Waco's First Blacksmith Mexican-American War Veteran Civil War Veteran
Josiah Frost was born October 18, 1815 in South Carolina. Orphaned as a child, he was raised by his godfather, Elias Madden, near present-day Atlanta, Georgia. Frost apprenticed with a blacksmith named Cyrus Garrison in Decatur, Georgia for three years. In 1836, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and took part in the campaign that forced Creek Indians from Georgia to Oklahoma. After a year of that gloomy service, he made his way south into the new Republic of Texas.
Originally, Frost lived in what was then Harrison County but later became part of the newly formed Panola County. For 11 years, he owned a blacksmith shop in the town of Elysian Fields.
In 1846, he re-enlisted with the U.S. Army for the Mexican-American War. He served under Colonel George Wood and fought in the Battle of Monterrey. After that War, he returned to Panola County and on September 3, 1847, he married Mary J. Goode, a relative of Richard Goode. It is likely that that affiliation was what brought Frost to Waco in the 1850s when he opened the city’s first blacksmith shop. In 1860, he donated land from his 320 acre farm in North Waco for the purpose of forming that area’s first school. For many years, it was known as the Frost School but later evolved into Connally ISD.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Frost again felt compelled to serve and was assigned as a cotton-hauler to the Mexican border.
He died March 14, 1896.