Charles Augustus Semlin

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Charles Augustus Semlin
Charles Semlin.png
12th Premier of British Columbia
In office
August 15, 1898 – February 27, 1900
Lieutenant GovernorThomas Robert McInnes
Preceded byJohn Herbert Turner
Succeeded byJoseph Martin
MLA for Yale
In office
October 16, 1871 – September 11, 1875
Preceded byfirst member
Succeeded byForbes George Vernon
In office
July 24, 1882 – July 7, 1894
Preceded byForbes George Vernon
Succeeded byriding abolished
MLA for Yale-West
In office
July 7, 1894 – June 9, 1900
Preceded byfirst member
Succeeded byDenis Murphy
Personal details
Born(1836-12-04)December 4, 1836
near Barrie, Upper Canada
DiedNovember 2, 1927(1927-11-02) (aged 90)
Cache Creek, British Columbia
ChildrenMary Semlin[1]
ResidenceCache Creek, British Columbia
Occupationteacher, miner, packer, hotel owner, rancher

Charles Augustus "Charlie" Semlin (December 4, 1836 – November 2, 1927) was a Canadian politician and rancher.

Born near Barrie, Upper Canada, Semlin worked there as a schoolteacher until 1862 when he moved to British Columbia during the gold rush to become a prospector. Failing at that, he took work under Clement Francis Cornwall at the Ashcroft Manor Ranch.[2] With Philip Parke he established the Cache Creek Hotel. In 1869 he purchased the Dominion Ranch and became a rancher. He entered politics when British Columbia became a province of Canada, in 1871, winning the Yale riding in the provincial legislature in 1871 and was defeated in 1876, though won election again in 1882. He was Leader of the Opposition in 1884. While in politics Semlin was instrumental in the building and operating of a boarding school in Cache Creek. The site was chosen there as Cache Creek was the midpoint between the Cariboo region to the north and the populated areas of the Lower Mainland to the south. He lost his seat in 1875 but returned to the assembly in 1882. In 1894 he became leader of the opposition and finally the 12th Premier of British Columbia in August 1898. His government lasted only two years and resigned to make way for the rump regime of Joseph Martin, who was defeated in the election of 1900.

He died on November 3, 1927 at his ranch, which is just east of Cache Creek, British Columbia. Semlin raised a daughter, Mary, and left much of his estate, valued at just over $50,000 and consisting mainly of stock in the Dominion Ranch to her.[3]


His name features in the Cache Creek area in the Canadian Pacific Railway railway-point name Semlin, on the south bank the Thompson River near Cache Creek[4] and in the name of the Semlin Valley which stretches east from Cache Creek on the north side of the Thompson, and is the route of the Trans-Canada Highway today. It was the location of his Dominion Ranch. A street in East Vancouver, Semlin Drive, bears his name.[5]


  • "Charles Augustus Semlin". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2016.