Lincoln Frost, 1861-1945 [RG3583.AM]


RG3583.AM: Lincoln Frost, 1861-1945

Papers: 1909-1936
Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.: Judge, 3rd Nebraska District
Size: 3.0 cu.ft.; 6 boxes


Lincoln Frost was born January 14, 1861, at Cotesburg, Delaware County, Iowa, the son of Lyman and Laura Gray Frost. He came to Lincoln, Nebraska with his parents in 1868, and attended Lancaster County schools. He received his BA from the University of Nebraska in 1886 and then attended Johns Hopkins. Admitted to the practice of law in 1889, he was a member of the law firm of Sawyer, Snell, and Frost until his election as 3rd District Judge in 1898.

On November 19, 1890, he was married to Jennie C. Bonnell and they had two sons, Lincoln, Jr. and Harold B. Following the termination of his judgeship in 1912, he returned to private practice. In 1923 he was appointed by Governor Bryan as judge of the juvenile court. In 1924 he was appointed Secretary of the Public Welfare Department where he served until 1928 when he was again elected judge of the 3rd district. He was re-elected for 9 years until his retirement in 1937.

Judge Frost had been vice president and member of the Board of Directors of the Midwest Life Insurance Company since 1919 and a member of the executive committee since 1906 and Counsel from 1912-1928. As a member of the National Probation Association, Judge Frost was an ardent advocate of probation for first-time offenders. He was also an active worker for prison reform and a member of the Nebraska Prison Society.

For many years he was president of the Lancaster County Humane Society, and also served as President of the Social Service Club for 10 years, and President of the Society for the Friendless for 25 years. Judge Frost was a member of the National Conference of Social Work and National Child Labor Committee as well as a member of AF and AM, a 32nd degree Mason of the Scottish Rite, Sesostris Shrine, Open Forum, Eastridge Club, and MWA. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce for 40 years and was an honorary member at the time of his death on November 26, 1945.

Survivors at the time of his death included his wife Jennie, a son Lincoln, Jr., a daughter-in-law, Mrs. H.B. Frost and five grandchildren.


This collection consists of six boxes of manuscript material arranged in seven series: (1) Correspondence, 1887; 1912-1940; (2) Issues; (3) Speeches and reports; (4) Programs and bulletins; (5) Legislative Bills – Reform, 1924-1937; (6) Printed matter; and (7) Miscellaneous. This collection relates primarily to Lincoln Frost’s career as Judge of the 3rd Judicial District of Nebraska, 1912-1927, and his work on prison reform and the juvenile court system.

The Correspondence of Series 1 contains letters from officials in states other than Nebraska, detailing prison reform experiments and advances. Correspondence with various social agencies, such as the Nebraska Prisoners’ Aid Association and the Nebraska Council for Social Work, is included. The correspondence Frost conducted as part of the Nebraska Civil Service Reform Association, 1918-1927, Folder 3, concerns promotion of the ideal of the merit system for government services. Series 2, Issues, is comprised of material Judge Lincoln Frost collected relating to various social and public welfare programs. These issues include The Federal Maternity and Infancy Act, Child and Labor, Juvenile Courts, Prison Reform, prohibition, the Local Public Welfare Study Committee, and Medical Care. Pamphlets and reports for each of these issues are includes.

The speeches and reports in Series 3 consist of addresses read and manuscripts written by Judge Lincoln Frost on many of the issues found in Series 2. This includes papers and notes on the juvenile court system, child labor, the desire for a detention home in Lancaster County, state farm correctional facilities, probation, public welfare, health care, and the civil administration code. Series 4 consists of programs and bulletins for the meetings of various social welfare groups. Folder 1 deals specifically with the Nebraska Conference for Social Work, providing a brief history of what occurred at its first thirty sessions (1900-1930), various committee reports, and programs for its annual meetings, 1919-1930. Material on two other groups, the National Conference of Social Work and the Nebraska Conference of Charities and Corrections, is in Folder 2. Various other programs are in Folder 3.

Material on Legislative Bills of Reform, 1924-1937, is covered in Series 5. The main items of reform that are discussed are custodial (detention) farms, juvenile courts, and the federal government’s civil service practices. Some items of correspondence are attached to specific bills within the series. Series 6 consists of printed matter, mostly mimeographed articles and pamphlets on child welfare, the juvenile court and child labor. The newspaper clippings in this series deal with various aspects of crime and the penal system. Miscellaneous material in Series 7 includes a volume dealing with the Lincoln, Nebraska Republican Central Committee; court cases involving Lincoln Frost; reports dealing with naturalization, health, and public welfare; receipts and statements; minutes of the Social Service Club; and advertisements and cards.

Note: See the photo component [RG3583.PH] for related images.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1887; 1912-1940

Box 1

  1. 1887; 1912-1929
  2. 1930-1940
  3. Nebraska Civil Service Reform Association, 1918-1927

Series 2 – Issues

  1. The Federal Maternity and Infancy Act
  2. Child Labor
  3. Juvenile Courts

Box 2

  1. Prisons
  2. Prohibition
  3. Local Public Welfare Study Committee Reports, 1939
  4. Local Public Welfare Study Committee Reports, 1940
  5. Medical Care

Series 3 – Speeches and Reports, 1904-1924

  1. Report on liquor interests in Lincoln by Precinct, undated
    Report to Lancaster County Bar Association to recommend changes in procedure, n.d.
    Speech – The Child in Court, n.d.
    Report of Committee of Lancaster County Bar Association to recommend change, n.d.
    Report on Procedure in Court, n.d.
    Speech, T.F.A. Williams to Lancaster County Bar Association, 28 February 1914
    Report of Judge Frost at Juvenile Court
  2. Speech – Juvenile Court in its relation to the home
    Speech – The Work of the Juvenile Court Association
    Speech – The Pending Child Labor Amendment
    Speech – The Home and the Juvenile Court
    Speech – Needed Changes in Juvenile Court Law
    Speech – Procedure in the Juvenile Court
    Nebraska Prisoners Protective Society Constitution
    Report on Procedural Reform – Lancaster County Bar Association
    Speech – A Plea for Saner Methods of Dealing with Lawbreakers
    Speech – The Juvenile Court and the Child

Box 3

  1. Speech – The Extension of the Juvenile Court Over Nebraska
    Report of Nebraska Children’s Code Comm, 1920
    Report of Nebraska Children’s Code Comm, 1920
    Speech – Court of Domestic Relations
    Speech – Reciprocal Obligations of Father and Son
    Speech – The Organization of the Juvenile Court in Lincoln
    Speech – Penology Appeals to Science
    Speech – The Monroe Doctrine and the League of Nations (2)
    Speech – Optimist Club of Lincoln, January 14, 1937
    Research material
  2. Prison Reform
    Detention Home in Lancaster County
    State Farm Correctional Facilities
    Society for the Friendless
  3. Juvenile Court
    Public Welfare and Health Programs
    Civil Administration Code
  4. Live Heroism
    The First American
    A Contemporary of Luther
    What Do You Think of the Showing?
    Notes on World War I

Series 4 – Programs and Bulletins

  1. Nebraska Conference for social work
  2. National Conference of Social Work; Nebraska Conference of Charities and Corrections
  3. Miscellaneous programs

Series 5 – Legislative Bills – Reform, 1924-1937

Box 4

  1. Reform Legislation, 1924-1937

Series 6 – Printed Matter

  1. Child Welfare – Mostly mimeographed articles from Child Welfare Committee of America, Inc., New York City
  2. Nebraska Juvenile Court and Probation Survey (1928)
    Children working in the sugar beet fields of the North Platte Valley
  3. Child Welfare – pamphlets

Box 5

  1. Probation – pamphlets
  2. Juvenile Court
  3. Newspaper clippings, Juvenile Court, State Farm Correctional Facilities, Prison Conditions, and Crime
  4. Miscellaneous newspaper clippings
  5. Miscellaneous newspaper clippings

Box 6

  1. Miscellaneous newspaper clippings

Series 7 – Miscellaneous

  1. Lincoln, Nebraska Republican Central Committee, 1896-1897 – includes newspaper clippings, delegate listings
  2. Court Cases involving Lincoln Frost – Includes law brief prepared by Judge Lincoln Frost
  3. Looser reports – includes pamphlets on naturalization, health, public welfare
  4. Receipts and Statements
  5. Minutes of Social Service Club
  6. Advertisements and greeting cards

Subject headings:

Frost, Lincoln, 1861-1945
Judges — Nebraska
Juvenile delinquency
Prisons — Nebraska
Public welfare — Nebraska

AIF    12-12-1979
Encoded TMM    04-01-2010

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