Sloan, IA Lightning Strike, Jul 1875


Terrible Effect of Lightning---The Victim Stripped Naked as When He Was Born.

The Dubuque Herald says: On the afternoon of the 15th inst MR. J. H. BOYER, the postmaster and blacksmith of Sloan, a small station on the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad, near the southern line of Woodbury County, Iowa, was struck and killed by lightning. At about 5 o'clock in the afternoon, at which time not a cloud obscured the sky overhead or stood between the son and the town, a terrible flash of lightning, followed by a deafening peal of thunder, struck the wires of the telegraph office and set it on fire. Immediately after the stroke JOHN H. BOYNER, who was at his shop at the time, ran out into the street toward the depot, where some boys had been playing. He approached them rapidly and said, "why boys, I thought some of you were struck. I was quite frightened on account of you." He evidently had it in his mind that the terrible shock might have frightened his family as he started toward his house immediately. When within about fifty yards of the house, from the front window of which his wife was anxiously watching his approach, another vivid flash of lightning dazzled the eyes of all and ere the thunder had ceased rolling, the naked body of the unfortunate man was seen to by lying prone upon the ground. A number of people among them his wife, rushed to the spot, and so horrible was the situation that it was not until he had been carried to his house that a full appreciation was had of the terrible death which nature had inflicted upon him. An examination of the body, from which every vestige of clothing had been instantly torn, showed that the subtle and terribly fatal fluid had first struck him on the top of head, whence, though the skull was left apparently intact, the hair had been burned off for a space the size of a silver dollar. Thence the fluid had run down the side of the face, as was shown by a clearly cut track to the shoulder and thence to the heart, where it apparently had spread all over the body. The terrible power of the fluid was shown by the presence in the ground, on the spot where the unfortunate man's body had been picked up, a hole eight feet deep by actual measurement. The clothing of the deceased was found to have been shredded, and when lifted up, it was found that the work had been fused into a lump of shapeless metal.

The Inter Ocean, Chicago, IL 26 Jul 1875