Crossville News First
Staff Writer: Lisa Herrick
May 27, 2023
Amelia Lonesome Patterson Frost, born 1801, was one of the most noted and best beloved women of the early days in Cumberland county and adjoining counties in the pre-war period and was married to an important man named Elijah Frost who built the Elijah Frost Road from Crossville to Sparta, via Pomona, Pleasant Hill and Bon Air in the 1840’s. It proved to be so much better than the old Burke Road that traffic immediately switched over to it leaving Burke Road to be overcome with weeds.
Medical care was strictly non-professional and C.L. Deatherage wrote of her in the Crossville Crossville Chronicle in 1931: “One of the most noted and best-loved women of the Plateau was Amelia Patterson Frost, a mid-wife by profession and the mother of 24 children. I expect Grandma Frost helped to bring more children into the world than any woman in Tennessee.” Upon researching her children it was indicated she was the Mother of Micajah Frost, Elijah Frost II, William English Frost, Thomas Simpson Frost, Matthew Frost, Nancy Ann (Frost) Hickey, Joseph Frost, Mary Adaline (Frost) Walker, Elizabeth Jane (Frost) Wolcott, Rhoda P. (Frost) Reynolds, Sevier Frost, White Frost, Snow Frost, Winter Frost, Young Frost, Sarah Clay Frost and Hiram Joseph Frost. These are the children are actually known by name; however other records indicate she had 23 children total though the quote in the Chronicle from 1931 stated she had 24.
She was an exceptional horsewoman and rider and would ride sometimes 25 or 30 miles when called upon. The backwoods contained few roads then, only trails were in place for these journeys. She rode side-saddle and had two horses, one a blaze faced sorrel with white stockings and the other Old Jim, her saddle horse. Old Jim went all gaits and had a human like quality and intelligence to him. There was never a creek too full for Old Jim and Grandma Frost. Jim swam like a duck, and Grandma Frost would put her feet between the saddle horns and Old Jim would take her across dry. Grandma Frost died in Cumberland County in 1876, and is buried in Frost Cemetery in Cumberland County. Old Jim lived to be 31 years old.