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Fred Kotter Missionary Letters

Identifier: MS-163


The Fred Kotter Collection was donated by F. Ralph Kotter in November 2001. This collection contains sixty-four letters written from Fred Kotter to his family while on a mission in Germany for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fred served from 1902-1904. The correspondence is mainly addressed to his father, Henry Kotter and his sister, Nora Kotter. The letters detail Fred’s experiences while serving a mission in Hamburg, Dresden, and the Saxony region. Of particular interest are the letters that contain information on the banishment of Mormon missionaries from various cities and regions in Germany. Fred provides a copy of his banishment papers written in German. There are also four letters written to Henry Kotter in German that remain untranslated. Biographical information was taken from The Life of Henry Herman Ludvig Kotter and His Family, edited by Sharon and Leon Kotter and Marilyn and Kay Freeman. It was privately published in July 1998.


  • Creation: 1901 - 1904

Biographical / Historical

Biographical Information of Fredrick (Fred) Oscar Kotter

Fredrick Oscar Kotter was born in Brigham City, Utah on 16 January 1880. He was the fourth son and seventh child of eight born to Henry and Petrina Kotter. His mother died in 1890 when he was ten years old. Three years later his father married a younger woman, Wilhelmina Albertina Erickson. They referred to their stepmother lovingly as “Aunt Minnie.” Fred went through the normal course of schooling for the times, finishing some three years of high school. His education was supplemented by on-the-job training at the hand of his father and older brothers on the farm.

In the later 1800's, his work on the farm was most helpful in supporting Henry and Will on their missions. Later on, Fred was also able to go on a mission, and like his brothers, he went to Germany, the land of his father’s birth. While on his mission (1902 to 1904), he was able to travel to the town of Haustenbeck and visit the area where his father lived. None of his relatives were members of the Church, so he took the opportunity to do a little “missionary work” as explained in his letter.

After his mission, Fred returned to Brigham City but did not go out to work on the farm. He decided that it was time to pursue his own interests. Fred’s first substantial employment was with the Utah Independent Telephone Company. He was then employed by the Western Electric Company repairing telephone switchboards, and later as a carpenter of Salt Lake Hardware Company.

Fred met Bertha Midgley and on 18 November 1914, they were married in the Salt Lake Temple. Fred and Bertha became parents on the 8 December 1915 when Ralph was born. He was followed by Nola in 1920 and Virginia in 1923. On 15 February 1938, Bertha passed away after battling ovarian cancer. In 1946, Fred married Edith Midgley Furner, his former wife’s niece.

Fred was out mowing the lawn in early April and suffered a stroke. He passed away April 4, 1968 at the age of eighty-eight.


1 Boxes

Language of Materials



Fd 1 Letter from William Kotter to his family regarding his mission in Stettin, Germany: April 22, 1901

Fd 2 Letter to Henry Kotter: April 21, 1902

Fd 3 Letter to Henry Kotter regarding Fred’s arrival in Germany: May 6, 1902

Fd 4 Letter to Nora: May 15, 1902

Fd 5 Letter to Henry concerning Fred’s first weeks in Hamburg: May 23, 1902

Fd 6 Letter to Henry, Nora, Aunt Minnie, and children about Fred’s moving to Bremen : June 2, 1902

Fd 7 Letter to Henry and Nora: June 14, 1902

Fd 8 Letter to Henry containing Fred’s banishment from Bremen: July 8, 1902

Fd 9 Letter to Henry providing the details of the banishment from Bremen: July 8, 1902

Fd 10 Letter to Nora concerning her failing eyesight and Ella’s marriage: July 29, 1902

Fd 11 Letter to Henry regarding Fred’s transfer to Neumunster: July 29, 1902

Fd 12 Letter to Nora wishing her Happy Birthday: August 5,1902

Fd 13 Letter to Henry: August 13, 1902

Fd 14 Letter to Henry: September 3, 1902

Fd 15 Letter to Henry: September 12, 1902

Fd 16 Letter to Nora: September 22, 1902

Fd 17 Letter to Henry: October 4, 1902

Fd 18 Letter to Henry about Fred’s possible visit to his father’s family: October 18, 1902

Fd 19 Letter to Henry: December 9, 1902

Fd 20 Letter to Henry concerning Fred’s first Christmas in Germany: December 2, 1902

Fd 21 Letter to Henry about Fred’s birthday: January 17, 1903

Fd 22 Letter to Henry about Fred’s banishment: February 2, 1903

Fd 23 Letter to Henry with details about Fred’s banishment from Bielefeld: February 6, 1903

Fd 24 Letter to Henry with more information on the banishment and Fred’s visit to his Uncle Frederick: March 5, 1903

Fd 25 Letter to Henry: March 20, 1903

Fd 26 Letter to Nora: April 3, 1903

Fd 27 Letter to Henry in German: April 3, 1903

Fd 28 Letter to Henry: April 22, 1903

Fd 29 Letter to Henry discussing more about the missionary banishment from Germany: May 20, 1903

Fd 30 Letter to Henry in German: June 1, 1903

Fd 31 Letter to Henry: June 16, 1903

Fd 32 Letter to Henry concerning Fred’s trip to Hamburg and seeing the Kaiser: June 26, 1903

Fd 33 Letter to Henry about Fred’s transfer to Saxony: July 6, 1903

Fd 34 Letter to Nora: July 6, 1903

Fd 35 Letter to Henry about Saxony: July 18, 1903

Fd 36 Letter to Henry about Fred’s visit to Uncle Frederick: August 19, 1903

Fd 37 Letter to Henry: September 17, 1903

Fd 38 Letter to Henry and Nora: October 7, 1903

Fd 39 Letter to Henry: October 21, 1903

Fd 40 Letter to Henry about Fred’s visit with Uncle August: October 31, 1903

Fd 41 Letter to Henry about “Buss und Gebet Tag”: November 18, 1903

Fd 42 Letter to Henry: December 7, 1903

Fd 43 Excerpt taken from a letter dated in 1904

Fd 44 Letter to Henry about Fred’s Christmas: January 6, 1904

Fd 45 Letter to Henry in German and a letter to Nora: January 16, 1904

Fd 46 Letter to Henry: February 3, 1904

Fd 47 Letter to Henry concerning Freda’s (Fred’s sister-in-law) death: February 15, 1904

Fd 48 Letter to Henry: February 29, 1904

Fd 49 Letter to Henry about the banishment from Dresden: March 15, 1904

Fd 50 Letter to Henry about Fred’s enrollment as a student to stay in Dresden: March 27, 1904

Fd 51 Letter to Henry about Fred’s experiences in Dresden as a “student”: April 14, 1904

Fd 52 Letter to Henry: April 27, 1904

Fd 53 Letter to Nora contains some information on the missionary banishment from Saxony: May 13, 1904

Fd 54 Letter to Henry detailing Fred’s meeting of Apostle Heber J. Grant: June 13, 1904

Fd 55 Letter to Nora containing information on problems with a member named Paul Tonnellier: July 1, 1904

Fd 56 Letter to Henry: July 14, 1904

Fd 57 Letter to Henry about the drought in Dresden: July 29, 1904

Fd 58 Letter to Henry about Fred’s banishment from Dresden: August 15, 1904

Fd 59 Letter to Henry in German: August 30, 1904

Fd 60 Letter to Henry: September 17, 1904

Fd 61 Letter to Henry: September 30, 1904

Fd 62 Letter to Henry about Fred’s leaving Germany: October 31, 1904

Fd 63 Letter to Henry about Fred’s arrival in London and visit to family in Schoenmark: November 16, 1904

Fd 64 Letter to Henry about Fred’s journey home: November 23, 1904

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the WSU Stewart Library Special Collections Repository

3921 Central Campus Drive Dept 2901
Ogden UT 84408