Joseph Tremeau was born in Bordeaux, France, in 1754, the son of Stephen Tremeau and Elizabeth Tremeau (née Scipio). In 1778, at the age of 24, Joseph enlisted in the military and was assigned to a company of Matelot (French marines).1
In 1781, Joseph's ship, the La Blanche, landed in Havre De Grace, Maryland, and he disembarked to support the land campaign with the American Revolutionaries. Under the command of Rochambeau, his company joined the American forces under Washington on their march south toward what would become the final decisive battle of the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Yorktown.
During the course of the siege of the British forces at Yorktown, Joseph was seriously wounded in combat and taken to a makeshift hospital in Virginia at the home of an American husband and wife physician team, Drs. John and Elizabeth Johnson (née Lennham).2
While under treatment by the Johnsons, Joseph would meet and fall in love with his future wife, the daughter of the Johnsons, Lucretia.
Recovered from his wounds, and wishing to stay with Lucretia in the newly formed country for which he had fought, Joseph decided he would remain in the United States.
To avoid persecution by the French monarchy, which was recalling troops as the unrest leading to the French Revolution began, Joseph changed his last name to Sippy, an Americanized version of his mother's maiden name, Scipio (Italian, pronounced sēpēō).
Married in 1787, Joseph and Lucretia eventually settled in Mount Jackson, Pennsylvania, and had 18 children.
From Joseph and Lucretia would descend a long line of notable American physicians and patriots, including Dr. Joseph Sippy, Jr., the founder of Akron, Indiana, and an operator of an Underground Railroad safe house for escaping slaves,3 Dr. A. F. Sippy, Dr. Burne Sippy, Dr. H. Ivan Sippy, and Dr. Bertram Welton Sippy, a world-renowned internist and creator of the Sippy Diet, the first medical treatment for gastric ulcers.4
Joseph died peacefully in 1819 at the age of 65 and is buried in the Westfield Cemetery, in Mt. Jackson, Beaver Co., Pennsylvania.
Our founder, Bradford C. Sippy, is a father-to-son direct descendent of Joseph Tremeau Sippy5 and named our company in Joseph's honor.
1. Du Ministére des Affaires Étrangéres, Les Combattants Français de la Guerre Américaine 1778-1783, Paris, France 1903, 74-75.
2. Somers, J., Joseph Sippy: The Frenchman, Wichita, Kansas, 1987.
3. Willard, S., Fulton County Had Underground Railroad Stations, www.fultoncountyhistory.org.
4. Sippy, B.W., Gastric and Duodenal Ulcer: Medical Cure by an Efficient Removal of Gastric Juice Corrosion, Journal of the American Medical Association, Chicago, 1915, 64: 1625-1630.
5. Through a line inclusive of Dr. Joseph Sippy Jr. and Dr. Bertram Welton Sippy.