About Hollis E. Roberts, Chief of the Choctaw Nation
Hollis E. Roberts
Hollis E. Roberts was born on May 9, 1943 in Hochatown, Oklahoma in McCurtain County. He is the son of Darrell E. Roberts and Laura Beam Roberts. He attended Holly Creek Elementary School his first eight years and graduated from Idabel High School in 1961.
Hollis married Helen R. Rodriguez, May 17, 1963. To this union three children were born, two boys and one girl. Roberts became involved in tribal and Choctaw County affairs.
He served as city councilman at Hugo for 14 years, was a member of the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce, and was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives for a period of six years. In addition, he had acted as Secretary and Treasurer of the Arkansas Riverbed Authority. Roberts, one-half Choctaw, became Chief in April 1978 after the untimely death of C. David Gardner. Judge Ralph Hodges administered the oath of office to Roberts in Montgomery auditorium on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
During his administration the Choctaw Nation offered ever-increasing services and advantages, thanks to Self-Governance. Roberts and the Tribal Council were responsible for the acquistion of Arrowhead Lodge in 1987. While he was Chief, the Choctaw Tribe was awarded a six million dollar settlement by the United States government for tribal lands given to early-day railroad companies to build stations on.
Hollis Roberts term as Chief ran from 1978 to 1997, when he was convicted of one count of Aggravated Sexual Abuse and two counts of Abusive Sexual Contact.