Carver Chiropractic College
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Logan University has placed five copies of Pioneer—the Carver Chiropractic College yearbooks—on line and has graciously allowed the use of images from them. Dr. Joseph Keating, Jr. has a two-part online history of the school Carver College: An Oklahoma Contribution to Chiropractic.
Willard Carver, a lawyer from Iowa, attended and graduated from the Parker College of Chiropractic in 1905. In 1906 he and his partner L.L.Denny opened Carver-Denny Chiropractic College in Oklahoma City three years before Oklahoma became a state. The Story of Oklahoma City calls it the “first chartered college of this character in the world.” Oklahoma City was chosen as a site to avoid the territory of other schools. Keating notes that it was a “straight” school of chiropractic, whose graduates were committed to “relieving ‘obstructive nerve pressure’.” Through his lectures and writing, Dr.Carver provided the science for the school.
Carver’s first class had 15 students, but the school grew. The 1917 Pioneer shows a student body of 105—16 postgraduates, 44 Seniors, 15 Juniors and 30 Freshmen. Almost half of the students were female—perhaps reflecting a loss of males to military service. While the bulk of the students (37%) were from Oklahoma, the school attracted students from 17 states plus Canada. Alabama, Texas and Kansas each had enough students to form state clubs on campus. The faculty that year numbered 10—including Dr. Carver.
In 1920 Carver Chiropractic College was approved to offer classes to returning servicemen.
In 1921 ads for Carver Chiropractic College began to emphasize the depth of the curriculum and the length of the program. Freshmen spent 540 hours in classes. Juniors had a yearly commitment to 720 total hours of classwork. Seniors were committed to a minimum of 840 hours—for a total of 2100 hours of classwork for a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Included in the total were twelve courses required by the state for a degree.
Despite the heavy curriculum, Carver students found time for social events. In addition to the state and regional clubs, they had the Emehaka Society to “develop the literary talent of its members.” Carver was a founding member of the Gamma Alpha Rho fraternity for Chiropractic students. By 1920 the school had an orchestra, a band, and a quartette that performed at commencement.
Dr. Carver remained connected to the school until his death in 1947. Enrollment dropped after that. The 1952 Pioneer shows only 71 students. Financial problems forced a merger with Logan Basic College of Chiropractic of Normandy, MO in 1958. Carver remains a part of Logan University today.
Charter members of the Gamma Alpha Rho fraternity. Image from the 1921 Pioneer, used by permission of Logan University.
Bricks and Mortar
The first home for the Carver-Denny “Kiropractic” College was the upper floor of the Capitol Hotel on the corner of Third and Broadway in the downtown area. The spelling was to help the Native Americans, in whose dialects “chi” was pronounced as “shi,” to pronounce the name correctly.
By around 1910 the school had moved to 519 W. Ninth Street. The two-story frame building had classrooms over a clinic. In 1921 a two-story brick building was added—Keating says it was a former church—featuring an auditorium that seated 600 and administrative offices. By 1936 a third building had been added behind these contained “half a dozen dormitory rooms.”
All buildings have since been razed.
Pinterest image of the "Kiropractic" college and infirmary campus, taken from College History Garden.
School Colors: These may have been Green and Gold—the colors of two yearbooks.
College Football Data Warehouse shows four football games for the team during the 1922 season. The victory came against Oklahoma City College 24-0. The Chiropractics played a scoreless draw with East Central Normal. Against these were two horrendous defeats: 81-0 by Southwestern State Normal and 118-0 by Central Normal.
The newspapers show that a game had also been scheduled against Tonkawa Preparatory School.