Skip to main content

Henry Yaple Collection

Identifier: RH-A-2278

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of personal documents and photographs of Zepha Lynn Pulver Spencer, of southwest Michigan.

The diaries provide a glimpse into her life, including her daily activities, primarily describing events regarding family, the weather, baking, chores, and religion. The collection also contains a book of poems, most of which were written by herself, and a few that were not. Many of the poems surround themes of family, expressing love, and religious sentiments. The photograph of Zepha Spencer and the Spencer family provides a visual representation of the family during the period it was taken. Whereas the family photograph is in black and white and shows Zepha Spencer in her middle age, the portrait photograph of Zepha Spencer is in color and was taken in her old age.

The small blue notebook written in 1955 and 1956 is filled mostly with scripture verses and the occasional more contemporary quote. The correspondence book details the author's daily activities, including who she talked to, what she bought, and who she sent checks to, as well as her donations to certain charities such as the American Bible Society and the Rescue Society. Additionally, there is a copy of the 1905 Oak Leaves yearbook from the Michigan Female Seminary, which was owned by Jane Mears, the grandmother of the donor. The yearbook includes information about members of the Michigan Seminary, a list of students, school clubs/societies, social and extracurricular events of note which the students engaged in, and short stories, poems, and other narratives written by the students.


  • Creation: 1920-1976


Biographical / Historical

Zepha Lynn Pulver Spencer was born in 1887 and died in 1983 in Branch County, Michigan.


.5 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Henry Yaple in 2001.

Physical Description

The collection amounts to .5 cubic feet and contains 11 items dating from 1905-1978. This includes five diaries dating from 1920-1976 which document the daily life of Zepha Spencer, encompassing her family, church, cooking, and cleaning. The collection also contains a book of scripture verses, a notebook of correspondence from 1958-1960, and a book of poetry from 1961-1962. Additionally, the collection includes a photograph of the Spencer family and a photograph of Zepha Lynn Spencer. Lastly, it contains a 1905 Kalamazoo, Michigan Female Seminary yearbook entitled “Oak Leaves.”

The conditions of the documents in the collection vary, although most of the collection is in good condition. The older diaries (1920 and 1921) have covers and pages that are slightly worn or stained, while the newer ones are in very good condition. The scripture verses and correspondence notebook have yellowed pages but are still in good condition. The book of poetry has loose paper in the front but is still held together. The photograph of the Spencer family and the photograph of Zepha Spencer are both in good condition. The Oak Leaves yearbook is bound in dark brown leather, its pages are stained and aged, and its binding is worn and fragile.

Genre / Form


Henry Yaple Collection finding aid
Alex Steffey, Stephanie Chapman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490