The building on upper Main Street belonging to B. Grant, and occupied in the lower story by a milliner store, was struck by lightning Sunday morning about three o’clock. The building was not set on fire, however. The lightning struck on the west side of the building about the center of it near the top, and tore a hole about six feet square, at the same time breaking the panes out of a window in a bed room occupied by Jerry Freeman, the colored bartender in Hopper & Co’s saloon. The head of Jerry’s bedstead was also torn and he slightly shocked.
There was considerable excitement in Norfolk last Sunday evening over the mysterious disappearance of little Johnny Parke and his cousin from Ponca, who was visiting him. They started down town on an errand about one o’clock and not returning to dinner the suspicions of their parents were naturally aroused. Hoping, however, that they would return soon no search was instituted by Mr. Parke until about 5 o’clock, when he took a circle of the town and inquired diligently of everyone he met, but his efforts seemed to avail him but little. One small boy had seen them going toward the river on the St. Paul railroad track, another had seen them at the Union Depot, &c. Their going toward the river was enough to excite apprehension for their safety and cause the suspicion that the little fellows might have ventured too near the water and been drowned. At this juncture neighbors were invited to participate in the search and a general reconnoiter of the surrounding country was commenced. The river was examined for straw hats or any other evidence of the whereabouts of the urchins. The railroad track was traveled for several miles, the sloughs south of town were carefully explored, farmers were awakened from their dreamy slumbers (for by this time nature had mantled herself in her black nightgown) and interviewed, the grave yard was visited and the quiet communion of the spooks and spirits disturbed. But, alas! The unsympathetic waters refused to breed straw hats, the railroad track furnished no satisfactory evidence of the truants, the sloughs knew no small boys, the farmers had seen nothing of them and the silent precincts of the departed proffered no encouragement to the searching friends. Tired feet and fallen spirits compelled searchers to return to town to find that in the meantime the boys had come home by way of the St. Paul road which they had been excursing over a foot-back to Hoskins. It was quite a picnic.
Source: Norfolk Journal, Friday June 29, 1883, page 3.