LAURA WOLCOTT GIBBS, daughter of George Gibbs (III.), married Theophile Marie d’Oremieulx, a descendant of an old Royalist family of Picardi, France. His father had been imprisoned in the Luxembourg prison during the Revolution; his two brothers aided Charles X. to escape to England. The French Revolution having impoverished the family, the young man came to this country with excellent letters of introduction and was immediately appointed Assistant Professor of French at West Point, where he lived for 8 years.
He was a very popular man with the Army, counting many of the Generals and higher officers among his friends. In 1853 occurred his marriage to Miss Laura Wolcott Gibbs. When he brought his bride to the West Point Academy a dinner was given in their honor by Colonel Robert E. Lee, then superintendent.As he handed Mrs. d’Oremieulx to her seat beside him she exclaimed at the sight of four silver jardinieres on the table, which were very familiar to her, as her grandfather, Oliver Wolcott, Secretary of the Treasury under Washington, had left one exactly like them to her mother. “These four,” said Colonel Lee, “are of a set of six; they are really wine-coolers, meant for two bottles each. I inherited four and the other two Washington presented, one to General Hamilton, the other to Governor Wolcott!”
At a large reception in New York given to General Philip Sheridan after the War, Sheridan, as he caught sight of d’Oremieulx, exclaimed, “Well, Dorry, I taught you a lot of English, but I’ll be hanged if you could ever teach me any French!” Dorry, was described as a fine-looking old man, with a handsome face and courteous manner. His hobby was work with the microscope.
Laura, was an accomplished linguist and musician – in fact, one of the best amateur pianists in New York – a remarkable daughter of a remarkable mother. When the Civil War broke out she joined Miss Louisa Lee Schuyler, Miss Ellen Collins, Mrs. Wm. Preston Griffin and Mrs. Wm. B. Rice in forming the Woman’s Central Relief Association, which became the central source of medical and surgical supplies for the whole country.
During her whole life she was greatly interested in hospital work and helped start the Bellevue Training School for Nurses, modelled upon the work of Florence Nightingale in England; this was the first attempt in the young country to train women for the profession of nursing, a movement which, at the start, met with much vigorous opposition from the doctors of that day.
She also helped Miss Schuyler in her efforts to alleviate the condition of the insane in the State of New York. Until her death at age 81 she was alert and active, keeping up her interest in public affairs, in music, and in her very large circle of friends.
A son, Leon Francisque, was born November 13, 1854, and died at Oyster Bay, July 28, 1899. He married Helen L. H. Granbery, leaving no children.
A daughter, Laura Henriette d’Oremieulx, born January 7, 1858, married Dr. J. West Roosevelt, February 26, 1884. He died April 10, 1898. They had six children: Lorraine, born January 1 , 1887, married Langdon Warner May 10, 1910; Oliver Wolcott, born November 27, 1891; married Grace Temple Olmstead; his second wife is Mary de Verdery Akin, of Atlanta, Ga. Nicholas, the younger son was born June 12 , 1893, and is now U. S. Minister to Hungary. Laura Roosevelt, a worthy daughter of her talented mother, a charming woman, and a fine musician and linguist. There are many letters from Laura d’Oremieulx Roosevelt captured in posterity at the Theodore Roosevelt Center linked here.