Publication information
view printer-friendly version
Source: News and Courier
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Dr Eugene Wasdin”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Charleston, South Carolina
Date of publication: 14 September 1901
Volume number: none
Issue number: none
Pagination: 8

“Dr Eugene Wasdin.” News and Courier 14 Sept. 1901: p. 8.
full text
Eugene Wasdin; McKinley physicians.
Named persons
Henry D. Geddings; William McKinley; Guiseppe Sanarelli [misspelled below]; John Tillman; Eugene Wasdin.


Dr Eugene Wasdin


A Sketch of the South Carolina Surgeon Who Has Been at the
Bedside of the Stricken President from the First.

     Dr Eugene Wasdin, one of the consulting physicians at the bedside of President McKinley, is well known in Charleston. This city was for a time his home. The first dispatches sent out by the Associated Press from Buffalo, after the tragic shooting, spoke of him as “D. Wabdin,” although his Charleston friends realized that there had been an error. Since then, however, Dr Wasdin has received full credit for his work.
     The Daily States of New Orleans printed the following sketch of his career, which will be read with interest in Charleston:
     “One of the chief consultants at the bedside of President McKinley, New Orleans people will be interested to know, is a physician and surgeon who came into decided prominence in this city in the late summer of 1897, at the time of the outbreak of the fever at Ocean Springs. This physician and surgeon is Dr Eugene Wasdin, of the United States marine hospital service, whose name appears with those of the other celebrated medical men in the daily bulletins and reports now given out concerning the condition of the President.
     “While Dr Wasdin saw his first marine hospital service at New Orleans in 1883, reporting here October 8, when he was an assistant surgeon, having received his appointment in August of that year, he is by far better known here in connection with the incipiency of the epidemic of 1897 at Ocean Springs, when he, on Saturday, the 4th of August, 1897, held an autopsy upon the body of the ferryman, Tillman, at Ocean Springs, and declared his death, the day before, to have been caused by yellow fever. Dr Wasdin’s diagnosis was emphatically ‘jumped on’ at first, but he stuck to his guns and it took very little time for the others to come over to his way of thinking. Dr Wasdin had been stationed at Mobile for some time previous and was directed to go to Ocean Springs when the reports of fever first became circulated.
     “Later he came to New Orleans for the express purpose of making bacterological and pathological researches, and the following year, with Dr H. D. Geddings, was sent as president of a commission to Cuba for the express purpose of studying the disease with a view to determining its origin. In this Dr Wasdin was successful and his report, made the following year, corroborated the theory which had been announced by Saranelli, the famous Italian surgeon, then living at Rio de Janiero.
     “Dr Wasdin is a South Carolinian. Having been born in 1859, he is now in his 43d year. He is married, and bringing his wife with him to Ocean Springs, both being non-immunes, he was taken down with the fever, and she, later, contracted it in nursing him.
     “He received his professional education at the South Carolina State Medical College, at Charleston, and later held the chair of pathology and bacteriology at that institution. On October 20, 1886, he was made passed assistant surgeon, and on August 10, 1898, was made a full surgeon. He had in the meanwhile served actively at various South Atlantic and Gulf quarantine stations, at Charleston, Galveston, New Orleans and Mobile, and it was while at Galveston that he first attracted attention as a surgeon. He performed the delicate operation of removing a kidney from a man and with signal success. On July 29, 1899, when the fever broke out at the Soldiers’ Home, at Hampton, Va, Dr Wasdin was sent there as expert diagnostician. Considerable of Dr Wasdin’s knowledge of bacteriology and pathology was gained while working in the laboratory at Tulane University. Later, in November, 1899, this knowledge was supplemented by a course at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, and in other European schools of medical and surgical science.
     “Dr Wasdin is naturally well known here among the members of the Medical profession, those of the press and many of the public with whom he was thrown in contact in a professional and social way, and his researches in Cuba in quest of the bacillus discovered by Saranelli were at that time and since of great importance to New Orleans. He received his first serum from Saranelli while at Ocean Springs.”



top of page