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David Booth Gottfredson professional papers, 1920-1976

Identifier: MSS 7615 Series 2 Sub-Series 2

Scope and Contents

Covers dates between 1920 and 1976 and includes David Booth Gottfredson’s professional papers; both education and medical related. Materials dated 1920-1976.


  • 1920-1976


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Gottfredson family papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

David Booth Gottfredson (1898-1977) was a doctor in the Salt Lake City and Richfield, Utah, areas and served as a colonel in World War II. David Booth Gottfredson was born November 26, 1898 to Peter Gottfredson and Alice Adell Keeler Hatch Gottfredson. He was the fourth child of their union, but the thirteenth of fourteen including children from prior marriages who lived to adulthood. He was his mother's first son, and only son to live past age 18. She therefore relied on him a great deal for her welfare and happiness. He was raised in Richfield, Utah, until 1907, when the Alice separated from Peter and moved her family to Manti to be closer to the temple. In the same year, on July 18, David was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Peter soon followed his family to Manti, and they lived together again until 1913 and Peter and Alice were officially divorced. David was 14 years old. Following their father's departure, David and his sisters helped provide for their mother and family by doing janitorial work, farming, and doing odd jobs.

He began high school in 1914, and had early inclinations to have a career in medicine, despite his mother’s lack of support. She wanted him to pursue something that would give him a lot of spare time to serve in the Church. In 1916, David was recruited for National Guard service at the Mexican border as part of the 1st Squadron of the Utah Cavalry. He went to Fort Douglas and passed the medical requirements, but was then called home by a letter from his mother stating his ineligibility due to age and means of support for his family.

He returned home in July 1916 and finished school at Manti High in May 1918 at the top of his class and delivered the class valedictory address. Later that month, he enlisted in World War I and was stationed in New Jersey for training and holding until his discharge following the armistice in July 1919. While in New Jersey he served in Company 515 of the Motor Transport Corps., and in October 1918, he suffered from the flu pandemic. During the 1919-1920 school year, David taught in the San Pete School District, mostly in Centerfield, Utah. The next summer, he moved to Salt Lake City and worked for the Salt Lake Transportation Co., where he met and became friends with his future wife’s older brother. While working in Salt Lake, he was able to make enough money to attend school in the fall at the University of Utah. He soon met Irma Grainger and the couple was married on September 13, 1922. They had five children together: Marjorie (1923-1980), Joyce (1925- ), David Booth Jr. (1930-1954), Susan (1936- ), and Peter Shelton (1949-1949).

After graduating from the University of Utah in 1924, David's young family moved to St. Louis, Missouri so he could attend Washington University for medical school from 1924-1926. He then did an internship at LDS hospital from 1926-1927, and his residency at the Salt Lake Clinic beginning in 1927. In 1928, David and his family moved to Richfield, Utah, to establish a general medicine practice where David worked until 1941. During his time there, he worked as a doctor in the community, but also became involved in various service organizations. In 1936 he was the commander of the American Legion in Richfield, and in 1937 the American Legion Utah Department Commander. He also served two terms as president of the Central Utah Medical Association and was active in the Utah and Salt Lake County Medical Association and Sons of Utah Pioneers.

In 1940 he was promoted to major in the United States Army, and was activated to prepare for conflict in 1941. He was ordered to Camp San Luis Obispo, California. The rest of the family followed him to California and rented a house. Later, he was stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington. David's oldest daughter, Marjorie, went to school at UCLA, and his son, David, Jr., because of his muscular dystrophy was placed as a long-time patient at Primary Children's Hospital, but the rest of the family accompanied him to Fort Lewis, Washington; and then to Camp Pickett, Virginia; and Fort Meade, Maryland, until 1943, when he was shipped overseas. In Virginia, David was a Lt. Colonel, commanding officer of the 5th Army Dispensary, and was promoted to Colonel on December 14, 1942. In 1943, David sailed from Fort Dix in Trenton, New Jersey, to Casablanca, Morocco, where he worked as a surgeon and medical doctor. He and his unit later moved to Naples, Italy, until the end of 1943 when he was injured in a Naples post office explosion and developed a heart condition that was serious enough for reclassification. He began recovery in hospitals in Italy and North Africa, but was eventually shipped back to the United States to a hospital in North Carolina. However, on January 17, 1944, David arrived back in Utah, met by his family at the train station. He remained in hospitals in Denver and Salt Lake City for treatment until April of 1944 and was officially discharged from the National Guard on June 29, 1944. While in the military, David received three battle citation decorations and a purple heart. In total, he spent 19 years, 5 months, and 12 days in military service.

In 1945, David commenced work in the Salt Lake Clinic, and continued to work there until his retirement in 1970. During much of that time, he worked until around noon, and then spent time with family and friends and doing family history work. Throughout the 1950s, his family changed dramatically. 1954 brought the passing of his son, David Booth Gottfredson, Jr., and both David and Irma’s mothers: Eleanor Bringhurst Grainger and Alice Adell Keeler Hatch Gottfredson. David and Irma's oldest daughter, Marjorie joined the WAC soon after World War II and then married Luel A. Marshall in 1947. Joyce married in 1955, and Susan in 1956. Then, in 1957, Irma's father, Benjamin Christopher Grainger passed away. Additions to the family include several grandchildren.

After retirement in 1970, David Booth and Irma spend the majority of their time reading, working in the temple, and being with family. Descriptions of his life post-retirement include those of religious and family events. He passed away on January 16, 1977.


16 folders

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

An additional finding aid is available in the repository upon request.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States