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, 1880A 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
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
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
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.
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.
Seated: Anne Margaret (Nichol) Frost, Ella (Garlick) Gould, Mary Parsons, Charles Parsons
Children: Philip Parsons, Charles Gould (at 655 South Pennsylvania Ave., Denver)
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
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, 1903Weltmer'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
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.
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