(May 6, 1899-May 28, 1989). The son of Otto N. Frenzel I and the nephew of John P. Frenzel II (See john p. frenzel ii and otto n. frenzel i) and a native of Indianapolis, Frenzel attended Cornell University after graduating from Shortridge High School. While a student at Cornell he enlisted in the Naval Reserve and served in the United States Navy during World War I. Returning to Indianapolis, Frenzel began his career in banking as a messenger boy in his father’s Merchants National Bank in 1919. Progressing through all offices, he served as the bank’s president from 1945 to 1966, chairman of the board from 1966 to 1969, and retired as chairman of the executive committee of Merchants National Bank and Trust Company two weeks before his death. He also served as president of the Indiana Bankers Association and as a member of the executive committee of the American Bankers Association.

One man leans out of the window and another leans out the door of a train's engine car.
John and Otto Frenzel, Jr., 1947 Credit: Indiana Historical Society View Source

Throughout his banking career, Frenzel was a director of many Indianapolis companies including Indianapolis Power And Light, Stokely-Van Camp, American United Life Insurance, and American States Insurance. He also served as a director of the Pennsylvania Railroad and Youngstown Sheet and Tube. From 1936 to 1945, Frenzel served as president of the Indiana Trust Company.

In civic service, Frenzel served as a director for a number of groups: the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce, Indianapolis Hospital Development Association, United Fund of Greater Indianapolis (United Way), Indianapolis Civic Progress Association, and the Indianapolis Chamber Of Commerce. He was also a trustee of both Park School (see Park Tudor) and Butler University. A member of the Traders Point Hunt Club, Frenzel served as its president from 1936 to 1938. During World War II, he served on the War Finance Committee, and in 1954 he was appointed to a four-year term as chairman of the Indiana Toll Bridge Commission.

In recognition of his many civic contributions, Frenzel was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Indiana Central College (University Of Indianapolis) in 1965.

Revised February 2021

Help improve this entry

Contribute information, offer corrections, suggest images.

You can also recommend new entries related to this topic.