Anti-German sentiment was common during this time - Palmerston North was no exception. Mayor J.A. Nash would not allow the German residents of the town to be penalised for their heritage, as they were in other locations, but "German sounding" streetnames were altered to more patriotic counterparts. In the case of Frits street, which was changed to Russell Street in 1917, the usage had no German connection at all. It was named after Frits Jenssen, a Norwegian local businessman and one-time Mayor of Palmerston North.