Enoch W. Frost, of Texarkana, Ark., is a conservative man who is enterprising and successful. It is an exploded theory that the conservative spirit lacks enterprise. Prudence brings success if tempered with clear thinking, and it is these attributes, mingled with industry, which have helped E. W. Frost to an unassailable position in the commercial world of the southwest.
E. W. Frost was born at Eldorado, Union county, Arkansas, January 14, 1848. The head of the Frost family migrated from Jackson, Tenn., to Arkansas in 1844. The family was of Scotch-Irish descent. Mr. Frost was educated in the county of his birth. The family moved to a point near Texarkana, in Lafayette (now Miller) county, Arkansas, in 1859. As a boy he worked on the plantation with his brothers and gained all the advantage which hard work in youth gives to the grown man.
Mr. Frost made his entry into the lumber business in 1881. In that year he accepted an opportunity to buy a little portable mill located about two and one-half miles from Texarkana. Interested with him in this proposition was William T. Ferguson, now a prominent lumberman of St. Louis.
It is a notable fact that the operation was a successful one, as has been every other enterprise of this conservative, enterprising man.
Never but once in his history has E. W. Frost failed to pay his employees on pay day. That one time rsulted from the robbery of the train which carried the money for the Frost payroll.
Messrs. Frost and Ferguson came out into the open with their milling operations at a point on the St. Louis Southwestern railway known as Milton’s Switch.
In 1883 Mr. Frost opened up an operation at Genoa, Miller county, Arkansas, under the firm name of E. W. Frost & Co. Four years later Mr. Frost and his partners wore foremost in the organization of the Bodcaw Lumber Company, at Stamps, Ark. This interest he sold in 1889 and the following year he bought a controlling interest in the Red River Lumber Company, situated near what was then New Lewisville and is now Lewisville, Ark. This institution was the Red River Lumber Company, yet in operation at Frostville.
One of Mr. Frost’s most successful ventures was in the organization of the Lufkin Land & Lumber Company, which occurred in 1899.
Mr. Frost is still president of the Red River Lumber Company and looks personally after its general affairs. In the last few years he has been delegating to younger but no more virile men much of the active detail. Of late years he has been most actively interested in the banking business at Texarkana. He was first vice president of the State Bank of Texarkana, now the State National bank, and became its president in 1904, which position he held for two years, when he was succeeded in that office by his son, E. A. Frost. He was formerly president of the State Savings & Trust Company, of Texarkana, of which E. A. Frost is now president.
E. W. Frost is a tall, angular, slenderly built man, who shows in every appearance his direct descent from Scotch-Irish ancestry. He is courteous and affable though not voluble. To one who has known him for two decades he has always remained the same, except possibly to grow a trifle younger, each year more brisk and ambitious in his associations with men.
His conservatism is not a pose. He asks one to wait until the day after tomorrow for his decision, but makes you know that it is necessary and leaves one wondering why he had not thought of that himself.