Josef is an immigrant from Germany along with his wife, Risa, who joins the caravan leading from Fort Worth to Montana.
Josef is no fighter, despite being an ex-soldier, he was just seeking a better life for him and his wife. Originally from Germany, Josef joined a group of folks who were just like him, from Central Europe, along with some Prussians and Romanies, and understands building communities and farming on mountainous terrain, noting that the desert heat and dry land was not something they were used to back in Europe. He is basically the only immigrant who speaks fluent English while the rest of the caravan knows little to no English and so Shea has given him the job of interpreting for them. He knew that in order to survive the trek to Oregon, he and the rest of the immigrants would have to adapt to the American untamed west, for starters he and his people needed to learn how to use horses instead of oxen. He learned immediately that achieving the American Dream was no easy feat. During the journey, he was made the leader on the fact that he could interpret for the immigrants. When Darius and Valtin stole all of Noemi's supplies, Shea took manners in his own hands by beating the men and expelling them from the caravan. He then scolded Josef for not taking charge and policing the folks in the caravan, reminding him that they are journeying into No Man's Land. When they reached Wyoming, Risa was bucked from her horse after a rattlesnake struck the horse. Josef reacted to his wife, only to be bit in the leg by that same snake. Colton was able to remove the blunt of the venom, but it was already coursing through his left leg. After leaving Fort Caspar, his leg was amputated, allowing him a shot to survive, his wife , unfortunately, succumbed to the fall injury she received. A year after his wife died, he moved on and managed a claim of land.