Maud Lillian Frost

January 24, 1871 - March 22, 1958

Story by Philip G. Parsons, her son, written November 1968

Photo of Maud, 1890

Maud Lillian Frost, first child of Simpson Paine Frost and Ann Margaret Nichol was born 24th of January, 1871 on a homestead near Barrett, Marshall County, Kansas. Her parents had met when each was assigned to a two-room school near Barrett, Mr. Frost taught the upper grades and Miss Nichol the lower grades. Together they made a great team, fell in love and were married on the 24th of March, 1870. The family moved to Iowa when Maud was about four years of age.

Sometime later Mr. Frost's brother had gone to Montana finding work there, so about 1880, Mr. Frost went to Wicks, Montana to accept a better position as millwright for the copper company. Soon the family was to follow, so when Maud was about nine year sold, her mother gathered together her young brood of six and went to Montana.
Railroad coaches of that day were primitive, there were long benches along each side and a stove at the end of the car. At night you sometimes spread straw on bench or floor if there was room enough to stretch out. Maud always remembered her mother trying to arouse the children to se Great Salt Lake which the train passed in the night. They soon ran out of food and kids get mighty hungry. At a stop for breakfast, her mother sent Maud into the station to buy a loaf of bread.

Photo of Maud's Mother, 1880
A kindly gentleman asked her to tell her mother to bring the children and come to breakfast. Her mother was not about to take favors from a stranger. The man told her there was a hot breakfast paid for and waiting, and if she did not eat it, it was her loss. Never did a breakfast taste better! At the rail head the rail head the train was met by the Company teamster who had been sent by Mr. Frost to pick up his family. As they bumped over many a rugged mile to Wicks, Maud's mother sat on the spring seat holding the baby, while the rest of the children rode in the wagon-bed among provisions, baggage and supplies.
During the eight years the family lived at Wicks, Maud as the oldest child, helped raise her brothers and sisters. Their father did not wish his children to lose out because of the lack of schools out in the western wilds, so he would teach them in the evenings. There were great stacks of firewood near the fireplace, and here the kids would sit while their father played school teacher.

One night the mill was burned to the ground. The company decided not to rebuild it, so the family returned to Oskaloosa, Iowa when Maud was about seventeen.
Photo of Maud's father
Here they discovered the home cabin teaching had been very good, as the children were equal of ahead of those who had had regular schooling. Maud received straight A's in all high school subjects. She had a great desire to learn and to raise above ordinary thoughts and experiences. Soon she was teaching school as so many pioneer daughters did.

In the late spring of 1892 she was bothered by a severe cold which hung on and on. Finally, the doctor said, "Miss Frost, you have quick consumption. If you stay here in Iowa, you may live as much as a year. You must seek a dry climate in Arizona or Colorado, and perhaps you may live longer." In desperation, Miss Frost wrote to a Mr. Phillips in Denver who had once taught in Oskaloosa. To her amazement, he wrote to her to come to his home, they would board her and help her find a job. So it was that a rather sick young school teacher arrived with very little hope or money in Denver on August 10, 1892.
She soon had a job as bookkeeper in The New England Market, run by F. B. Fernald, 72 Broadway, Denver. Here. while slowly regaining her health, she became acquainted with the business world. Donnellan & Oderfield, Grocers, were next door and together the two firms might be thought of as the beginning of supermarkets.
Photo of Robert Parsons, 1886

Fernald had hired a likely young fellow named Robert Parsons, to take orders. Bob drove the rig to visit the customers in the morning, came back to the store, put up the orders and then delivered them later in the day. He was also learning to cut meat and had just earned his "apron" when he met the new bookkeeper. One day a miner asked Fernald to grubstake him. Fernald had many such requests in those days and jokingly said the man might see how the bookkeeper felt about mining. She became convinced the miner had a good thing, but listened to he boss who thought it too much of a gamble. Not too many years later, the miner found a very excellent mine and became rich. Miss Frost always regretted that she refused the gamble.

Mr. Robert Parsons and Miss Maud Frost became engaged during early summer, 1893. Maud returned to her home in Oskalossa to make ready for her wedding. One Sunday the family home burned while all were in church, all her wedding finery was burned and she was forced to return to Colorado quite empty handed. In the meantime, the family of Robert Parsons had arrived in Denver from Elorado, Kansas. He had taken the precious dollars with which they expected to set up housekeeping, and bought furniture for his family to get started in a new location. There were his father, Charles, his sisters Tallie and Mary and brother Dick beside himself, so the furniture was suited to several people, rather than to the needs of newlyweds. However, on September 21st, 1893, Maud and Robert were united in Marriage at the South Broadway Christian Church.
They moved into a little cottage at 37 Grant Street, and there their first child, Philip George Parsons, was born on June 2, 1894. Mr. Parsons was well liked in his work as meat-cutter, but never made much money. His young bride tried many ways to budget but times seemed hard, her health was always poorly, there were always doctor bills to be met. Then, too, the folks back East would come to see the West.
Photo of Parsons Family, 1898 Standing: Robert Parsons, Maud (Frost) Parsons, Tallie Parsons, Richard Parsons, Mamie (Garlick) Parsons.
Seated: Anne Margaret (Nichol) Frost, Ella (Garlick) Gould, Mary Parsons, Charles Parsons
Children: Philip Parsons, Charles Gould (at 655 South Pennsylvania Ave., Denver)
They were welcome and sight seeing trips in Denver and over the Georgetown loop and other rail rides into the foothills were great fun, but hard on the budget. Robert did not take money matters seriously as Maud did, he would sometimes give out money to anyone with a hard luck story and was generous far beyond his means. Perhaps ill health of the mother, with hardly enough to make ends meet, may have contributed to the loss of the next four infants born in 1895, 1897, 1898, and 1899.

In the summer of 1899, Robert and Maud decided to buy a lot and build a two-room house; 212 Ogden Street was selected and a simple two-room brick with kitchen attached was soon ready. In their own home, things were a bit better, a daughter, Marion Parsons, was born here on January 19, 1901 and Robert William Parsons was born here on 18 March, 1905. Grandpa Garlick wanted a part in the new Home, and made a very pretty redwood table for flowers or books. Maud tried so hard to find a better, more bountiful way of life in spite of her poor health, studied "New Thought" and other advanced systems of living. Miss Nona L. Brooks and Mrs. B. L. James, her sister, co-founded the Divine Science Church, and our family attended at 17th Street and Clarkson Avenue.
In the summmer of 1906, Maud took a course in healing at Weltmer's Institute at Nevada, Missouri. Philip and baby Wilbert went to Missouri with their mother, and Philip wheeled baby Wilbert many a mile over the sidewalks of Nevada while mother attended classes. We tasted all the iron water springs in the park; they were supposed to be healthy but tasted horrible! Our first experience with persimmons too, which were getting ripe when we left for home.
Photo of Marion and Phil, 1903
Weltmer's instruction seemed very wonderful during his lectures, but did not prove practical as a means of making progress financially. While Maud was in Missouri, Robert joined the Divine Science Church. Maud was hurt because he did not wait for her return so they could join together.

In 1907, Robert had a job at Murray's Market on Lowell Blvd., so they gave up the home at 21 Ogden and lived on the North side for a year. Returning to south Denver in summer of 1908, they started buying 982 South Pennsylvania. In this home, Donald Brooks Parsons, the youngest child, was born on August 4, 1908. Here Maud became interested in chiropractic and took a course in it and began the practice of healing by this method. However, she was greatly disappointed to find she did not have the physical strength necessary. Over the years she had developed a very large and dangerous goiter which was removed by Dr. Charles Mayo of the Mayo Clinic. Certain ligaments were cut during the operation, so that her arms were never strong as normal. Earlier she had become very expert in tailoring but could not do enough to pay, also because of her health.
Photo of Donald, Marion, and 'Wilbur', 1915
Maud L. Parsons' desire to learn led to many studies. In later years she delved deeply into Astrology. Many people became her students and friends. However, this form of guidance is usually sought when the person is out of work or sick or with problems in the family and is therefore not too profitable. Following the effects of the planets on human lives gave her many hours of very serious study and enlightenment.
1948 Photo - Phil, Hazel, Maud, Don, Marion, Robert

She lived to see her three children who reached adulthood, happily married and prosperous. She greatly enjoyed her grandchildren. The writer has a picture taken in 1955 of Mrs. Maud L. Parsons, her son Philip, his son Ray, and Ray's son David. As an elder citizen she lived with her daughter, Marion, for several years, then with her son, Donald and his wife, Polly at 4111 East Eighteenth Avenue, Denver.
1955 Photo - Ray (holding David), Maud, and Phil
She was 87 years of age when she passed away on March 22, 1958 after recovery from surgery. She was always a person of spirit and great inspiration to her many friends and family.

For Ray Parsons' home page and related stories use your "BACK button".

Send mail to Ray Parsons by clicking here.