know him best.

At the time of the disastrous flood in the Kansas River in 1903, Mr. Frost served as chairman of the General Flood Relief Committee. It is acknowledged by all that similar work was never better done than was performed by this organization. Mr. Frost, as chairman, deserves much of the credit for the committee’s excellent showing.

In 1871, Mr. Frost was united in marriage with Margaret E. Kitchell, who is a daughter of Hon. Alfred Kitchell, of Illinois, and they have six children. The family belong to the First Presbyterian Church of Topeka. Their beautiful home is situated at the corner of 10th and Western avenues and it is the scene of much hospitality and many social functions. A portrait of Mr. Frost accompanies this sketch.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 206 biographies included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  For the complete description, click here: Shawnee County, Kansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Shawnee County, Kansas family biographies here: Shawnee County, Kansas

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.