The Helen Moore Roberts Collection consists of much nineteenth century family
correspondence (notably of letters to Capt. J. Milo Hinton from his children and from
English relatives); family photographs; dance programs; souvenir booklets and magazines.
Many of these dance publications document performances that took place in northern
California between 1920 and 1980.
Helen Moore Roberts was born in Stockton in 1900. Her mother, Elwena Hinton, was the
daughter of San Joaquin Riverboat Captain, John Milo Hinton. Her father, Royal T. Moore,
was the son of Henry H. Moore, Stockton druggist. Both families had lived in Stockton
since the 1860s. Mrs. Roberts was educated in the Stockton public schools and she studied
ballet there with Lucille Halwick. Following her 1919 graduation from Stockton High
School, Helen Roberts studied dance at Mills College and the University of California.
Because her parents opposed her wish to have a career as a professional dancer, Helen
taught ballet at Miss Snell's Nursery School and at Lucille Halwick's school. In 1927,
Helen Moore married Hamilton Roberts. The following year, the couple had a daughter,
Marlyn Anne. From 1932 until 1970, Helen Moore Roberts operated her own Stockton dancing
school. In 1936, with Manlio Silva, founder of the Stockton Symphony, she co-founded the
Stockton Symphony Ballet. Mrs. Roberts was director and principal choreographer of this
organization for many years. Mrs. Roberts teaching had a lasting impact on hundreds of
Stockton dance students, who received from her a kind of "finishing school" education in
which ballet techniques and manners were given equal attention. In 1977, the Stockton
Arts Commission honored Helen Moore Roberts as a "Stockton Pioneer in the Arts." She died
in 1990 at the age of eighty nine.