Brother Charles H. Mayo

Co-founder of the Mayo Clinic

MayoMasonicFDC1.jpg (23984 bytes)

In 1889 the Sisters of St. Francis founded St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minn., with a medical staff of just three men:   British-born physician William Worrall Mayo (1819-1911) and his two sons, William James (born 1861 and trained in medicine at the University of Michigan) and Charles Horace (born 1865 and trained at the Chicago Medical College).  Thus a family of physicians began the first private cooperative medical organization in the U.S., which would later be known as the Mayo Clinic and achieve world renown for its brilliant diagnostic and surgical achievements.

In its first years St. Mary's Hospital had the only adequate surgical facilities available in much of Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas.   From 1905, when the clinic's staff was broadened to include highly skilled specialists in various fields of medicine, William Mayo was able to concentrate on his specialty of abdominal surgery, and Charles Mayo on surgery of the thyroid and nervous system.  The Mayo brothers are remembered today not so much for original research as for their special genius in seeking out and putting into practice the latest advances in medical and surgical techniques.  They were among the first to insist on sterile conditions in the operating room--a practice their father disparaged as useless--and to adopt the use of X rays as a diagnostic tool.  In 1915, with an initial endowment of $1.5 million, they established the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, later part of the University of Minnesota.  William Mayo retired from practice in 1928, Charles two years later; both died in 1939, barely two months apart.  The above First Day Cover commemorates the Masonic affiliation of Charles Horace Mayo who was Initiated January 27th, 1890 and Raised May 12, 1890 in Rochester Minnesota Lodge No. 21.   This FDC was sponsored by the Masonic Stamp Club of New York and was cancelled on September 11th, 1964 in Rochester, Minn. It is listed in the Scott catalog as number 1251 and 674,846 were made.

 

         

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