Oliver John Semmes, Sr.

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Oliver John Semmes, Sr.
Born August 7, 1876
Mobile, Alabama
Died March 13, 1957
Occupation Civil servant
Spouse Georgie F. Smith
Parents Oliver John and Amante G. Semmes
Children Oliver John Semmes, Jr.
Amante S. Semmes
Emily S. Semmes

Oliver John Semmes, Sr., better known as O. J. Semmes, was a longtime Escambia County School Board member. There is an elementary school named in his honor.

After graduating from Auburn University in 1897, Semmes moved to Pensacola and took a job supervising the construction of the streetcar system. Upon its completion he became superintendent of the system and remained in that capacity until 1909, at which time he left that position to start the Semmes Coal and Ice Company, which he operated for several years.

From 1911-1913 Semmes served as city alderman. He later served as city recorder from 1919 until he was appointed to the Escambia County School Board in 1921. With the exception of six years, he would serve on the School Board until his death in 1957, serving 16 total years as the board's chairman.