Happy Birthday, Mabel Palmer!

Today is Mabel Palmer’s Birthday! She was born on June 5th in Milan, Illinois. She was known as both the “First Lady of Chiropractic”, and the “Sweetheart of the Profession”.

We wanted to highlight some of her life accomplishments:

  • She received special training in Chicago for anatomy and dissection in 1906 and returned to Davenport to obtain her Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
  • She became an early faculty member at Palmer, and taught anatomy at Palmer for almost 40 years as well as being a mother to David Palmer.
  • She wrote the Textbook on Anatomy in 1918.

  • She was charter president of Sigma Phi Chi, as the first undergrad Chiropractic Sorority.
  • She was elected president of Quota International and the Business and Professional Women’s Clubs of America.


  • She was also an accomplished author who wrote about her travels around the world



Mabel was a valued adviser to B.J. Palmer throughout their entire lives, and throughout the different phases of the profession. She had a huge impact on the development of chiropractic, especially in promoting the profession to women.



Find out more about Mabel in our digital collections:

Anatomy (1918)

A Woman’s Appeal to Women

Stepping Stones (1942)

Mabel Palmer Profile Pictures

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