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The Story of Delta Sigma Chi


In 1913, there were three Chiropractic schools in Davenport, Iowa: The Palmer School of Chiropractic, Universal College of Chiropractic and the Davenport College of Chiropractic. The U.C.C. was located at 6th and Brady Street and D.C.C. stood on the site of the present day Masonic Temple. On July 4th, of that year, a group of Chiropractic students representing those schools held an Independence Day picnic at Credit Island (then called Suburban Island). Within this large group, a smaller group of friends sat discussing the subject of a Chiropractic Greek Letter Fraternity. They agreed that all educational institutions of higher learning had one and they decided then to take the necessary steps at once to form Delta Sigma Chi.

During the next ten days many secret discussions were carried on with no one except those invited taking part. Finally on July 14th, 1913, the first meeting of the fledgling organization took place. This is the meeting that we celebrate today as the founding of Delta Sigma Chi. The individuals that were present were: Harold Hughes of Medicine Hat, Canada; J.D. Hills of Detroit, Michigan; John Reardon of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Harry Cummings of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and S.E. Julander of Des Moines, Iowa. At that meeting, they completed plans for a Greek letter professional chiropractic fraternity, elected temporary officers and appointed a committee to draft a constitution and bylaws. At the meeting four days later on July 18th, the committee’s report was accepted, and all present signed the newly adopted constitution and bylaws. They adopted the name Delta Sigma Chi which stands for Doctors of Straight Chiropractic.

So Alpha Chapter, the parent chapter of Delta Sigma Chi (Doctors of Straight Chiropractic) Professional Chiropractic Fraternity was born. During the meeting held the 18th of July 1913, a permanent organization came into being although it was agreed that the temporary officers would continue until completion of the chapter membership. It was decided to limit the charter membership to twelve men. At a later meeting in August 1913, the charter was once more opened and membership was extended to twenty members. With this number, the charter closed permanently.

The first initiation, (after the charter was closed) was held October 9, 1913. At the second such ceremony, B.J. Palmer was initiated into the Brotherhood. Five years later, Brother Palmer was unanimously elected the Honorary President of the Fraternity.

Throughout it’s 90 year existence, the Delta Sigma Chi Fraternity can look back over a long and influential history. A majority of the men recognized by the profession as leaders in chiropractic are brothers of Delta Sigma Chi. Some of these include...

B.J. Palmer, David Palmer, John F. Grostic, Clarence Gonstead, William Blair, Galen Price, J. Clay Thompson, Herbert Ross Reaver, Major Dejarnette, H.M. Himes, G.O. Schmiedel, Carl Cleveland, J.F. McAndrews, Donald Kern, William Holmberg, Reggie Gold, Michael Kale, John Sayers, D.D. Stierwalt, Sid Williams, Fred Barge, Grady Lake, Gary Street, Robert Brooks, Tom Perrault and many more. By the early 1920’s the fraternity roll call had grown to include nine chapters, (presently four chapters).