History of McCaslin Frost
McCaslin Frost was the son of James and Isabella Van Dyke Frost. He was born Dec. 10, 1785 in Richland, Rockingham County, North Carolina. He was the fifth child in a family of 9 children - 7 boys and 2 girls. Elekiel, Jonas, John, James, McCaslin, Nicholas, Samuel who married Nancy Childers, Sarah, and Rachel who married Reddin Britt.
Little is known of the early life of McCaslin Frost. He was born just a few years after the Revolutionary War, and most of his life was spent under pioneer conditions in the five states of the union where he resided - North Carolina, Tennessee, Iowa, Illinois and Utah.
McCaslin was medium, tall, and slender, blue eyed and light complected. He was humorous, kind and sympathetic and of a jovial disposition. Judging from the childhood experiences related to his grandchildren when they were small. McCaslin's father must have owned some Negro slaves. The Negro slaves idealized McCaslin and called him "Massa", and went to him with their troubles, sure of sympathy and understanding. But he couldn't always resist the opportunity of playing some harmless prank on them when the occasion presented itself and was amused at some of the ridiculous situations he found them in.
The Frosts belonged to the Methodist Church, and according to tradition McCaslin's father was English and his wife was Dutch. The family was all musical and sang many old folk songs, some of which are known to have been old English folk songs. McCaslin's father made a violin and presented it to the first one of his boys who learned to play it. McCaslin won the violin, and many years later he gave it to one of his grandsons, who played it at many pioneer dances and entertainments after he came to Utah. All the family could sing, dance and play. McCaslin's oldest son, Samuel B. Frost could "fiddle", step dance and sing, all at the same time and still not be short of breath.
In 1809, when 23 years old, McCaslin Frost was married to Penina Smith. She was the daughter of John and Margaret Brown Smith and was born about Feb, 1st, 1794 in Wayne County, North Carolina. There were 6 children in the Smith family. Three girls and three boys. Penina was the fourth child, the other children were Nancy, Stephen, Jesse, and Fereba who married Mr. Clapp, a baby who died at birth, the mother died also. After the death of her mother, Penina made her home with an Aunt. When the aunt died, Penina made her home with James Frost and his wife Isabella, who were probably old friends of her parents. She remained with the Frost home until she was about 16 years old, when she was married to their son McCaslin.
Penina and McCaslin Frost made their home in Knox County, Tennessee, near Knoxville, the main city in the eastern part of the state. This is a mountainous region, and had been settled only a short time when they were married. They lived on a river or possibly a creek at the foot of the hill below their house was a wonderful cold spring, they built a room over this spring and used it, not only for drinking water and culinary purposes but also for the refrigeration of their dairy products. Their crocks of milk and butter and cheese were kept in excellent condition.
Here in Knox County all of their eight children were born with the exception of Samuel Buchannan, and their second child, Nancy Ilewood who were born in Wake County, North Carolina before they moved from the state. The other children were Fereba, James Williams, Martha McKinney, Mary Ann, and Margaret Elzirah.
Times were hard during that period and when their son, Sam, was a young man he went North one winter and secured work. While he was away he met some Latter-day Saint Missionaries or members of that Church who converted him to Mormonism. He liked the country and the opportunity it afforded and decided to remain in that vicinity.
He was very enthusiastic over his religion and returned to his old home in Tennessee for a visit and to explain the principles of the Gospel to his father's family. Not only was the Frost family converted to his new belief but also a number of their neighbors as well. One of their neighbors, John Bright, was ordained a Deacon by Samuel B. Frost, according to an item recorded in Bright's Diary which is now in the possession of a grandson.
Grandson, John Bright's diary also gives the itinerary of his trip from Knoxville to join the Saints, his voyage up the Mississippi River in an old boat from Tennessee to Illinois.
In Hancock, illinois on Aug. 7, 1834, when 24 years of age, Samuel B. Frost was married to Rebecca Foreman, and ten years later was called on a mission to the state of Kentucky, being appointed in May 1844. He also did missionary work in Jefferson County Iowa 1842. He was ordained an Elder in Nauvoo Ill., Nov. 29, 1844.
McCaslin's other son, James William died in October 1834, when he was a lad of fourteen and five years before his death, a baby sister Mary Ann had died when she was two years old. Isabelle was married about 1835 to Wiley Jones also a native of Tennessee. Nancy was married to Archabold Kerr of Knoxville May 1833. Fereba was married in Fairfield, Iowa about 1837 to William Harrison Barger, a native of Indiana, after his death by drowning July 23, 1858, Fereba married Rev. John E. Beatty at Sidney, Iowa Feb. 1862.
McCaslin being a strong Methodist hated to break the Sabbath but he shot and killed a big turkey and had it the next day for the wedding when Martha Mc Kinney, or Patsy as she was called, was married to Harmon Oakes in the spring of 1840.
After becoming interested in Mormonism, McCaslin was eager to join the people of his faith. But it isn't known just when he and his family left their home in Knox county and began their journey to Iowa. They went first to Memphis where McCaslin worked for a short time before beginning their voyage to Iowa and Illinois. While in Jefferson County Iowa McCaslin and his wife Penina Frost joined the L. D. S. Church and were baptized by their son Samuel B. Frost. They had waited to join the Church until their son could perform the ceremony in the winter of 1840 or 1841. He also baptized other members of his family. He went to Bear Creek Branch, Illinois during the winter and baptized his sister Martha, and several others in February, 1841 in Bear Creek. The stream was frozen over and they had to cut a hole in the ice before the baptisms could be performed.
Martha was the sixth child of McCaslin and was married in Jefferson Co. Iowa in 1840. She was living at the home of her sister Fereba F. Barger and her parents who were living in Indian territory left their ten year old daughter Margaret at home with a big dog to protect her while they attended the wedding supper Fereba's.
McCaslin Frost was also a resident of Hancock Co. Illinois and both he and his wife Penina were endowed at the Nauvoo Temple on 5th Jan. 1846. His wife Penina and daughter Martha were members of the Relief Society when it was first organized that year, 1842.
At the time of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the Patriarch, on 27 June 1844, the Frost family was living about five miles from Carthage jail, and when the word reached the people of the ruthless murder of their beloved Prophet and his brother, they could hardly believe it and sent messengers to investigate.
It was a crushing blow to the Saints, and almost more than they could endure. But they listened to those in authority, although they could have called out the Nauvoo Legion to avenge the deaths of their leaders, they allowed their enemies to go in peace, and waited for the law to punish the assassins. The Frosts cold see from the doorway of their home, the smoke from other Mormon villages which were being burned by mobs. McCaslin moved his family from this home soon after this time.
Of the six of McCaslin's children who grew to adulthood all were married and five of them came west and made their homes sometime during the westward migration. Four joined the L.D.S. Church and came to Utah. Later during the 1860's Aunt Isabelle F. Jones came to Idaho and settled for a short time in Lost River but moved later to California and settled there. She died there.
Mother Frost was very sick for some time. She died September 8th, 1869 in Richmond, Cache Co., Utah. They were living with their youngest daughter Margaret E. Rawlins and family. Father Frost remained with the Rawlins family. They moved to Lewiston, Cache Co., Utah which became the permanent home. McCaslin made violins but lost his hearing before his death so someone else tuned them for him then he could play the old tunes he knew. After about a two week illness, father Frost died 12 May 1874 at Lewiston.
Both Grandfather and Grandmother had patriarchal blessings in Alpine, Utah, 16 March 1857 by Elmer Harris
A blessing by Elmer Harris, Patriarch upon the head of McCaslin Frost, son of James and Isabella Frost, born December 11th, 1786 at Rockingham County, North Carolina.
Brother McCaslin I lay my hands upon your head in the name of Jesus of Nazareth and place upon you a father's blessing. Thou art of the seed of Abraham and came down through the lineage of Ephraim therefore thou art a legal heir to the priesthood which has came down through the lineage of the fathers even unto thee. Thou art also entitled to the good things of the Earth and the fruits thereof. Thy posterity shall become numerous and thou shalt live to see thy children's children. Thou shalt have seen many days of toil and affliction but thy evil days are drawing to a close and thy latter days shall be better than thy former. Thy days shall be lengthened out until thou art satisfied with life. The power of the highest shall rest upon you to comfort and console you in your declining years and the desires of thy heart shall be given you. Rejoice therefore in your God for he is nigh unto all who seek him diligently. Fear not but keep the commandments of God and all those blessings shall be made sure unto you together with all former blessings and by the authority of the Holy Priesthood I seal this, a father's blessing upon thy head in the name of Jesus Christ. I seal you up unto eternal lives, even so, Amen.