Skip to main content

Spencer, Verna Moulton, 1887-1982



  • Existence: 1887 - 1982


Verna Moulton Spencer was born on her family's farm near Maquoketa, Iowa, on August27, 1887. She was the youngest of six children born to Thomas Jefferson Moulton and Lovina Coleman Moulton. Four of the six siblings including Spencer eventually attended and graduated from college. Spencer graduated from the College of Liberal Arts at the State University of Iowa in 1910.

Spencer spent the first nine years of her life on her family's farm. When her father stopped farming to devote more time to his farm insurance business, he moved the family to Maquoketa. Spencer began her elementary education in a country school and completed her elementary and secondary education in the Maquoketa school system. After high school she received a teaching certificate from Jackson County and taught country school for one year before attending college.

Spencer spent four happy years at the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa). Three of those years she lived in the Shaffer House at 328 South Dubuque Street with nine other women who were all part of the same literary society. The society was named "Hesperia," and the women were referred to as "Heps." She was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Spencer met her future husband, LeRoy W. Spencer, while at the university. They were married in her family's home in Maquoketa on July 3, 1912. The couple owned and operated Spencer's Harmony Hall in Iowa City, Iowa from 1912 to 1962—over fifty years. In 1963 the couple moved to Winter Haven, Florida, where they lived until LeRoy Spencer's death in1969. Spencer moved back to Iowa City and lived there until her own death on November 20, 1982.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Verna Moulton Spencer papers

Identifier: IWA0145

Maquoketa, Iowa, native who owned and operated Spencer's Harmony Hall with her husband from 1912 to 1962.

Dates: 1899-1994