During his time as a Logan student, Ralph Filson, DC (69’) had only heard and read about the incredible things that the University’s founder and first president, Hugh B. Logan, DC, had done.
“He was a very straightforward, honest person,” Dr. Filson, now a Logan professor, said. “He was a believer in his technique and an honorable man who did a lot for chiropractic.”
In the years following graduation, Dr. Filson created a very special bond with Dr. Logan’s widow, Fern Murray, DC, who was also the first student to enroll at Logan in 1935. Dr. Filson served as her chiropractor for several years. Before she passed away, Dr. Murray gifted Dr. Filson with her late husband’s desk from her home. Since Dr. Filson never met Dr. Logan, he said it was an honor and privilege to receive the gracious gift. With the desk also came a collection of textbooks, including Dr. Logan’s copy of Gray’s Anatomy, Dr. Murray’s copy of Logan Basic Methods and Dr. Vinton Logan’s (University president from 1944–1961) copy of Spears Painless Systems, which was autographed by the author, Dr. Leo L. Spears, to Dr. Vinton Logan on March 10, 1950.
“All I did was read about Dr. Logan and then actually having his wife tell me stories about him, it felt like they really made me part of the family history,” Dr. Filson said. “To think that the founder of Logan sat at this desk, I feel very blessed.”
Dr. Filson has had the desk for about 35 years and believes it could be upwards of 70 years old.
“It’s in my office in my home, and it is the place I spend the most time,” Dr. Filson said. “I’ve moved it from every house that I’ve ever had. It’s a part of me; it’s the only desk I want to touch.”
Years ago, Dr. Filson re-finished the desk. “You have to have a special feeling for something to put that much soul into working on real wood like that,” he said. “it’s still so smooth from all of the tung oil I put on it with my own hands.”
Putting his heart into this project, Dr. Filson made the desk a part of his home and a part of his family. His three children, Carrie, Samuel and Emma, have even spent time over the years sitting at the desk. The desk connects two families, and it connects Dr. Logan’s legacy to one that Dr. Filson is still creating.
“When Fern gave me the desk, she said, ‘Ralph, you remind me of Hugh B. You both like new cars, you both like to dress up in suits, you both care so much for your patients and you both became teachers.’ I thought it was incredible that she would say that, and it was very rewarding to hear,” Dr. Filson said.
Dr. Logan’s history and legacy will live on in that desk the same way it will continue to live on at Logan University, where the training and research he started continues to change and evolve for its students.
“Hugh B. would be very impressed by the way the school has grown and the national recognition it has received for adjusting techniques,” Dr. Filson said. “I know that I learned a lot when I was at Logan, and if I can pass that knowledge onto my students, that’s all that matters.”