Dr. Edward Spur Frost was known as an outstanding pioneer physician of Kandiyohi County. Before coming to Willmar, Dr. Frost practiced medicine in New York, New York for a short time then moved west to Litchfield, Minnesota where he was told by a college friend that it would be a good place to practice. However, when he arrived in Litchfield, he found that Dr. Gibson was already located there. That is what brought him to Willmar, Minnesota where he would spend the rest of his life in the practice of medicine. In early 1873, a half-block lot between Litchfield Avenue and Becker Avenue on Seventh Street West was sold to Dr. Frost where he was able to build himself a home, which would be called the Frost House. His mother, Emma Spur, came down from New Brunswick, Canada to help care for the house. From 1873 until his retirement in 1909, Dr. Frost was heavily involved in many different things. On November 28, 1873, Dr. Frost and Dr. Greaves of Atwater cared for people who were injured in a bad railroad accident. They performed at least one amputation from this accident. Again in 1873, there was another railroad accident near Benson, Minnesota where Dr. Frost attended to the wounded. In October 1887, Dr. Frost received praise for his surgical skills after he had performed a very difficult operation on a woman from Roseville who had a malignant growth in a location that made removal difficult. A couple months later in December of 1887, he and another doctor performed an autopsy on a woman, traced the path of a bullet, and were able to give an opinion as to the direction from which the shot came and the impossibility that it was self-inflicted. He was also elected coroner of Kandiyohi County as early as 1873 and held office until 1878 and again in 1889-1907. These are just some examples of Dr. Frost’s work during the first two decades of his practice in Willmar.

In 1900, part of the house was converted into the location of the first hospital in Kandiyohi County, known as the Frost Hospital. The Frost Hospital was able to accommodate for eight patients and was the location of the first steam pressure sterilizer. In 1909, the Frost Hospital closed and moved to the Johnson Building on the northeast corner of Litchfield Avenue and Third Street West and renamed Bethesda Hospital. It was staffed by doctors J.C. Jacobs, Christian Johnson, and Edward Harold Frost, the son of Dr. Edward Spur Frost.

Upon his retirement in 1909, Dr. Frost took a trip to France. After his trip, he returned to Minneapolis, where he resided until his death in 1916. The Frost House still stands on Becker Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Streets West, although it has not been used as a hospital for many years. In 1930, it was sawed into two parts and the northern part of the building was moved to the north end of the lot, where it was converted to a residence for Dr. Edward Harold Frost. The southern part was converted into apartments.

Frost House

Map Location 9