Bonner Frizzell was born in the Pine Grove Community, near Athens, in 1882. He was the son of William Asachel and Frances Missouri (Knight) Frizzell. Bonner attended high school at Bruce Academy in Athens and then moved to Tyler to attend Tyler Commercial College. At eighteen, he began his career in education by teaching algebra and geometry to a pair of children. He then entered Texas Christian University (then in Waco), where he graduated in 1909 with both B.A. and M.A. degrees. He later attended the Pulitzer School of Journalism at Columbia University 1910-1911.
After teaching for a few years at Texas A&M University, Frizzell accepted a position in 1913 as principal at Rusk Grade School in Palestine; that same year, he married Jennie Elizabeth Keller. In 1919, Bonner was named Superintendent and Business Manager of Palestine Schools, a position he would hold for the next 31 years. Bonner went on to complete Doctoral studies at the University of Texas during the summers of 1925 and 1926.
Frizzell was involved in many civic endeavors. He served as President of the Palestine Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce and the Y.M.C.A. He was also a life member of the Texas State Teachers Association, where he served as Vice President in 1925.
In 1951, after Frizzell's retirement, the student-produced Arc Light
paid tribute to him with these words: "the students of Palestine High School admire him for his great knowledge, respect him for his fine sense of sportsmanship and fair play, love him for his kindness and sympathy and above all, count him as their friend." Dr. Frizzell remained a tireless promoter of public education until his death in 1968.