The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


September 10, 2013

The Great Chiropractic Debate



“I am a physician” shouted Stills, and Palmer responded in the same tone, “I am not a physician!” He went on to state that being a physician clouded Stills’ mind with erroneous prior learning which would always intrude upon Osteopathy, and asserted, “It will not remain pure and will revert to its background in medicine and surgery.”

The two men carried on at length with strong, short barrages on those tenets and theories and, alternately, argued the attributes of the new practices of chiropractic and osteopathy.


The Clinton City Directories tell us that osteopaths got a head-start here and, in 1913, there were six of them listed, but only two chiropractors. But, in a few short years, the numbers were reversed! Early osteopaths like Dr. J. R. Johnson had a directory ad that stated: “NO DRUGS, NO KNIFE, NO FAITH CURES,” so at that time their two approaches to healing were very similar.


In 1913, Dr. C. D. Corwin was Clinton’s first chiropractor, with a practice at 613-2nd St. One of the most famous early chiropractors was Dr. C.P. Huey, who had his office right above the Korn Bakery Lunch Room on 5th Avenue …. later Allen’s Tea Room. He befriended Otto Korn and the two of them imagined and created the wonderful 1920 Boy Scout trip to Yellowstone Park! (He practiced in Clinton until 1935.)


Through the years many names in the chiropractic field have been well known in Clinton: Droste, Stitzell, Forrest, Weigandt, Burkert, Hoffman and others. Dr. George Blohm started his practice in 1925, and it is the oldest continuous one in the city. Clinton chiropractors have long been active in many civic activities, such as Dr. Herb Burkert, who was president of the Jaycees.


In the 1920’s, a young asthmatic by the name of Patrick McAndrews met and received help from Dr. B. J. Palmer, and decided to give up his Purina sales position to become a chiropractor; then about 1928, he settled in Clinton on 6th Avenue So. He and his wife Ruth raised a large family of exceptionally bright and tall children. Two children, Dr. Virginia Clark and Dr. Jerome McAndrews, became chiropractors. Indeed, “Jerry,” who died recently at age 73, rose to the position of President at Palmer for over a decade. He started his education here in Clinton at St. Mary’s and was a tremendous basketball player, graduating in 1951 and going on to play at Palmer. (At the September 2006 Convention of the American Chiropractic Association, Dr. Jerome McAndrews was voted Chiropractor of the Year, posthumously.)

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