Stoll Family's Journey to America
Stoll family members and farm workers are shown at the Bedell Road farm. According to the back of the photo, the wagon is loaded with oat bundles. Only Bertha Stoll, Margaret Stoll Christman and Myron Stoll, the children of John and Louisa Stoll, are identified and shown together in front of the wagon.
Louisa Redick Stoll, 32, and her husband, John Henry Stoll, 35, sold all of their earthly possessions and, with their five children, left Germany and began their 11-week journey to America in October 1871. During the ninth week on the ocean, their youngest child died and was buried at sea. The Stolls landed in New York on Christmas Day, 1871.
Louisa and John's goal was Chicago, however, the promise of help from a friend in the U.S. never materialized and the family found itself penniless in a strange land, unable to speak any English. According to a small printed pamphlet written by their son, Rev. R. Carl Stoll, it was a Grand Island, NY farmer who took them in, gave them work, paid them well and gave them opportunity. Their family grew and eventually a small farm was purchased. The Stolls, who were able to enjoy several years of real prosperity, continued to live on Grand Island for many generations. Living decendants of the Stoll family are resident Marie Christman Young, and Melva Christman Alt who has lived here her entire life until recently.