Brother Henry William deSaussure, P.M.

By: Ill. Brother McDonald "Don" Burbidge, 33°

On March 19, 1875 Dr. Henry William deSaussure and his wife Mary Broun Sinkler deSaussure (of Camden, S. C.) gave birth to their son Henry William deSaussure who was the third generation named as such.

He attended the locale schools and after graduation enrolled in the Citadel in 1894. Upon his graduation from the Citadel he then entered the Medical College of South Carolina were he then graduated in 1897.

In 1897 he became a general resident physician at Roper Hospital. Later that year he left the hospital to open a private practice on Yonges Island. In 1898 he accepted a position as the City Physician for Charleston, which he served on for four years.

In 1906 Dr. H. W. deSaussure was appointed as the City Health Officer due to the untimely death of Dr. Henry Horlbeck death. It was during this time that Charleston was infested with typhoid fever out break. Dr. deSaussure was able to trace the problem to the milk that the city was drinking. It was due to Dr. deSaussure’s efforts that the epidemic was brought under control and more stringent regulations applied to milk handlers.

From the time of his graduation in 1887 until his death, Dr. deSaussure was actively engaged in teaching at the Medical College of South Carolina. He first served as an instructor in anatomy, later as an instructor in surgery, and finally as assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology. During these years Dr. deSaussure served untiringly to promote the advancement of his specialty and to help all whom requested his services, patients, nurses, medical students, residents physicians, general practitioners and his fellow obstetricians. He gave generously of his time to all that had a need of help or advice. In the early days of his practice Dr. deSaussure conducted Quiz classes that was open to all students who desired study of this type.

In 1913 Dr. Henry William deSaussure became a Master Mason of Union Kilwinning Lodge No. 4 located in Charleston, South Carolina. Then in 1920-1921 he was elected Worshipful Master.

In 1920 and 1921, the Lodge, under the direction of Brothers H. W. DeSaussure, W. M., and Brother Frank H. Furman, S. W., took on new life, many new Brethren were raised, (thirty-three in 1921, thirty-eight in 1922). Due to the efforts put forth by these Brothers, Union Kilwinning Lodge No. 4 was able to grow during the years of the war. The Brothers that kept Union Kilwinning Lodge No. 4 together, and those whose enthusiasm and energy have produced a Lodge whose teaching of Masonry through their influence for the best are unsurpassed in all Masonry.

In 1920 Brother deSaussure represented Union Kilwinning Lodge No. 4 at the corner stone laying of the first cornerstone of the Citadel in Charleston, S. C.

In 1921 Union Kilwinning Lodge No. 4 was the first Lodge of Charleston to require that each newly made Master Mason be required to make a study of the third degree and pass a satisfactory examination in all its details. At which time the Lodge would present him with a Travelling Certificate and a copy of the Ahiman Rezon. This is a forward step in the line of Masonic education, and one, which was followed by other Lodges in the city.

Dr. deSaussure was also a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, the St. Cecilia Society, the Medical Society of South Carolina, the Society of Colonial Wars, the Charleston Club and the South Atlantic Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He also was a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

During the last thirteen years of his life Dr. deSaussure donated his services to the Florence Crittenton Home in Charleston, giving both his time and money to provide necessary equipment and to maintain high professional standards in the institution.

Dr. Henry William deSaussure was a member of St. Michael’s Protestant Episcopal Church located in Charleston.

At the time of his death on March 14, 1955 due to a heart attack he was married fifty-seven years and four months to Mrs. DeSaussure. They had three daughters, ten grandchildren, and two great granddaughters.

In May 2001, Ill. Brother McDonald "Don" Burbidge, 33° was approached by the Historical Society about the Masonic jewels (Scottish Rite, York Rite, and Blue Lodge) of our late Brother Henry William deSaussure that were donated by a family member sometime during the 1960’s.

On December 18, 2003 Illustrious Brother Don Burbidge presented Past Master Henry de Saussure Past Master Jewel to Worshipful Master Roger Anderson in an open lodge, from the de Saussure family and the South Carolina Masonic Research Society .

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Special "Thanks" goes out to Mr. And Mrs. Crabtree of "The Brass and Silver Workshop" for donating their time and energies in restoring the beauty of these medals for all to view.

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