Pencho Semov

The Bulgarian Rockefeller

Portrait of Pencho Semov

Pencho Semov was born on 8thOctober 1873 in the village of Tsvyatkovtsi, Gabrovo. He began working at the age of 12, helping his father in the trade with craft works. While working in trades he managed to collect initial capital.

He multiplied his capital by many times from trades, manufacturing, and banking. His various and active formal deeds successfully got together with taking care of the needy residents. He is one of the most generous well-doers of the town. He was decorated with “For Civil Service” IV class (1928), “St. Alexander” II class, commemorative medals for participating in the wars of 1912-1913 and 1915-1918.

Pencho Semov had donated to the Women Charity Organisation “Maychina Grizha”- Gabrovo, the schools of Gabrovo, the College “St. Augustin”- Plovdiv, the library “Aprilov- Palauzov”, built a school in his home village of Tsvyatkovtsi, donated to churches and monasteries and help financially to his workers. He left will of stocks of factories and banks to 34 organisations and associations, and he didn’t forget his relatives and close people, the worker in the factories of “Uspeh” and “Vilata”. His donations amount to 55 million leva.

Pencho Semov died on 10th July 1945 and was sent to his eternal residence by thousands of Gabrovians as a sign of respect towards him and his life, rationalised in the following words: “I was poor and I worked my whole life. I fought and won. My work now stands! I was a teacher, without being a pedagogue. I'm rich without being selfish. I am social, without being socialist. I worked with great inspiration, without being a poet.”

In 2008 Pencho Ivanov Semov was posthumously declared Honorary Citizen of Gabrovo.

Bust of Pencho Semov. Photo: © WCS "Mother's Care"

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