Chapter 2, Part 3 – Western States College

Western States College

Numerous historical references are made to the incorporation of Western States College (WSC) in 1933. One historical account claims that Pacific Chiropractic College was re-incorporated in 1933 as the Western States College, School of Chiropractic and School of Naturopathy. However, other incorporation documents suggest that 1932 was the more probable date.

The most plausible explanation is that Western States College actually began on May 17, 1932, when Ross H. Elliott, Maybelle E. Elliott and Fred L. Holmes filed incorporation documents for Western States College of Chiropractors and Drugless Physicians (WSCCDP.) Incorporation documents for Western States College of Chiropractors and Drugless Physicians – 1932.

The corporate articles for this enterprise state that the college would offer a DC degree and an ND degree. Further, the college would offer courses to train nurses and technicians, as well as maintain hospitals. It is probably not coincidental that incorporation documents for this new chiropractic college were filed a mere 49 days before the PCC board authorized Dr. Budden to discontinue active business. Certainly, 49 days prior to their decision to discontinue business at PCC, the corporate officers would have known their institution was failing. It is important to note that no evidence exists to show that WSCCDP ever conducted any business or operated as a college. It existed as a corporate entity, in name only.

The argument that Western States College and Western States College of Chiropractors and Drugless Physicians are one and the same is more compelling when signatures on the incorporation documents are examined. Ross H. Elliott, the first corporate officer named in the WSCCDP Articles of Incorporation, is the same Ross H. Elliott named as a corporate officer (along with Dr. W. A. Budden) in the Articles of Incorporation for the Health Research Foundation (HRF), dated October 4, 1937. The HRF would be the governing body of Western States College for over four decades, with Dr. Alfred Budden as its first president.

Health Research Foundation incorporation documents, 1937.

By all appearances, Dr. Budden, with the assistance of Elliott, incorporated Western States College of Chiropractors and Drugless Physicians in 1932, anticipating the closure of Pacific Chiropractic College. The historical record is silent on how, why and when “…of Chiropractors and Drugless Physicians” was dropped from the name and “Western States College” stood alone. Further, it is difficult to pinpoint precisely when Pacific Chiropractic College ceased operations under that name and commenced operations as Western States College, but according to a letter dated August 1933, one of the three principle stock holders called for a special meeting of the corporation to be held the following month in order to dissolve Pacific Chiropractic College.

Pacific Chiropractic College dissolved.

Archival records from 1933 through 1938 make reference to both PCC and WSC.

Reference to WSC in 1933.
Reference to WSC in 1934.
Reference to PCC in 1935.
Reference to WSCCDP in 1938.

Nevertheless, it is almost certain that the two events are inseparably linked. The demise of one institution gave rise to the other. Dr. Budden remained at the helm throughout, never pausing in his commitment to excellence in chiropractic education or his dedication to a quality chiropractic college in Portland.

Remarkably, 49 years later, the gap in the historical record from 1932 to 1937 would come back to threaten the college’s very existence.