Dr. Semple arrived in California in August of 1845 with the Lansford Hasting’s party. He was a lanky, 6’7″ giant of a man was usually always stooped from bending over to enter every doorway in California. He was described as impulsive, stubborn and erratic although with a kindly nature. His stubborn streak caused him to rarely take anyone else’s advise which cause problems for himself and the new City of Benicia. Assisted by General Vallejo and Thomas Oliver Larkin, Semple founded the town of Benicia in 1847.