No pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage
ground of truth. - BACON.
The starting of the first school for the teaching of a new science
find the presentation of old sciences from an entirely new standpoint
is an Herculean task. The American School of Osteopathy is the first
and only institution known to history to hold this unique position.
At the time it was started, Osteopathy, as a complete system of
therapeutics, was an idea in the mind of only one man, Dr. A. T.
Still; and its practical applications were unknown to all but him,
his sons, and a few friends. Anatomy and physiology had long been
taught in medical colleges, but not as they must be taught to make
them of practical value in most cases in which Osteopathy is to
be applied. Dr. Still was not a teacher by training. He was not
skilled in the arts of the pedagogue. He was not surrounded by men
who had achieved prominence as educators. In fact, his radical ideas,
his originality, his short cut methods of doing things, all tended
to repel, at first, the man or woman educated in the conventional
methods of the schools. The osteopathic idea had to grow in the
mind of the educated man just as it had grown in the mind of the
founder of Osteopathy. Hence almost every one, and especially the
scientist, looked with suspicion at first upon the new system. If
some of its wonderful work had not been forced upon his attention,
he could not have been induced to give it a serious thought. Even
when he had seen the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear, and
practically all manner of diseases cured, be easily convinced himself
that it was all done by some mysterious power possessed by its founder.
Not until he felt that he had fully established Osteopathy upon
a scientific basis and demonstrated its efficacy in the treatment
of almost all kinds of diseases, would Dr. Still consent to the
organization of a school. As already stated, many believed that
he had a special gift for healing, and that it was impossible for
others to do what he did almost as if by magic; but Dr. Still claimed
as early as 1874 that he could teach his art to others. He often
tried to interest M. D.'s in his work, and told them he had something
he could teach, but most of them would not listen. After he had
taught his sons the fundamental principles of Osteopathy and their
applications, the people said it was a family trait, and the art
would die with the passing of the Still family. But Dr. Still persisted
in the claim that any one with a thorough knowledge of the structure
and functions of the human body, and ability to apply mechanical
principles in the manipulation of the most wonderful of all machines,
could learn to do what he was capable of doing. He claimed that
"'common sense applied in a mechanical way was the fundamental
principle underlying the successful treatment of all diseases of
the human family."
DEMAND FOR OSTEOPATHS.
The success of Dr. Still and his sons, Charles E., Harry M., Herman
J., and Fred, in 1890-1, brought them more patients than they were
able to treat; hence there was a demand for more osteopaths to handle
the rapidly increasing practice of this new method of treating human
ailments. Many also who had seen the work began to believe that
Dr. Still was right when he claimed others could learn his method
as well as he, and importuned him to start a school wherein they
could learn the sciences necessary to enable them to apply in practice
the principles he taught them. Many difficulties confronted him
in this work. Almost every one is familiar with the essentials of
an ordinary school or college, and many who have graduated from
a medical college would consider themselves competent to organize
such a school or fill successfully some important chair. But the
osteopathic idea was new and must be worked out along new lines.
Only those, mostly the plain, common people, who had seen the effects
of Osteopathy, accepted it without qualification. Many looked upon
it with suspicion, doubted the success of an osteopathic college,
and lacked faith in the future of Osteopathy. Even Dr. W. D. Dobson,
now Professor of Chemistry in the American. School of Osteopathy,
could not be convinced of its merits. Dr. Dobson was at that time
President of the State Normal School at Kirksville. He says:
"Before Dr. Still started his school he would often come up
here and stay till twelve or one o'clock talking about his work.
He wanted me to resign from the Normal and organize his school.
He offered to enter into a contract in writing to give me one-half
of all the money he would ever make out of it.
Dr. Dobson was absorbed in his own school work and gave the matter
but little attention, although he had seen evidence of the success
of osteopathic treatment in his own family. It is evident how difficult
it was to secure instructors. In fact, it was almost impossible
to get experienced teachers, because even those favorably disposed
did not care to incur the ridicule, the censure, and the probable
ostracism that would follow in the wake of such a course.
These are only a few of the difficulties that lay in the way of
the organization of the first school of Osteopathy. But the indomitable
courage of Dr. Still knew no such thing as failure. As always, obstacles
and opposition spurred him on to greater activity with renewed energy.
Grant it that mistakes were made at first. The wonder is, when we
consider the situation, that so few were made and so much was done
in such an incredibly short time. Within five years after the starting
of the American School of Osteopathy, at least five hundred students
were regularly enrolled in osteopathic schools pursuing a course
of study requiring twenty months for its completion, under skilled
instructors, many of whom were graduates of colleges. Not a few
who came to scoff turned away filled with admiration and enthusiasm
for the new science, or remained to study its principles and learn
The early success of the parent school in winning pupils and its
financial success, in spite of itself, doubtless had much to do
with the starting of other schools. The school business was thought
by many to be a sure and easy way of making money. The real meaning
of a school in the latter part of the nineteenth century did not
seem to have entered the mind of many who were already engaged or
sought to engage in the work of education. And the bad reputation,
from an educational as well as a moral standpoint, of some of those
connected with the so-called teaching and training of osteopaths
had a deleterious effect. That the reputation of some of them could
not bear illumination is an open secret, and that the impressions
they have left have proven injurious to Osteopathy is an historic
fact. Dr. Still himself was so impressed with this sad condition
of affairs that he thought of leaving the work of teaching to others.
Everything seemed to be at cross purposes. The fact that so many
faked the people and virtually robbed them of honest money, is said
by those closest to him at that time, to have moved him to tears
on more than one occasion. No wonder he had moments of despondency
and wished that he was out of the school work. But he has never
been known to abandon a good work once begun. Many others realized
what an osteopathic education is, and labored day and night, almost
from the start, to provide for that thorough preparation of osteopaths
which was required of aspirants for honors in the other learned
professions. They were powerful factors in advancing the science
and placing it upon the high plane it now occupies.
Some of those who first gathered about Dr. Still had not been trained
in scientific methods. They cared for nothing but results. They
always sought the most direct way for accomplishing certain definite
ends, and that way, in the opinion of many of them, was the only
way. Far be it from me to cast reflections upon those pioneers in
Osteopathy. Next to its revered founder they deserve credit at least
equal to any others, and many of them are the peers of any who later
began to study under more favorable conditions. To denounce them
for their short-comings would be like berating the farmer because
he was not a merchant, a mechanic because he was not an artist,
or a scholar because he was not a professor. But history shows that
many of them fell far short of Dr. Still's ideals, and that they
did not at that time comprehend what was necessary to prepare men
and women to meet the demands of professional life on the basis
of present-day requirements. Dr. C. XL T. Hulett so ably stated
this thought in an address on "Pseudo Osteopathic Schools,"
at the annual convention of the American Osteopathic Association
in Indianapolis, in July, 1899, that I can not refrain from quoting
a paragraph. He says:
"But the reason which explains all other reasons, and which
underlies the whole subject, is the fact that the early graduates
of the American School of Osteopathy were not qualified to plan
and carry out a system of education such as is necessary to fully
furnish students for its practice. They did not know, because they
had not been taught. The Old Doctor's conception of the errors of
the medical profession was so vivid that to the students' minds
it was all inclusive, and some of them went out convinced that the
entire store of supposed knowledge of the medical profession was
a mass of error and should be wholly disregarded, and Osteopathy
built up of a little anatomy and some clinic work. Physiology, pathology,
symptomatology, chemistry, everything, was totally tabooed, and
students were strictly forbidden to 'waste their time on any such
foolishness.' In fact, the idea was cultivated that 'a good physiologist
made a poor operator,' and that, therefore, scholastic attainments
or ambitions were not to be considered as of special advantage in
the lifework of an osteopathist. Those who did not see the fallacy
of this position (and there were many who did), were, therefore,
not wholly to blame if they considered that they were doing a legitimate
act in founding a school on such lines. This, of course, was very
unfortunate. Every one now sees its error, but that does not change
history, nor does it undo the harm (and in a sense the injustice)
to many students, who, through hard experience, are getting in their
practice what ought to have been given them in their course; or,
if they have not the realization of their needs which leads them
to such result, they simply settle down to being, what the Old Doctor
calls, 'engine wipers."'
As early as 1897 the parent school recognized the fact that much
of its early work was defective, and in several instances discredited
the qualifications of its own graduates, even some who had grades
of 99 and 100 in anatomy and Osteopathy. The unfriendly rivalry
then existing between the original school and others that had been
started, may have been caused in part by the belief that the latter
were just as able to prepare osteopaths as the former, and by the
honestly growing belief of the American School of Osteopathy, that
all schools must be more careful as to the qualifications of their
graduates. The idea that any one after taking a few lessons in manipulation,
or after reading a book on Osteopathy, was competent to enter upon
the practice of the general art of healing, had already done so
much harm that those familiar with the situation saw that the educational
qualifications of osteopaths must receive more careful consideration;
and those in authority began to put forth every effort to lift the
schools from the crude and chaotic condition which had prevailed.
Too often has the impression gone forth, sometimes from professed
osteopaths who know little of the science, but generally from those
financially opposed to Osteopathy, that any one can give an osteopathic
treatment. No more mistaken notion could be promulgated and doubtless
the opposition often makes use of such erroneous ideas in the attempt
to bring Osteopathy into disrepute. C. P. McConnell, M. D., D. O.,
discusses the "Technique of Osteopathy" in the Journal
of Osteopathy for July, 1904, in which he says:
"I believe the time is rapidly approaching when it will be
universally recognized that it requires greater ability to become
an expert osteopathist than an expert physician of the other schools.
Also, there will be greater and more marked divergence of ability
among the osteopathists themselves than among the practitioners
of other schools. Osteopathy is the school of medicine that without
exception treats the individual's condition as it actually exists.
The other schools pay too much attention to grouping symptoms, to
investigating morbid anatomy, to classifying and naming diseases,
and to treating the disease or condition from an etiological point
of view on the one hand, and simply compiling a formula to combat
a supposed or real pathological state on the other. Herein must
be shown the genuine skill of the osteopathist. He must be possessor
of a technique that is original and adaptable in every instance
as well as containing the quality of finesse."
OPPOSITION FROM THE MEDICAL PROFESSION.
As soon as the first school of Osteopathy was organized and began
its work, every missile within reach of the opposition was hurled
against it. As is well known, anatomy is the keystone to Osteopathy.
While dissection is not as essential to the osteopath as to the
surgeon, it is necessary to that thorough knowledge of the human
body which every osteopath should possess. As the medical colleges
and the drug doctors had a monopoly of the dead of Missouri available
for dissecting purposes, they refused to let those not in the fold,
those striving to learn anatomy in ways not sanctioned by them,
have dead bodies for that purpose. But the progress of the school
was not to be checked by such narrow-minded opposition. Sufficient
material was obtained for demonstration purpose; and possibly the
lack of cadavers for all the students to work upon, had much to
do with creating a greater enthusiasm for the study of the living
human body, the real foundation for the practical work of the osteopath.
In fact, the obstacles thrown in the way of the study of anatomy
by the early osteopaths may account for the superior skill in practice
which some of them seemed to possess.
The inability to get sufficient material for dissecting purposes
in Missouri, caused the authorities of the school to go to other
states, but not without much trouble. The securing of bodies from
Illinois caused Dr. William Smith to be indicted for "stealing
a sheet." As there was no law against the exportation of bodies
from the state, Dr. Smith could not be charged with a crime on that
account; but as a certain cadaver was wrapped in a sheet and it
did not appear that the sheet was obtained by Dr. Smith by the usual
process of buying and selling, the charge of larceny was made. A
requisition by the governor of Illinois was made upon the governor
of Missouri for the return of the culprit to the former state for
trial and vindication of the law. The requisition was refused by
successive governors of Missouri. Meantime, Dr. Smith was not allowed
to venture beyond the boundaries of Missouri, especially into Illinois,
and part of the time was kept under armed guard by his friends,
to prevent his removal to Illinois by detectives who were in Kirksville,
presumably for that purpose. The indictment stood till 1899, when
it was withdrawn and Dr. Smith was permitted to go to any part of
the United States without let or hindrance. A law passed in 1903
gives the American School of Osteopathy the same right to dissecting
material as the medical schools of the state.
The Boston Institute of Osteopathy, the Pacific College of Osteopathy,
the Southern School of Osteopathy, the Colorado College of Osteopathy,
and probably others, also, had their troubles in securing material
for dissection because of the obstacles thrown in their way by the
drug doctors. The first named school appealed to the legislature
of Massachusetts for relief. The bill was a simple one asking only
for the right of dissection. President Capen, of Tuft's College;
Dr. H. Williams, dean of the medical and dental schools of the same
college; and Dr. Draper, President of the Massachusetts Medical
Society, appeared before the committee to which the bill was referred
and made speeches against its passage. The bill was defeated in
the committee by a vote of 10 to 3. But justice could not be withheld
and progress could not be stayed. The senate, by a vote of 17 to
10, substituted the osteopathic dissection bill for the adverse
report of the committee. It passed the house without much opposition,
and was signed by Governor Crane May 16, 1901. Thus the medical
fraternity was again chastised for its attempt to prevent the thorough
qualification of those with whom they had so recently been called
upon to compete.
None of the osteopathic colleges are endowed. While probably all
of them are at present self-sustaining, they are not money-making
institutions. Many of the ablest teachers are giving their time
and talents to the work without adequate compensation. Many of them
also are fully competent to serve humanity as no other class of
persons can, if they could afford to devote all their energies to
the development of the science. That the best work may be done,
it is hoped that some millionaire may come forward and liberally
endow one or more osteopathic colleges, taking every precaution
to insure the development of the science and art of healing along
osteopathic lines. It does not require the prevision of a prophet
to see that such a person, probably next to Dr. Still himself, would
become the most prominent figure of his generation in the advancement
of the well being of his race.
THE AMERICAN SCHOOL OF OSTEOPATHY.
The American School of Osteopathy was the first of its kind known
to history. For four years it stood alone and did the pioneer work
which secured its subsequent success and made possible the organization
of other schools for like purposes. They had a precedent for their
guidance, they were relieved of the work and worry incident to the
pathfinder. All honor to those who were instrumental in doing that
early work so well!
The history of the first school of Osteopathy is inseparably connected
with the life of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. Kirksville, Missouri,
had become a Mecca for the afflicted. Many who received the benefits
of Dr. Still's treatment saw the reasonableness of the principles
and practice of Osteopathy and desired to become students of the
new science. Requiring assistance in his growing practice, Dr. Still
began by giving such instruction as was necessary to prepare helpers
in his own work. His first pupil in Osteopathy was his son, Harry
M. Still. This was about the year 1887. His oldest son, Charles
E. Still, was the next pupil, and his other two sons, Herman F.
and Fred, soon took up the study and practice under their father.
The first charter for the school was taken out May 10, 1892, under
the law governing scientific institutions. The Journal of Osteopathy
for July, 1898, contains Dr. Still's account of the work of the
school under that charter.
"At that time many came, and asked me to teach them how to
cure the sick. I hesitated, as teaching had not been the business
of my life, but as I had four children whom I wanted taught the
principles and philosophy which I had proven to be master of disease
in so many places, I concluded to hire Dr. William Smith, of Edinburgh,
Scotland, to give them training in anatomy and physiology, which
was the foundation on which I had succeeded in all the diseases
I had cured by the new method 'Osteopathy,' and without a drug.
"After I had arranged with Dr. Smith to teach my sons there
were others asked to be admitted to the class, which was done, and
we had a class of about twenty. School began in November, 1892,
and ran through the winter. In March, 1893, Dr. Smith left me, and
went into practice as physician and surgeon in Kansas City.
The following winter I employed Mrs. Nettie Bolles to fill the
place vacated by Dr. Smith. I gave her Gray's Anatomy and the Quiz
Compend, and told herr to do the best she could, and she did well.
By this time our class had doubled. Mrs. Bolles conducted the next
school of over thirty."
A new charter was issued October 30, 1894, under the law regulating
educational institutions. Article three, which clearly sets forth
the purposes and powers of the school, is as follows
"The object of this corporation is to establish a College
of Osteopathy, the design of which is to improve our present system
of surgery, obstetrics, and treatment of diseases generally, and
place the same on a more rational and scientific basis, and to impart
information to the medical profession, and to grant and confer such
honors and degrees as are usually granted and conferred by reputable
medical colleges; to issue diplomas in testimony of the same to
all students graduating from said school under the seal of the corporation,
with the signature of each member of the faculty and of the president
of the college."
There is but little doubt but the American School of Osteopathy
has a right, under its charter, to confer the degree Medical Doctor
(M. D.) upon its graduates. Many wanted that done, but Dr. Still,
with his usual foresight, would not consent. He maintained that
Osteopathy is such a radical departure from the practice of all
schools of M. D.'s that it should not be designated by the same
degree. The title conferred upon graduates of all the recognized
colleges is Doctor of Osteopathy, or as first stated Diplomate in
Osteopathy, with the abbreviation D. O.
The first building used for school purposes was a small frame structure
about 14 by 28 feet. It, with the lot surrounding it, was purchased
in the summer of 1891. It stood where the present three-story brick
building, sixty-four by one hundred and seventy-six feet, with its
sixty-eight recitation and treating rooms, now stands. To make room
for the new building it was moved across the street, where it still
stands, and is an object of interest to every osteopath.
The problem of teaching Osteopathy to others was one of the most
difficult questions Dr. Still had to solve. In the Kirksville Journal,
November 5, 1896, he gives an account of the task he had before
him in starting the American School of Osteopathy and in erecting
and equipping the large building necessary to accomplish his purpose.
The quotation below, taken from that account, is a fair sample of
his habit of going back to previous experiences to illustrate his
thought. The writer remembers very vividly how he sometimes thought
Dr. Still was not direct in his statements; but failure to comprehend
just what he was aiming at generally proved to be due to a lack
of interpreting power.
"I was raised a Methodist. I found the idea of class meetings
was a very good thing. The class leader would ask us how we had
prepared and what arrangements we had made to die, and so on all
along the road to heaven; if we had read the Bible, been to Sunday
School, visited the sick, fed the hungry, clothed the naked, paid
our quarterage, and fed the Lord's horse which the preacher had
ridden, and so on, and all was pronounced good and marked 'O. K.'
He then applied the same method of self-examination to determine
whether or not he was prepared to construct the building he had
in mind and conduct a school on such a scale as he foresaw would
be necessary to supply the rapidly increasing demand for osteopathic
physicians. Then came the all-important question which he put into
the following words:
"Then came other questions equally as great, which pertain
to conducting the business of a great institution of learning. Many
important positions will have to be filled by persons who must have
the necessary attainments to do the duty devolved upon that office.
Then all must be combined and have one head that is mentally qualified
with long experience to select competent persons to fill all places
of trust and honor in the whole institution, with the nerve and
judgment to execute."
In March, 1893, the first class completed the courses then required,
but was not really graduated till March 2, 1894. The following received
diplomas: Arthur A. Bird, Mrs. Nettie H. Bolles, A. P. Davis, F.
F. Davis, A. A. Goodman, Miss Mamie Harter, J. O. Hatton, Arthur
G. Hildreth, J. D. Hill, Airs. L. J. Ferns, Aiiller Machin, F. Polmeteer,
Wm. Smith, Charles E. Still, Herman T. Still, Edward C. Still, Fred
Still (deceased), M. L. Ward.
The course of study at that time was very incomplete compared with
what it is now. Anatomy was then and always has been the basis of
Osteopathy. It will be seen from the following quotation from the
Journal of Osteopathy for May, 1894, that anatomy first, last, and
all the time, with its practical applications, was the slogan of
the school. "The course can be completed in two years - two
terms of five months each, to be spent upon Anatomy. The remainder
of the time to be devoted to practical work under the direction
of an experienced operator."
The status of the school during its early history is clearly set
forth in the following by Dr. Carl P. McConnell, which appeared
in The Bulletin for April, 1904.
"A decade ago the American School was the only osteopathic
school in existence. I well remember my first lessons in the little
cottage across from where the present building stands. The school
work was unsystematized and distinctly in embryo. Anatomy and less
physiology, exclusive of clinical instruction, comprised the didactic
part of the curriculum. Classroom practice of Osteopathy and principles
of Osteopathy did not appear until later. But what was lost in systematic
class roam instruction was certainly more than compensated for by
the personal and clinical instruction of Dr. Still and the staff
of infirmary physicians. The infirmary practice had grown to such
a magnitude that the school at this period was almost incidental
to the practice. From the very inception of the schoolwork the student
was kept busy assisting the physicians, and his studies were carried
on the best he could. Through it all Dr. Still gave his personal
supervision to every case, and he was never too tired, or too busy
to bring out the salient features of each case.
"There were six of us that started in the early autumn of
1894, and more would have begun the study then if any encouragement
had been offered. I remember, with us we simply insisted on beginning
the work and had to beg them to take our money. The new building
was just being constructed and they felt that the students would
be a source of extra responsibility. I cherish above everything
else the personal instruction Dr. Still gave us every morning in
the week for several months. All of you know what an early riser
he is. Well, he had us down at the infirmary from 6:30 to 7, and
for two hours be hammered Osteopathy into us. And you are probably
well aware that he hits the nail on the head at every stroke. Then
for the rest of the day we were portioned off as assistants to him
(at that time he personally worked in the treating rooms) and the
corps of physicians. One thing is certain we received the pure unadulterated
Osteopathy; and if our subsequent actions and work have not been
consistent and right, no one is to blame but ourselves.
"Several schools of Osteopathy have arisen and passed into
oblivion since them, although a number have remained staunch and
true. A decade has certainly been a short time for so much school
history; but then we are living in a rapid age. The curriculum has
been gradually enlarged, a little chemistry was added, then pathology,
still later surgery and classroom obstetrics, etc., until now we
can boast of a thoroughly graduated course. The only thing lacking
at present in our colleges is more time to complete the various
branches, a longer period for clinical advantages, and greater opportunity
for surgical diagnosis. I have repeatedly observed that in order
for the student to become at all expert with the osteopathic sense
of touch requires six months to a year of several hours daily practice."
The catalogue of the school for 1897-8 contains the following:
"In October, 1895, a class of twenty-seven was enrolled, followed
by a class of twenty-three in January, 1896. Of these two classes,
twenty-eight were from the State of Missouri, while the others represented
five different states. These classes recited to one teacher in one
classroom, 20x25, the recitations taking up only two hours a day.
In May, 1896, work was begun on an addition that doubled the capacity
of the building, but even before that was completed, the rapidly
increasing demand made it necessary to begin work on a second addition,
which trebled the size of the original edifice. The whole building,
which was completed in January, 1897, is four stories high, contains
sixty-seven rooms, aggregating 30,000 square feet of floor space,
and costing $80,000."
At the time the first bill was introduced into the Missouri legislature,
early in 1895, to legalize the practice of Osteopathy, there really
was no school in existence for the teaching of all the branches
pertaining to the science; and even in October of the same year
but little had been done toward providing for a complete course.
At the commencement, June 22, 1897, Dr. Will Potter, the valedictorian
of the class, according to the report of his speech as printed in
the July issue of the Journal of Osteopathy, said:
"When the October division of this class matriculated, a little
less than two years ago, there was really no school of Osteopathy
in existence. We were only a little private class of twenty-six
members. We were taught by one man. Our recitations occupied one
hour each day. We met in a little 14x16 upstairs room, in what was
at that time an exclusively infirmary building. Very little attention
was paid to the school feature of the institution, and many patients
who were taking treatment scarcely realized that there was a class
in the building.
"We were told that the methods of teaching Osteopathy were
only experimental and these experiments had not always been attended
with success. The curriculum, as outlined to us was a six months'
course in book anatomy, with the balance of the time spent in the
regular operating rooms of the infirmary, where the student would
be given the privilege of learning what he could of Osteopathy by
assisting and watching others at work. These were all of their promises
to us, and all we had a right to expect under our contracts."
Dr. Still calls attention many times in his lectures and writings
to the necessity of thorough preparation. The following from the
Autobiography, pages 178, 192, and 193, are cited as illustrations:
"Simply standing by and seeing work done by a competent operator
will not qualify you to take the responsibilities of life in your
hands. You must be thoroughly acquainted with all that is meant
by anatomy - not merely familiar with the names of a few bones,
muscles, nerves, veins, and arteries, but you must know them all
as found in the latest standard authors.
"Osteopathy can not be imparted by books. Neither can it be
taught to a person intelligently who does not fully understand anatomy
from books and dissection.
"One who does not know this preparatory branch is completely
lost in our operating rooms. He does not act from reason, because
he does not know enough of anatomy to reason from. Therefore, a
treatise attempting to tell people how to treat diseases by our
methods would be worse than useless to every person who has not
been carefully drilled in our clinics. It is the philosophy of Osteopathy
that the operator needs; therefore, it is indispensable that you
know all, or you will fail badly and get no further than the quackery
of 'hit or miss.""
Osteopathy was a growing science from the time the idea first entered
Dr. Still's mind, and it has not ceased to grow. The founder, in
his seventy-eighth year, is still the leading personality in that
growth. He, and his sons, and the ablest exponents of the science,
are conservatively progressive. They adhere strictly to the fundamental
principle enunciated in the beginning, but discover new applications
almost daily. Dr. Still has said over and over that he has only
opened up the new field; his followers must develop it.
The same process of development is evident in the growth of the
first school. Dr. Still laid the firm foundation for all school
work in the study of anatomy, as shown by the above quotations.
The anatomy, as then taught, practically included physiology and
pathology. With the lengthening and enriching of the course other
subjects were added so that, in 1897, the curriculum included practically
all the studies found in the best medical colleges, except materia
medica and major surgery. Credit for these rapid strides in improving
the course should be divided. First, Dr. Still, with his prophetic
vision, saw that Osteopathy would soon hold a position co-ordinate
with the oldest schools of medicine, and must be prepared to meet
the reasonable demands made upon it by all classes of people - the
high and the low, the rich and, the poor, the learned and the unlearned.
He opposed the presentation of any and all subjects from the viewpoint
of the professor in the medical college. The osteopathic idea must
prevail in everything; hence differences of opinion often arose
between him and those trained in other methods. Second, he had gathered
about him a large number of learned men and women who insisted that
an osteopathic education should not be inferior to that of any other
school of practice. Third, the people, as shown in the discussions
relative to the enactment of the laws of the several states, insisted
upon an educated profession.
As a result of these influences, we find the following course of
study announced in the summer of 1897, and a faithful and reasonably
successful attempt made to carry it into effect at once:
"The course of instruction extends over two years, and is
divided into four terms of five months each.
"The first term is devoted to Descriptive Anatomy, including
Osteology, Syndesmology, Myology, Angiology, and Neurology; Histology,
including the description and recognition of the normal tissues
of the body; the principles of Chemistry and Physics.
"The second term includes Descriptive Anatomy of the Viscera,
and organs of special sense; Regional Anatomy with demonstrations
on the cadaver; Didactic and Laboratory work in Chemistry; Physiological
Chemistry, Urinalysis and Toxicology; Physiology of circulation,
respiration, digestion, absorption, assimilation, secretion, and
excretion; Principles of Osteopathy.
"The third term includes Regional Anatomy and Pathology with
demonstrations on the cadaver; Surface Anatomy, Advanced Physiology,
Symptomatology and Pathology; Clinical demonstrations in Osteopathy.
"The fourth term includes Pathological Anatomy, Minor Surgery,
Gynecology, and Obstetrics; Clinical practice in Osteopathy."
June 22, 1897, is said by the Journal o f Osteopathy for July,
1897, to be the "First Commencement Day" of the American
School of Osteopathy. It is true that the school had been running
five years, but part of that time under a charter received by Dr.
Still in May, 1892, which was unsatisfactory. The first class was
really graduated under the old charter, March 2, 1894. The new charter
was secured in 1894, and "the class of '97 was the first to
formally graduate under the recognition of the organic law of a
great state and to go forth under the protecting aegis of legislative
authority." Dr. A. T. Still has been President of the Board
of Trustees and the Faculty since its organization. The other members
of the original Board were Harry M. Still, Chas. E. Still, Herman
T. Still, Thomas A. Still, and Blanch Still. H. E. Patterson, A.
G. Hildreth, C. M. T. Hulett, M. E. Still, Judge Andrew Ellison,
Geo. M. Laughlin, Warren Hamilton, and M. D. Campbell have also
served on the Board. C. M. T. Hulett, J. M. Littlejohn, and Geo.
M. Laughlin have Tendered service as Dean of the Faculty.
The American School of Osteopathy has graduated over 3,000 pupils,
who are distributed all over the United States, and several are
practicing in foreign countries.
NATIONAL SCHOOL OF OSTEOPATHY.
It is not the purpose of this chapter to give an account of the
rise and fall of a number of schools which were started upon an
insecure foundation, maintained a questionable standing for varying
lengths of time, and finally passed out of existence. One of them
is noticed because of its early entrance upon the work and its prominence
at one time.
The National School of Osteopathy and Infirmary Association, of
Baxter Springs, Cherokee County, Kansas, was chartered by the Secretary
of State of Kansas, June 27, 1895. E. D. Barber, Helen M. Barber,
C. W. Daniels, J. M. Newhouse, and A. L. Barber are mentioned in
the charter. Later the school was located in Kansas City, Missouri,
and a new charter was secured from the stato in 1897.
The fact that Dr. Barber issued a book which presumed to make Osteopathy
so plain that a layman or short term student could practice it,
and the continuation of the short course in violation of the law,
produced a vigorous opposition on the part of reputable osteopaths
and aroused all the energies of the parent school against the methods
of the new claimant for patronage. The litigation referred to in
Chapter V, grew out of the noncompliance of the school with the
law requiring at least twenty months attendance before issuing a
In the fall of 1898 an attempt was made to reorganize the school
on a two-year basis, with an enlarged faculty. It also tried to
gain admission to the Associated Colleges of Osteopathy in 1599,
and again in 1900, but did not succeed. The fact that the school
did not promptly institute a two years' course, as did all the others,
and failure to get into the Associated Colleges of Osteopathy, were
probably the chief factors that finally led to its suspension in
PACIFIC COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHY.
The Pacific School of Osteopathy was established in May, 1896,
at Anaheim, California. It was the first school of the kind to require,
from the beginning, a twenty months' course of study, and also the
first to introduce, and to make compulsory, a three years' course.
The first articles of incorporation were dated July 14th, 1896.
It was reincorporated on June 1st, 1897, under the laws of the State
of California, as the Pacific School of Osteopathy and Infirmary,
and the location of the school was changed to Los Angeles. Until
1902, the school was conducted with no clear distinction between
the Board of Directors and the Faculty of the school, the officers
of the Board acting as the officers of the Faculty. They were Dr.
C. A. Bailey, President; Dr. D. L. Tasker, Vice-President; Dr. R.
D. Emery, Secretary ; D. W. Dudley, Treasurer. The Faculty of the
school was reorganized in July, 1902, and Professor C. A. Whiting,
Sc. D., D. O., was elected Chairman of the Faculty.
In January, 1904, a new corporation was formed under the name of
the Pacific College of Osteopathy, which purchased the school. The
officers of the Board of Directors are Geo. R. Burton, D. O., President;
Frank A. Keyes, D. O., Vice-President; Jennie Stephenson, D. O.,
Secretary and Treasurer ; and C. A. Whiting, D. O., Dean of the
During 1903-4 the college was conducted at South Pasadena, but
at the opening of the session in September, 1904, it returned to
Los Angeles, and is now occupying a building erected for school
purposes by the stockholders.
The first class was graduated January 5, 1898. The school has conferred
the degree of Doctor of Osteopathy upon 110 students who have taken
the full two years' course, and the postgraduate degree of Doctor
of the Science of Osteopathy (Dsc. O.) upon four.
NORTHERN INSTITUTE OF OSTEOPATHY.
This school was established in June, 1890, by Drs. E. C. Pickier,
F. D. Parker, and L. M. Rheem. This was the third osteopathic school
ever established. With Dr. Pickier, President; Dr. Parker, Vice-President;
and Dr. Rheem, Secretary and Treasurer, the school continued till
May, 1900, when it was sold to Dr. Rheem, who then became its President.
A year later it changed hands again, and Dr. Pickier was re-elected
to the presidency. In January, 1902, the school, with its patronage
and good will, was transferred to the S . S. Still College, Des
Moines, Iowa, with which it was consolidated. The school was continued
at Minneapolis till June, 1902.
Drs. L. M. Rheem, D. E. Henry, and E. J. Freeman served successively
as Dean. The first class graduated in 1898. About 230 graduated
before the consolidation, most of whom are engaged in practice in
the north and northwest, and many of whom have done valiant work
for Osteopathy in legislative halls as well as in the field of practice.
COLORADO COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHY.
The Colorado College of Osteopathy, Denver, was organized in September,
1897, as the Western Institute of Osteopathy. In 1899 the name was
changed to the Bolles Institute of Osteopathy, and in 1901 it was
reorganized as a stock company under the latter name.
Dr. Nettie H. Bolles was President, and Dr. N. A. Bolles was Dean
of the school from its organization. The first class, consisting
of four students, was graduated in June, 1899. Twenty-one have received
the diploma of the school.
The school always maintained a course of four terms of five months
each. It was a charter member of the Associated Colleges of Osteopathy,
and has held a high place in that influential organization. Although
a small school, its efforts were exerted towards the elevation of
the standard of osteopathic education, even to the personal sacrifice
of those upon whom the work of conducting it fell. It was transferred
to the American School of Osteopathy in 1904, and the institution
was closed with the graduation of the June class of that year.
SOUTHERN SCHOOL OF OSTEOPATHY.
Dr. Geo. F. Nason interested the practitioners in the south and
the citizens of Franklin, Kentucky, in the organization of the Southern
School of Osteopathy. It was established in March, 1898. It was
projected especially to accommodate the Southern and Central states.
The incorporators were Geo. F. Nason, John S. Oldham, and J. S.
Gaylord. The school is housed in a well-appointed building, designed
and built especially for teaching Osteopathy.
Dr. J. S. Gaylord was the first President. He was succeeded by
Dr. J. S. Oldham in September, 1900, who was succeeded by Dr. Robert
W. Bowling, the present incumbent. Dr. Bowling has also been Dean
of the Faculty since the school was established.
The first class, numbering 26, entered in March, 1898, 21 of whom
graduated. At present 225 graduates attest the merits of the Southern
School of Osteopathy.
CALIFORNIA COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHY.
The California College of Osteopathy, located in San Francisco,
California, was founded in 1898 by Alden H. Potter, D. 0., and Joseph
A. Parker, D. O. The college was incorporated March 18, 1898. J.
A. Parker was the first President, and Alden H. Potter, Secretary
and Treasurer. It was opened in the Pariott Building, Market Street,
San Francisco, but soon moved to 603 Sutter Street. It is now located
at 1368 Geary Street.
In March, 1901, Dr. Parker withdrew his interests from the college
and W. P. Burke, M. D., D. O., was chosen President. On June 29,
1903, Alden H. Potter, D. O., was elected President, but withdrew
from the college before the opening of the next term, and B. P.
Shepherd, B. M. E., D. O., Vice-President. These, with Isaac Burke,
D. O., Secretary and Treasurer; Mary V. Stuart, D. O., Corresponding
Secretary; and Agnes G. Madden, D. O., make up the Board of Trustees
of the College.
The first class completed the course in June, 1900, seven members
receiving diplomas. Sixty-two have graduated from the school, most
of whom are practicing on the Pacific coast.
MILWAUKEE COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHY.
The Milwaukee College of Osteopathy was incorporated in May, 1898,
by Dr. L. E. and Dr. Essie S. Cherry, and W. B. Davis, as the Milwaukee
Institute of Osteopathy. The name was changed in 1900, The first
class, consisting of eleven students, matriculated in September,
1898, and graduated in June, 1900, after taking the full twenty
The compromise law, as passed in 1901 (Chapter IV) stipulated a
four years' course after the expiration of two years. Thus the college
was limited in its life, as the management could not compete with
colleges giving the shorter course. Hence arrangements were made
with the American School of Osteopathy to take the students of the
Milwaukee College of Osteopathy at. the expiration of the school
year, June, 1901. The total number of graduates was twenty-five.
S. S. STILL COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHY.
In June, 1898, Drs. S. S. and Ella B. Still, Colonel and Mrs. A.
L. Conger, W. L. Riggs, and W. W. G. Helm secured articles of incorporation
for this institution, located at Des Moines, Iowa. Colonel Conger
was a prominent manufacturer of Akron, Ohio, who had been treated
at Kirksville, and all the others had been connected with the American
School of Osteopathy, either as teachers or students. Dr. S. S.
Still was elected President, A. L. Conger, Secretary, and Dr. W.
W. G. Helm, Treasurer. About the time of the opening of the school,
Dr. A. Still Craig and Dr. J. W. Hofsess were associated with the
founders in its conduct.
Colonel A. L. Conger, the Secretary, died within a year of the
organization of the college, and his place was filled by Dr. Helm
until December, 1899, when his stock was purchased by Colonel A.
B. Shaw, who has since filled the position of Secretary and Treasurer.
The college opened for regular work in September, 1898, with a
class of more than forty pupils, in a large two-story building on
Locust Street, opposite the site of the present building. The college
now occupies a substantial brick college building at 1422 Locust
Street, with modern conveniences, four floors, 60 by 100 feet in
size, and thoroughly equipped. The laboratories are perfectly lighted
and ventilated, and the dissecting room, which is 30 by 50 in size,
has light and ventilation on three sides, hot and cold water, and
cement floor. The main auditorium room has a seating capacity of
500. The demonstration room, etc., are well appointed. In 1903 the
college established a hospital in the brick building which had originally
been leased for college purposes. It is a well appointed, though
small, hospital for acute, bed-ridden, and surgical cases. A complete
surgical amphitheater was constructed in connection with it, where
the regular surgical clinics are given.
In 1902 the college purchased and consolidated into its organization
the Northern College of Osteopathy of Minneapolis. It subsequently
merged into its organization the Northwestern College of Osteopathy
of Fargo, North Dakota, of which Mrs. DeLendrecie was President.
During the winter of 1903-4, the stockholders perfected a business
transaction with Dr. C. E. Still and Dr. Warren Hamilton of Kirksville,
Missouri, whereby they transferred to the latter their stock in
the college. Since then the college has been under the management
of the parent school, but has remained at Des Moines. Excluding
the schools consolidated with the S. S. Still College, it has 734
MASSACHUSETTS COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHY.
The Massachusetts College of Osteopathy, Boston, was organized
under the name of the Boston Institute of Osteopathy. It was incorporated
October 31, 1898, with Dr. C. E. Achorn, President; Dr. S. A. Ellis,
Vice-President; and Dr. Ada A. Achorn, Secretary and Treasurer,
who were also the incorporators. The name was changed by process
of law, January 30, 1903. At that time the old directory resigned,
a new one was formed, and the following officers were elected: Dr.
W. E. Harris, President; Dr. H. F. Crawford, Vice-President; Dr.
F. K. Byrkit, Secretary; and F. M. Slagle, Treasurer. F. M. Slagle
has served as Dean since February, 1902. The faculty is composed
of local osteopaths.
The Massachusetts College of Osteopathy was one of the first to
recognize the necessity for a longer course of study and put its
views into practice. In the spring of 1902, it was decided to change
the course from twenty months to twenty-four months, by adding the
fifth term of four months. The class of September, 1902, was enrolled
as the first class of twenty-four months. In the spring of 1903,
the course was again changed to one of three years of nine months
each, and the September term, 1903, was the first class enrolled
under a regular three years' course of nine months each. The students
have access to several local hospitals. The total number of graduates
is 127. The school is located at 588 Huntington Avenue.
ATLANTIC SCHOOL OF OSTEOPATHY.
In the autumn of 1898, Drs. S. C. Mathews and V. A. Hook, located
in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, for the practice of Osteopathy. They
interested several influential businessmen in the subject, effected
an organization, and secured a charter for the Atlantic School of
Osteopathy, February 21, 1899. Dr. V. A. Hook, Mr. J. C. Bell, and
Dr. J. W. Banning, in turn, served as President. The first term
opened in February, 1899. The school first occupied rooms in the
Simon Long Building. The increasing attendance soon made it necessary
to secure more commodious quarters. In 1900, the directors purchased
the property of the Central Methodist Episcopal Church, which they
remodeled and added to so as to adapt it to the requirements of
the school. Night classes, which had been conducted several years,
were discontinued in. 1903. The first class to complete the full
course graduated in February, 1901, with 26 to receive diplomas.
In all there are 184 graduates, most of them practicing in the East.
In order to secure the greater advantages of a large city, the
college was moved to Buffalo, New York, the latter part of 1904,
between the closing of one term and the opening of the next. It
is now located at 1331 Main Street. Its faculty has been enlarged
and strengthened, and the school seems to have been put upon a better
business and professional footing. Dr. C. W. Proctor is President.
PHILADELPHIA COLLEGE AND INFIRMARY OF OSTEOPATHY.
The Philadelphia College and Infirmary of osteopathy was established
by Drs. O. J. Snyder and Mason W. Pressly in the early part of 1899.
The college opened in the Stephen Girard Building, but soon removed
to the Witherspoon Building. Its accommodations there became too
limited, and it was removed to a much more desirable location at
Thirty-third and Arch Streets.
In August, 1904, the school was reorganized. Drs. Snyder and Pressly
retired and the management was placed under the control of the alumni
of the college, with an enlarged faculty composed of practitioners
in the city, graduates of several different osteopathic colleges.
Most of the members of the old faculty remain. The college has maintained
a two years' course from the beginning. It also conducted night
classes for a while, but they were discontinued in 1903. Dr. O.
J. Snyder was President from 1899 to 1943. Since then Drs. J. A.
Burt and C. W. McCurdy have served in turn as Dean of the Faculty.
The college has 79 graduates.
AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE AND SURGERY.
This college was organized in May, 1900, by Drs. J. M., J. B.,
and D. Littlejohn. It is incorporated under the laws of the state
of Illinois. The college buildings are located at 495-497 West Monroe
Street, Chicago. An annex in the rear is used for laboratory purposes.
It has been the aim of the school to give special attention to
surgery under osteopathic supervision. The regular course was two
years fill 1904, when it began its three years' course. Provisions
are made for a fourth year, a postgraduate course, which includes
major surgery. The students have access to the clinics at Cook County
Hospital, the same as students from medical colleges.
Dr. J. M. Littlejohn has been President of the college from its
beginning. The faculty is composed of local osteopaths and several
M. D.s, who present special subjects. There are 114 graduates, six
of whom have taken the four-year course.