The Voss family immigrates to America from Prohn, Germany, in August, 1882. Wilhelm Carl Joachim Voss, city postmaster and baker, along with his wife Johanna (Carolina) and four young children, Ewald (Adolph) Wilhelm Max (A.M.), Herman (H.E.), Emma, and Mattie, left Germany in the middle of the night to come to America. The ocean voyage on the freighter Wieland took almost two weeks. A.M. Voss, Henry Voss’s father and Mike Voss’s beloved “Grandpa Max, was 6 years old when he came to the U.S.A. A.M. Voss (1876-1971) who lived to the age of 95, is key to Voss Lighting’s history because 1) he ran Voss Electric during WWII; 2) he became a Christian at age 85.

The Voss Family came to America because, as A.M. Voss wrote in his own life story, “America was the great country of promise and freedom,” and also to be able to escape the tyranny of Kaiser Wilhelm’s edict that at age 16, all German boys must join the army so Germany could go and “conquer the world.” I share all of this in our historical record, lest we forget why so many gave up so much to experience America’s freedom.

On August 26, 1882, the Voss family, having passed by the Statue of Liberty, were processed through Ellis Island, New York, as legal, sponsored immigrants to America. They were properly “sponsored” to move westward to Nebraska by Uncle Karl Fisher and four Aunts, who earlier immigrated from Germany to Wisconsin – then to Nebraska.

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