Alfred Frost

The Frost Family

Mary Ann Frost, nee King, 1805-1871

John Frost of Stoke-by-Clare, Suffolk, and Mary Ann King, born and baptised in 1805, married in 1826 at Haverhill, England. For a number of years they lived at Yew Tree Farm, Steeple Bumpstead. While Mary Ann was pregnant they migrated with their 9 children to South Australia aboard the Taglioni from London, where he had been a silver and goldsmith, and arrived at Port Adelaide on 18 June 1844.


The children who came with them were Frederick John, Frances Ann (Fanny), Alfred, Joseph, Benjamin, Eliza Hannah, Ellen Martha, John King, and Priscilla King.

Two months after their arrival their last child, Emily Hannah, was born on 26 August. For a while they farmed at Gilles Plains but John, left for the gold diggings in Victoria. He died near Melbourne on 29 March 1852. Mary Ann and her family moved to Riverton for some time. Around the end of the 1850s they moved to the Melrose district in the lower Flinders Ranges, where they had a property named "Haverhill".

Mary Ann saw several of her offspring marry in that district in the early 1860s. Mary Ann lived for another 19 years, most of them at Melrose where she had moved with her sons and unmarried daughters. She died on 24 October 1871 and was interred at the Melrose Pioneer cemetery at the age of 66 years. When this closed her remains were exhumed and reburied at the present cemetery. Several of the Frost members and some of their partners were involved in the mining industry.


Frederick John
Frederick John of Oladdie Station and Nuccaleena, married Jane Mary Cotter, second daughter of Dr TY Cotter at Nuccaleena. While they lived at Oladdie, John Lewis called in on his way to the Northern Territory. He later wrote in Fought and Won, We stayed a day with Mr Fred Frost, an Australian pioneer and an old friend of mine. He and his wife were exceptionally kind to us and gave us many little things which they thought would be of service on our trip. John and Jane had several children. They had a boy on 5 November 1865 but he died eight days later and was buried at Oladdie. A daughter Mary was born at Oladdie on 24 January 1867 as were Emma on 4 November 1868 and Eva on 22 September 1871.

Their next children were born at Erudina. Edith was the first on 15 August 1873, followed by Frank on 8 June 1875, Fred John on May 1877 and Herbert Harald on 2 May 1879. Their last child was born at The Grange on 8 November 1882. Frederick John Frost died at Broken Hill in 1901. His wife Jane Mary died in 1911 also at Broken Hill.


Priscilla King

Fanny married William Williams, a farmer of Kersbrook, on 24 September 1851 in the Holy Trinity Church on North Terrace, Adelaide and they lived at Chain of Ponds in the Adelaide Hills. Both were buried there as well. Joseph who became a farmer at Blyth Plains, died at Clare on 26 March 1897. John King, born in 1838, went much further north. He worked for some time for George Fife Angas near Melrose. While working at Caroona Station he married Margaret Cole, formerly Gordon, widow at Port Augusta on 8 March 1876. He died at the Cowell Hospital on 2 September 1917.

Priscilla King was born on 15 September 1840. She married Thomas Knowles on 11 June 1864. She died on 30 October 1900. Emily Hannah married Owen Griffith Hughes on 16 November 1863. She died at her residence at Blyth on 1 August 1908, aged 64. Eliza Hannah married Thomas Albert Wallis. She also died at her residence at 29 Wright Street, Adelaide on 11 January 1907, aged 68 years. Husband Thomas was involved in gold mining at Arltunga, near Alice Springs.

Eliza Hannah, Emily Hannah, born in 1844 at Adelaide and Priscilla King were all married, near Melrose. Ellen Martha, born 1836, married Henry Longmire at Riverton on 13 December 1857 while Emily married Owen Griffith Hughes on 16 November 1863 at Melrose.

Alfred Frost was baptised on 1 August 1831. After migrating with his parents he became involved in the mining industry for most of his life. On 21 September 1859 he and Gleeson applied for some mineral leases at Yudanamutana. He took out many other leases in that, and other areas of the north during the following years. The best known and most successful being the Blinman mine. Later it was said that Frost had discovered more mines than anyone else in South Australia. He even had a mine named after him. John Baptist Austin wrote that Alfred was 'an excellent bushman, capable of enduring great fatique and considerable physical exertion and was a perfect enthusiast in mining matters'.

When the great drought of the early 1860s devastated the far north, mining ceased for a number of years. Frost now became involved in transporting supplies for pastoral stations. In May 1865 he arrived at Edeowie with his new turn-out of nine wagons, having sent one back to Port Augusta for horse feed. After having rested his team he continued on to Mount Deception with 24 tons of supplies for Elder & Co. His wagons and animals made a big impression on the locals and one reporter wrote; It certainly is a most creditable turn-out and both horses and wagons seem admirably adapted to the work, much more so than those great barge looking things imported from Melbourne.

Frost became a shareholder or manager of several mines, including the Daly Mine. He also held pastoral leases and was the successful tenderer for the building of the Bolla Bollana smelters, which he completed in October 1873.

The Evening Journal of 27 June 1899 published an article; 'An Old Northern Identity', which detailed some of Alfred's activities in the Flinders Ranges. According to the author, There was, perhaps 'no man better known north of Port Augusta than Mr. Alfred Frost. Forty-three years ago he owned a number of teams, and for many years was the principal contractor for the conveyance of stores and wool to and from the Northern sheep stations to that port.

He also conveyed the principal part of The necessary material for the construction ot the southern half of the Transcontinental Telegraph-line. During the whole of his forty-three years in the North, Mr. Frost kept a keen look-out for minerals. At one time he owned the Daly and Stanley property, which at the surface was rich in copper and bismuth. He sold one-sixth of the Blinman mine to Mr. Henry Martin, now the owner of valuable properties in the main streets of Adelaide, for 200 pounds, and Mr. Martin sold the Blinman propertv, witn seven sections around it to an English Company for 48,000 pounds.

Mr. Frost also held a considerable interest in the Yudanamutana, which Mr. Martin also disposed of for a big sum in England, Mr. Frost accompanying that gentleman to the old countrv to aid in the sale. He also held a fifth interest in the Northern Mineral Association, a Company that had acquired a large number of copper claims.

The other principal holders in this Association were Mr. Hampton Gleeson, once member for Flinders, and Sergeant-Major Alford and Inspector Tolmer, of overland gold escort fame. An English Syndicate offered 40,000 pounds for the Association's claims, but the reserve price was fixed at 50,000 pounds, so negotiations fell through, but no doubt a bargain would have been struck had not the English money market become suddenly disarranged during the bargaining process.

Mr. Frost is now interested in the Mount Fitton and Grand Junction Mines, and is the owner of the old Bolla Bollana smelting works. On this property there is an immense heap of slag, which is said to assay from 10 to 15 per cent of copper and 6 dwt. of gold to the ton. Mr. Frost, wbo is now on a visit to Adelaide, is a capital conversationalist, and his old time mining reminiscences are most interesting'.

At the age of 65, Alfred married Catherine Whiting, nee Rowe on 4 July 1896 at the residence of W Whiting, Davenport. Alfred Frost died 19 August 1909, aged 78 at North Adelaide. His wife Catherine died in 1922.


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