To say of him whose name heads this sketch that he has risen unaided from comparative obscurity to rank among the capitalists, is a statement that seems trite to those familiar with his life. What Mr. Frost has accomplished in the world of commerce cannot adequately be told in words. It is certainly not asserting too much to say of one who can direct and control a business of such magnitude, that he must possess, aside from mercantile foresight and sagacity, the happy faculty of reading and judging men, unusual powers of organization and executive ability—in a word, that he must be a master mind. And yet if one shall seek in Mr. Frost’s career the causes that have led to his success, they will be found along the lines of well-tried and old-time maxims. Honesty and fair dealing, promptness, truthfulness, fidelity, all these are strictly enforced and adhered to. Faithfulness on the part of employe[e]s is promoted by the knowledge that good service means advancement as opportunity opens and that neglect of duty will not be tolerated, and is further enhanced by the interest taken by the employer in the personal welfare of the deserving.
Harvey N. Frost, now living in Mineral Wells, was born in Collin county, Texas, in 1860, his parents being C. C. and Gillie M. (Daniels) Frost. The father was born in Missouri and came to Texas in 1845, settling in Collin county. He served with the Confederate army throughout the Civil War, being a brave and loyal soldier. About 1890 he removed to Haskell, Texas, where he now resides. For many years he followed farming, but is now living retired from active life, enjoying a rest which he has well earned and richly deserves. His wife is also living and is a native of middle Tennessee.
Harvey N. Frost was reared to farm life in Collin county and acquired his education in the schools there. He remained with his father until he had attained his majority, when he entered business life at Farmersville, Texas, as a member of the firm of Rike & Frost, dealers in agricultural implements. There he remained until 1889, when he took up his abode at Haskell, Texas, where he established and conducted a lumber yard at Grand Prairie, Texas. In 1895 he removed to Mineral Wells and purchased the lumber business to J. M. Roberts & Company. Here he has since been connected with the lumber trade, being now at the head of the Frost-Lewellyn Lumber Company. This, however, is but a small department of his business interests in Mineral Wells, which have grown from a very small beginning to extensive proportions. In 1900 he became associated with Cicero Smith in the organization of the First National Bank, at Mineral Wells, of which he was elected the first cashier, and to that office he was re-elected in April, 1904, but resigned in October of the same year in order that he might devote his attention more largely to his extensive building operations in this city. He remained a stockholder in the bank, however. He was president of the Mineral Wells Hardware Company, but sold his interests there in the fall of 1903. He is the president and principal owner of the Mineral Wells Pressed Brick Company, extensively engaged in the manufacture of brick. He is now, however, devoting his capital and efforts largely to the up building and improvement of his adopted city. He has erected several splendid brick business blocks and has others in the course of erection here. These buildings have added largely to the beauty and substantial appearance in every particular, are supplied with steam heat, sanitary sewerage, etc., and in fact are fare in advance of those usually found in Texas towns of this size. He is also largely interested in real estate and his efforts have been of material benefit to Mineral Wells.
Mr. Frost has been twice married. He wedded Miss Nannie Smith, a daughter of Captain Cicero Smith, and they became the parents of six children, three of whom are yet living: Cleo, William and Gillie. After the death of his first wife Mr. Frost married Miss Levie Kight. They have a very attractive home at Mineral Wells, surrounded by a beautiful grove of trees which is one of the noted features of the city. The great prairies had few trees and it has been a difficult task to produce the rapid growth of trees so as to promote the beauty of the cities, but the labors of Mr. Frost in this direction have been crowned with splendid success and his law is now adorned with many beautiful trees, which compare favorably with the monarchs of the forest. Both Mr. and Mrs. Frost hold membership in the Baptist church and are leaders in social circles here. He belongs to the Odd Fellows society, the Knights of Pythias and the Commercial Club, and in community affairs he is deeply interested, promoting every measure that he believes will contribute to the general good. He is now trying as a member of the school board and his cooperation can always be counted upon to further any interest that tends to benefit Mineral Wells.
Mr. Frost thoroughly enjoys home life and takes great pleasure in the society of his family and friends. He is always courteous, kindly and affable, and those who know him personally have for him warm regard. A man of great natural ability, his success in business from the beginning of his residence in Mineral Wells was uniform and rapid. As have been truly remarked, after all that may be done for a man in the way of giving him early opportunities for obtaining the requirements which are sought in the schools and in books, he must essentially formulate, determine and give shape to his own character, and this is what Mr. Frost has done. He has persevered in the pursuit of a persistent purpose and gained the most satisfactory reward. His life is exemplary in all respects and he has ever supported those interests which are calculated to uplift and benefit humanity, while his own high moral worth is deserving of the highest commendation.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 692-693.