The Hastings Gazette, June 28, 1939
Smashing panes in the lower half of a window as it entered, a bolt of lightning in the form of a ball of fire, shattered a radio and cleaned the dust from a drophead sewing machine, leaving it piled an a ball under the undamaged machine in the home of the Joseph Pilcher family in southwest Coates during the storm Sunday evening.
After hitting the radio and the machine at opposite sides of the room, the ball of fire floated to the feet of one of the Pilcher boys, who was sitting in the room, stunning him for several minutes, then left the house through an open door. The radio was blown to pieces and the control knobs were strewn about the room like flaming balls.
It was an experience that neither Mrs. Pilcher nor any member of the family would care to go through again. The freak incident occurred during an electrical storm which did considerable damage to trees, silos and other buildings in that area.