-Mary Hazard Frost

1870 - 1955

Biography:

For all that Mary Frost's husband was a very famous and accomplished man, I have not had an easy time coming up with verifiable information about Mary herself. What follows represents my best guesses based on the tidbits that I have been able to discover.

Mary E Hazard was born December 1870 in Chicago, Illinois. Her parents were Marshall C Hazard and Elizabeth Wyman Adams. Mary was the third child, with elder brothers Henry and George. There would be two younger brothers as well, Frank and William, and a little sister Caroline. By the 1880 census the family was living in Wheaton, DuPage cty, Illinois. Records are silent after that time, and I have not been able to construct much of a timeline for Mary's adult life.

She married her husband, Edwin Brant Frost, in Boston, Massachusetts, but I am not sure what brought her to Boston. Her family may have relocated there, but I also found a Mary E Hazard as a student at Wellesley College, just outside of Boston, in 1892 and 1893 which would coincide with the years that Mary would have attended college. The 1940 census does say that Mary completed 3 years of a college education, so this seems a likely scenario.

Wellesley College, near Boston, MA

Edwin B Frost

Mary's husband Edwin B Frost, whom she married on 19 November 1896, was a remarkable person, a gifted astronomer and a "renaissance man" of his time. He was associated with Dartmouth College, among several other esteemed centers of higher learning, and served as teacher, investigator, lecturer and editor in the field of astronomy. His research and discoveries brought him fame in his field, but Edwin's interests went beyond even the vast expanse of the heavens. He was a lover of birds and flowers and appreciated both music and fine literature, two interests that he shared with his wife Mary, and he spoke German and French.

The couple lived from 1900 to 1920 in Walworth, Wisconsin where they raised a family of one daughter, Katherine, and two sons, Frederick and Benjamin. Sadly, Edwin lost sight in one eye in 1915 and in the other eye by 1921. But this did not stop his energetic drive to research and contribute to academia in his latter years. There is a very good article about Mr. Frost that can be read here.

By 1930, Mary and Edwin were living in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. Edwin died in 1935, leaving Mary a widow who struggled with some physical ailments of her own that are alluded to by Thomas Dreier who wrote the forward to her book of poems. She spent her last years between her winter home in St. Petersburg, Florida and her Williams Bay home in Wisconsin. Apparently Mary persevered, as had her husband, and she had her book published by Ralph Fletcher Seymour Publishers of Chicago in 1951 at the age of 81. She dedicated the book to her grandchildren, and on the final page of my copy is hand written the following: "To You who have read through this diversification in Verse, Happy Landing! Mary Frost." The book has some pen and ink drawings that illustrate some of the poems, but no illustrator is listed. Mary died at her Florida winter home in November 1955, age 85. She was writing her auto-biography before she died, which was never completed.

Fun in Verse

(1951)

by Mary Hazard Frost

Northern Lights

December

The Aurora Borealis

flashing, streaming, pulsating,

sometimes meeting overhead,

makes your own heart pulsate faster

as the sky is overspread

with the strange and eerie light.

What a spectacular Drama

of the power and the might

of the Sun in producing

such a Play of Delight.

Mother Earth,

protected by her white mantle,

stands breathless in soft stillness,

sparkling star crystals for a crown,

cuddling folds of floating snow

in her arms,

tiny foot-prints

of her hungry children

at her feet

on this White Christmas Day.

Punctuation Marks

The Astronomer

Mrs. Brace and Mrs. Bracket

said to Mrs. Parenthesis

Between us, this is a matter

for everybody to discuss.

Mr. Colon, a character,

has a wife, Semi, who complains

that Mrs. Caret forever

talks about words that are left out.

Mrs. Apostrophe was said

to live a life too possessive.

Mr. Comma paused to declare

that the Interrogation Point

was a questionable affair.

Mr. Dash spoke with some fire

on those queer Exclamation Points!

Mr. Hyphen then mentioned Joints.

Mrs. Asterisk and her friend

Mr. Dagger, referred to their

voluminous footnotes about

Periods, Parallels and Quotes.

While the sun

lights the rest of the world,

the ardent watcher of the skies,

through the long winter nights,

clad in fur from top to toe,

and with fingers numb,

must not sleep but keep alert

to his humdrum task.

With eyes glued to the telescope,

he forgets this small earth,

lives only in terms of the Universe.

At last the dawn. Weary, he hears

a cheery meow. How can his

Johnny cat always know

when it is time to see him home!

Where is that latch?

But soon the Astronomer

dreams of stars and roses

with warmth and love in his arms.

Memory Exercise

Treasure Hunt

Numbers are often confusing

Can be, however, amusing

if you will try to multiply

Two by Two, Three by Three, straight on

through Ten, each one to a trillion.

Such a good test, to remember

not to forget, and that as yet,

you're neither lazy nor crazy.

But I can't seem to remember

your telephone number.

I look not

for material things

but for

soul-satisfying

wings of thought

that bring me

guidance,

opportunities

to serve,

a mind alert,

friendships rare,

a challenging book,

a forward look,

a sunrise,

not the end

of day.

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