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Verna Moulton Spencer papers

Identifier: IWA0145

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Scope and Contents

The Verna Moulton Spencer papers date from 1899 to 1994 and measure 2 linear inches. The bulk of the material is Spencer's recollection of her childhood written in her "Reminiscences."

Biographical information (1980-1982) contains family history data sheets compiled by Dorothy Spencer Anneberg. The data sheets are of Spencer's family and her parents and grandparents. Each family sheet lists the dates of birth, marriage, and death of a couple and information about their offspring.

Recollections contains two documents, "Reminiscences" (1972) written by Verna Moulton Spencer and" Notes and explanations" (1994) written by Dorothy Spencer Anneberg. "Reminiscences" is Spencer's recollections of her earlier life from childhood through her years at the State University of Iowa. She wrote it at the request of her grandson who was a student at the University of Iowa in 1972. The story chronicles her childhood activities and her memories of home life and extended family in Maquoketa. The "Notes and explanations" were written by Anneberg, added to clarify the identity and relationship of certain individuals mentioned by Spencer in her "Reminiscences."

Memorabilia (1899-1912) includes a hand written letter(1899) by Verna Moulton Spencer to her brother, Mark Moulton, while he was attending the State University of Iowa. A leather bound commencement week invitation from the College of Liberal Arts (1910) includes Spencer's calling card. A hardbound scrapbook contains a marriage certificate and a guest register from the wedding.

Photographs (1910-1912) consists of three individual photographs and Spencer's wedding album.


  • Creation: 1899-1994


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

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.


2.00 linear inches

Language of Materials



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

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 212) were donated by Dorothy Spencer Anneberg in 1994.

Randel W. Lackore, 1994.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)