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date: 06 March 2021

Palmer, Bartlett Joshualocked

(10 September 1882–27 May 1961)
  • Walter I. Wardwell


Palmer, Bartlett Joshua (10 September 1882–27 May 1961), chiropractor, was born in What Cheer, Iowa, the son of Daniel David Palmer, the “Discoverer of Chiropractic,” and Louvenia Landers. An indifferent student, he left school at an early age and spent a year traveling with an entertainer hypnotist as a professional “hypnotic subject.” In 1902 he graduated as a doctor of chiropractic from his father’s Palmer Infirmary and Chiropractic Institute in Davenport, Iowa, and became its secretary and “adjuster in chief” when his father fled west to avoid prosecution for practicing medicine illegally. Universally known as “B. J.,” Palmer gained full control of the school in 1906 after his father was convicted and jailed by the Scott County court for practicing medicine without a license. Palmer had also been indicted for “publicly professing to heal and cure without having procured and filed a certificate of the Board of Medical Examiners,” but court records show no formal disposition of his case. In 1904 he married Mabel Heath, who soon became a chiropractor and his invaluable helpmate in running his school; they had one son....

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