History:  The Turn of the Last Century; The First Decade
Written by Chris Dalrymple, DC   
Thursday, November 05, 2015 05:59 PM

At the turn of the last century the chiropractic profession, and the medical attacks upon it, were greatly augmented.  1901 saw D. D. Palmer teaching 5 chiropractic students and the Palmer School of Magnetic Cure change its name to "Dr. Palmer's Chiropractic School & Cure.” 

1901 also saw the American Medical Association reorganized so that "the county society is the initial unit and … portal of entry to membership in both the State and national bodies.”  The AMA notes that “there is but one recognized county society in a county and but one State association in a State in affiliation with the national organization.”  It also notes that “in almost every State of the Union there are physicians who have continued to be listed as members of the American Medical Association, although they are not members of the local society or of the State Society in affiliation with the American Medical Association.”  The AMA notified "every physician in the different States who was not a legal member ... that his name would be dropped from the list of members if he did not become a member of an affiliated society on or before March 1, 1903.”  As a result of organized medicine’s demand, the Texas Medical Association grew dramatically reaching 2,415 by the 1903 deadline.

In 1901 the Medical Association of Texas renamed itself the State Medical Association of Texas.  Under pressure from this American Medical Association affiliated State Medical Association, the Texas legislature repealed all existing laws on medical practice and divided the field into three parts – medical, eclectic and homeopathic.  With this law the Texas legislature established the State Board of Medical Examiners.  The law specified "that no member shall be a professor or teacher in any medical school,” effectively taking the power of medical licensure away from faculty members, sounding the death-knell of proprietary schools.

In 1902 B. J. Palmer graduated Palmer Chiropractic School at age 20 and D. D. decided to go to the Pacific Coast moving all furnishings from his 21 room Sanitarium to Portland, Oregon.  In June of that same year he relocated to Southern California.  The young Dr. Palmer grasped the reins as “manager," garnered a loan for the school and in the next few years returned the institution to profitability.

Dr. Andrew P. Davis, MD, DO, DC is probably the first Doctor of Chiropractic to settle in Texas.  It was about 1879 when Dr. Andrew P. Davis, moved to Corsicana, Texas, where he was the pioneer homeopathic physician. Forced to suspend his practice for ill health, he went to New York City. He returned to Texas, in the spring of 1880 and settled in Dallas. In 1898 he graduated from D.D. Palmer’s School of Chiropractic and returned to Texas in August 1903, staying until August 1906. 

In 1904 D. D. Palmer returns from the west coast and joins B. J. in managing the Palmer School of Chiropractic  During this year "Innate intelligence" would make it's public debut as a part of chiropractic philosophy.

The Dallas Medical College closed its doors in 1904.

In early 1906 Dr. Dan Reisland of Minnesota employed a local lawyer to write a chiropractic licensing bill and asked his district’s legislator to introduce it.  The bill passed both houses of the Minnesota legislature and went to the governor’s desk for signature.  However, the governor vetoed it instead.  It becomes the very first chiropractic law introduced into any state.

As a result of not being eligible to become licensed as a medical practitioner under the sanctions introduced by“organized medicine”, in early 1906 both D. D. and B. J. Palmer were indicted in Scott County, Iowa, on charges of violating Iowa's medical practice act.  The Palmer’s mounted a meager defense, calling no witnesses and insisting that his methods and medicine were distinctly different and that he had not practiced medicine when practicing chiropractic. The jury promptly convicted him, and the judge offered a choice of penalties: a fine of $350 or 105 days in Scott County Jail. As a matter of principle, D.D. chose incarceration as a form of protest and tried to make the best of it. However, after 23 days behind bars, he capitulated, paid his fine and was released. 

In August of 1906, Palmer College established its annual August homecoming parade.  During this initial homecoming a protective legal society was established, the Universal Chiropractors' Association (UCA).  The new organization involved membership dues paid to a central treasury, from which the costs of legal services would be paid when a chiropractor faced charges for unlicensed practice.  The Universal Chiropractic Association’s first major legal victory came in 1907 when Shegataro Morikubo, DC, was successfully defended against charges of unlicensed practice in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

D.D. Palmer relinquished interest in the Palmer School of Chiropractic in 1906 for the sum of $2,196.79. He moved to Medford, Oklahoma where his brother, Thomas J. Palmer, a newspaper publisher, would assist him in purchasing a small grocery store where he practiced chiropractic in his spare time.

By 1907 there are 14 chiropractic colleges documented, 7 of them are in Oklahoma City. Future Texas Chiropractic Association Keeler Plaque recipient John A. Kent, D.C., learning that Willard Carver was going to establish his Carver-Denny Kiropractic College, went to Oklahoma to await its opening and became its first student.  He graduated in the first class of 5 in May 1907.

In 1907 the Texas Legislature passed stiffer requirements for application to the Board of Medical Examiners for licensure. Applicants must have attended a "reputable" medical school whose course of instruction should total 4,000 hours during four college years.  Texas physicians would henceforth have to attend a school with a four-year curriculum, and the schools would have to offer laboratory experience.

In August 1908 Willard Carver purchases Denny’s interest in the Carver-Denny Kiropractic College and it becomes the Carver Chiropractic College, “the first substantial competitor to B. J. Palmer and the Palmer Chiropractic School.”  These two competitors would be the source for most of the doctors drifting southward into Texas from the early 1900s to the 1920s. 

A graduate of the Carver-Denny Kiropractic College in Oklahoma City, Dr. J. N. Stone,  D.C., M.T., D.O., PsC, M.S., was on friendly terms with B.J. Palmer, D.C., and a friend of Alva Gregory, M.D., D.C. and Joe Shelby Riley, D.O., D.C., president and vice-president respectively, of the Palmer-Gregory College of Chiropractic in Oklahoma City. Stone's friendly relationship with Willard Carver, LL.B., D.C. is reinforced by the fact that Carver listed "Dr. J.N. Stone, Guthrie, Oklahoma" as endorsing his application for membership in the Association of Independent Doctors, dated December 31, 1908. 

In September, 1908, a San Antonio newspaper runs a short article on chiropractic and Harvey Lillard’s recovery, and Dr. J. N. Stone founds the Chiropractic College of San Antonio, presiding until 1913. He and his wife, Ida C. Stone, practiced in San Antonio as "Kiro-Practic Spinal Masseurs" and "Nerve Specialists.” 

Dr. Clyde Keeler, who will become the creator of the Texas Chiropractic Association’s most prestigious award, continues his studies at Carver Chiropractic College in March, 1908, and graduated in July, 1910 with his D.C. and Ph.C. Degrees.

The honorary degree of PhC ("Philosopher of Chiropractic") was first awarded in 1908. Awarded to doctors of chiropractic by chiropractic colleges, the requirements for this honorary degree included high chiropractic academic achievement, postgraduate chiropractic philosophic coursework, or writing a 15,000 word essay regarding chiropractic philosophy.

While organized crime – a group of individuals working together to elicit profit through illegal and often violent methods – can be traced back to the street gangs of the 1800’s; the first decade of the new century brought the firm establishment of organized medicine – a limited group of individuals working together to elicit profit especially through the use of the legal system. The first decade of the new century closes with the firm establishment of the chiropractic profession and well over a dozen colleges of chiropractic doctors to teach the profession.  The stage is set for conflict between organized medicine and those who doubt their self proclaimed superiority.

Sources include:  The Official History of Chiropractic in Texas, by Dr. Walter R. Rhodes; 1978;  Texas Chiropractic Association, Austin, TX 78701

Keeler Committee Biographies; unpublished