At the time, it was unfathomable to think anything of substantial importance would be built west of Highway 270 in St. Louis. The area was home to grazing livestock and rolling green pastures, dotted with farms and homesteads.
Yet, on one evening in 1972, 70 Doctors of Chiropractic agreed that a 112-acre parcel of land for sale in that area would provide a bright future for development, growth and progress. Today, their vision is realized on the very grounds that make up Logan University.
According to Logan Associate Professor Patrick Montgomery, DC, MS, FASA, the property, at the time, was home to Maryknoll Junior Seminary. However, in the early 1970s, the Brothers of Maryknoll were forced to close the seminary due to declining interest in men joining the priesthood.
Dr. Montgomery said the property, which was gifted to the Archdiocese of St. Louis by the original landowners, came with two stipulations: it could never be broken up into smaller parcels, and if sold, it had to be sold to an educational institution.
The property was for sale two years before Fred Gehl, DC, who was associated with Logan, stumbled upon it. Though the Logan’s Normandy campus was paid for, the college was outgrowing the space as a result of rising enrollment.
Negotiations over the $3.5 million asking price broke down several times though it was Logan Board member William Boehmer, DC, who kept the discussion going.
Dr. William Coggins signs the purchase agreement with (from left) Drs. Fred Gehl, Bert Hanicke and D.P. Casey.
In the end, the Brothers and Logan reached a $1.8 million deal, as long as $350,000 was provided to the Brothers within 10 days of the contract being signed. It was then that Logan Board members Rolla Pennell, DC, and Gordon Heuser, DC, took immediate action, calling on Logan alumni to join them for a gala dinner at Maryknoll.
That night, Drs. Pennell and Heuser made their case for a brighter future, urging the DCs to give back to the institution that gave so much to them.
By the end of the night, they had secured financial donations from everyone in attendance, allowing them to turn over the amount needed to acquire the property for their future home.
In June 1973, under the direction of D.P. Casey, DC, the students and faculty completed the move to the new campus in just four days. The following year, the Normandy campus was sold to another division of the Catholic Church (the Cardinal Newman Colleges) which purchased the property for $1 million.
The Chesterfield property was completely paid for thanks to the generosity of Logan supporters and the sale of the Normandy campus.