Floyd Williams

Floyd Williams was born in Red Springs. The foundation of the house he was born in can still be seen on Town Hall Rd. His parents are the late Byron Williams (Stockbridge) and Naoma Johnson (Oneida). Floyd grew up with four sisters and four brothers.

Floyd lived in and attended the mission school in Red Springs until the age of seven. He remembers Greta picking him and his siblings up with a buckskin pony and taking them to the movies in Gresham. 

His family made a move to Sturgeon Bay. This is the place Floyd called home for the next 15 years. Some of Floyd’s best times in Sturgeon Bay were when he would load up in a truck with some other kids and they’d be off to the cherry orchards. “I always looked forward to it,” says Floyd. He also spent time picking apples by day and packing them at night. Floyd spent 4 years working for the Coast Guard, making mind sweepers and boats.

When Floyd was around age 20 he broke both of his legs, and had to stay in the hospital for over a year. “I was in a cast up to my waist,” recalls Floyd. Always a strong willed person Floyd, still on crutches would walk 3 miles into town daily. It was during these walks that Floyd would meet his future wife. I had seen her walking a few times, and my friends always told me she would never go out with me, says Floyd. Then one day while she was walking with her sister Floyd went up to her and asked her for a date. From then on Floyd and Audrey (Metoxen) dated for about two years before marrying.

After marrying, Floyd and his wife moved to Milwaukee. Floyd took on a very respectable job as a steelman putting up and taking apart buildings. Floyd’s picture was placed in the Milwaukee Public Museum after an accident at work, involving a 600-ton crane falling on him. It had to have fallen at just the right place and time says Floyd. Floyd very much enjoyed his job in Milwaukee “people use to come from around the city just to watch us work,” it was exciting to be so high up, says Floyd. 

Floyd was involved in the American Indian Movement (AIM) in Milwaukee during the time they took over the Coast Guard Station in Milwaukee. Floyd continues by saying that he is strongly opposed to violence, and that it felt only right to stay behind while others went on to wounded knee.

As members of a Methodist church in Milwaukee for over 27 years Floyd says he has always been opposed to violence. He believes in turning his cheek once, saying that people can only take so much. Floyd had always raised his kids to know of both Native ways and the ways of the church.

Floyd and his wife were always interested in stockcar races. Floyd recalls working on a stockcar with Paul Welch. He would drive up from Milwaukee on weekends and run the car out of Sturgeon Bay. They also ran the car in Luxemberg. Floyd would drive just for the fun and sportsmanship.

Before moving to the reservation Floyd lived in Germantown for approximately 5 years. Floyd was encouraged by his sister Angeline to move to the reservation. She kept telling me to call and ask about the elder apartments, says Floyd. Not long after he called, Floyd received a call that he was approved for an elder apartment.

Floyd retired and moved to the reservation. “I’ve always wanted to retire up here, now that I’m here I don’t know what to do with myself.” Floyd lived in the apartments until he was given some land to put his trailer on. There was some confusion about Floyds land assignment, but with the help of Joe Miller and Bill Terrio the situation was cleared up and Floyd was given land on River Rd. 

After Floyd received his land he only had 2 weeks to get his land cleared before his trailer was to arrive. Floyd worked hard and never asked for help, though he did get help clearing his yard from Bernard Rudesill. Floyd says he is thankful that Bernard helped him out. Floyd likes to keep busy and enjoys doing things for himself. “When I can’t go no more, then I’ll ask for help,” said Floyd. 

Today Floyd likes to spend his time with his family and friends. Floyd has 7 children, 4 girls and 3 boys. He is the grandfather of 11 and great grandfather of 2. Floyd enjoys fishing and hunting with his children. 

Floyd enjoys spending time at the Elderly Center, and going on trips with them. He especially enjoys the company of elderly worker Roger Malone, Floyd says that Malone watches over him and that he’s a good guy.

Floyd would like to one day have a house big enough to hold all the company he gets on the weekends. “I’m not rich, but my wife and I are doing fine; we’ve been married for 47 years and I hope to live another 47,” said Floyd.