Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation
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William F. Semple wfsemple 1918 - 1922

William F. Semple was born at Caddo, Indian Territory, o­n March 16, 1883. His parents were Charles Alexander Semple and Minnie Pitchlynn. His maternal grandfather was Major John Pitchlynn, a former officer in the Colonial Army. General George Washington appointed Major Pitchlynn as Official Choctaw Interpreter and he was present at the signing of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830. Major Pitchlynn was married to Sophia Folsom. To this union was born Peter P. Pitchlynn.

Chief Semple attended Jones Academy during his youth. In 1907 he graduated from Washington and Lee University at Lexington, Virginia with a degree in law.

After he returned to Oklahoma he set up a law practice in Durant, Oklahoma specializing in land titles. He was elected to the House of Representatives during the second session of that body. Later he was appointed District Attorney for the Choctaw Nation. He also served as Council for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

President Woodrow Wilson appointed William Finley Semple as the Principal Chief of the Choctaw Nation in 1918. He served in that capacity until 1922.

The wife of Chief Semple, Clara Petty Semple, died o­n June 11, 1966. William F. Semple passed away in 1969. They are both buried in Tulsa, Oklahoma.