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Jackson County, MN
Biographies and Obituaries

Obituary of Nathaniel Frost

Nathaniel Frost died at his home in this city on Thursday, Dec 21, 1899 at 2:00 after a long illness. Mr. Frost had been a sufferer for years but was not considered dangerously ill until about two weeks ago. The funeral services were held on Sunday at the M.E. Church, Rev. Savage of Windom officiating. The remains were laid to rest in Riverside Cemetery.

Nathaniel Frost was born at Pipe Creek, Tioga County, New York 14 Jan 1832. When a few months of age, his parents moved to Tioga County, Penn. where he spent his youth and early manhood. In 1864, he came west to Michigan and later to Illinois and Iowa. Nov. 27 1856, Thanksgiving Day, he reached the present site of Jackson, Minnesota. Being pleased with the location, he, with the Wood brothers of Mankato, started the village of Springfield, now on the present site of Jackson. A log store, house and log hotel were built. A few settlers were found along the river, but the Indians were merciless, and the settlers were driven away or killed.

While Mr. Frost was away at Mankato after a load of provisions for the store, the Indians fell on the settlers, killed the two Wood brothers and, when he returned, forty warriors had possession of the store. The Indians told him they had killed the Wood brothers and showed him where he would find their bodies. In those days, provisions had to be brought from Mankato or Sioux City. An ox team was the only conveyance and, frequently the snow was so drifted that it was impossible to travel in this way. Then the settlers would bring supplies on hand sleds. Mr. Frost made frequent trips on foot from Mankato to Sioux City to carry the mail and bring supplies to settlers. He was indeed, one of those early pioneers who endured hardships, privations, dangers, and never shirked a duty.

One time when returning from Mankato where he had been for supplies, he found that the Indians had attacked the settlers and a number had been killed. They had forted in a log cabin on the Thomas place for protection. But when they learned that the Indians at Belmont and further up the river were planning a second attack, the settlers started in their ox carts for Ft. Dodge settlement for safety .

In their hurry to escape, they left behind a young man of twenty-two years, John Henderson, who had crawled away in the attic of a log hut for protection. When Mr. Frost returned, he and the two or three settlers who remained , buried the dead and then chanced to find this young man whom the Indians left alive after shooting both his legs off near his body. Mr. Frost took care of him, drew him to Mankato on a hand sled, and begged enough money to send him to his relatives in Illinois where he was educated for the ministry. In 1888, Rev. John Henderson, a Baptist minister, came from the east to visit Mr. Frost. Such a visit, only the recording angel can describe.

These are only a few of the many hardships Nathaniel Frost has passed through in Jackson, where he has resided for more than 44 years, with the exclusion of 4 years spent in the Civil War, two years at Haboth, Minnesota, and 4 years in Caldwell County, Missouri.

Jan. 2, 1861, he was married to Maryette Root, Benson, Rutland Co, Vermont. He returned with his wife immediately to Jackson, where he served in the home guard under Capt. West until he was called to go south. For about four years he served in the army in Co. E, 4th Minnesota Infantry, where he won the esteem and respect of his comrades and superior officers. He fought on 16 of the bloodiest battlefields of the rebellion and was with Sherman on his march to the sea.

He leaves behind his wife, one daughter and two sons to mourn the loss of a true friend, a devoted husband and dear beloved father.

Transcribed and submitted by Lucille Gano
May 24, 2002

This page was last modified: Friday, October 18, 2002