Frels was a graduate of Sam Houston Normal Institute (now State University), also earning degrees from the University of Texas (B.A., 1921) and Columbia University, New York (M.A., 1926). Returning to Texas, Frels taught in elementary and high schools from 1897 until she returned to Huntsville to become an Associate Professor of English in 1922. She also served as Dean of Women in the summer of 1927 and as the Acting Head of the English Department in the summer of 1928. She retired from the university in 1944.
An on-campus apartment building (existing 1957-2006) was named in her honor.
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