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Merle Garton Phillips scrapbook

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0006

Content Description

This scrapbook includes greeting cards and postcards, invitations and programs related to college and church events, many news clippings from local newspapers and from the college newspaper, The TACK, Buena Vista College cheers, and other records of early student life at BVC.


  • 1927-1930


Biographical / Historical

Merle Phillips (née Garton) was born on April 2, 1907 in Kingston, Arkansas. At the age of four months, her family moved to Iowa. Merle Garton was a student at Buena Vista College from 1926 to 1930. She graduated with two bachelor’s degrees, one in Mathematics, the other in the combined field of Psychology and Education. Merle continued her education at the University of Iowa, receiving a master’s degree in 1933 in Social Welfare. She also received a teaching certificate with the intention of teaching math, but did not, instead working at the Rock Island Armory during World War II and later at the Martin Senour Paint Company (now known as Sherwin Williams Paint Company), analyzing paint samples. During her time at the University of Iowa, Merle met her future husband, Leonard Phillips, and they married on May 26, 1937. The two were married until February 13, 1968, the day Leonard passed away. Leonard was a lepidopterist. His butterfly collection was donated to Buena Vista College after his death. After she retired at age 70, Merle Phillips became a writer, penning 11 autobiographies and memoirs, the latest of which, Beautiful Pebbles, was published well after her 100th birthday. She died at the age of 111 on August 18, 2018, living longer than her 11 other siblings.


.83 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Condition Description

The scrapbook has been disbound and each page has been placed in a polyester sleeve. Some individual items have been placed in separate sleeves.
Merle Phillips scrapbook
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Buena Vista University Archives Repository

610 West Fourth Street
Storm Lake IA 50588 United States