November 2011

Dr. Anne Austin Young, PC Class of 1910

Anne Austin Young is one of the most honored female doctors in South Carolina. She was the first female obstetrician/gynecologist in the state. Indeed, she was one of the few women doctors of her time. Anne serves as an inspiration to all women desiring to become doctors because of her determination and her independence.

Anne Austin was born on January 15, 1892, in Cross Hill, South Carolina. She grew up in a Christian family and enjoyed listening to her father read from the Bible. Early on, she showed that she was loving and tenderhearted and that she was very independent. During high school, she was already showing her intelligence by writing papers that were published in local newspapers. She graduated from high school at the age of fourteen.

In 1906, Anne entered Presbyterian College. She was at the top of her class and was popular among her class and was loved by the Faculty. She wrote poems and many excellent essays. Anne was very studious and won the history medal, the Bible medal, and an English Essay award. She also met a local dentist named Charles Henry Young whom she would eventually marry. When she graduated in 1910, she was class valedictorian.

Anne Austin as a PC student (photo from PC's June 1910 Collegian)

Once Anne returned home, she told her family that it was her dream to become a doctor. At this time, women as doctors were not viewed as a good thing. Her uncle tried to talk her parents out of letting her become a doctor but they stood behind her and allowed her to follow her dream. She enrolled in the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania and was tops scholastically and won a scholarship each year. She graduated as the top honor graduate in 1915. A few years later, Anne married Dr. Charles Young. She worked for several years on the staff of the South Carolina Hospital for the Insane before moving to Anderson to set up a joint practice with her husband.

During her medical career, Anne Austin accomplished many admirable goals and achievements. She practiced for 71 years, retiring at age 95. She delivered approximately 10,000 babies before her death at age 97 in 1989. Remarkably, she never lost a mother in any of those deliveries. She was awarded Presbyterian College’s Gold P award in 1979, and was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame in 1982.

Dr. Anne Austin Young (photo from South Carolina's Distinguished Women of Laurens County)

Our thanks to Josh Blackwell, a student from Greenwood Academy who was our “shadow” for a week during the summer of 2011, for writing this blog.