Oquawka, Illinois: Norma Jean, Elephant Killed By Lightning

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

5th St., Oquawka, IL
Signs pointing toward "Elephant Killed By Lightning" direct you to Norma Jean's grave from all points in Oquawka. 164 goes into town - heading north, turn left on Schuyler (stop light), then right on 5th. It is on 5th between Mercer and Clay, on the right-hand side. If you're heading west on 164 then go straight on Schuyler and turn right on 5th.
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Norma Jean, Elephant Killed By Lightning
Norma Jean was the star of the Clark and Walters Circus until a bolt of lightning killed her in Oquawka's town square. Roadsideamerica.com Report...

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Elephant statue.

Norma Jean, Elephant

The much happier elephant statue at the Norma Jean grave appears to be about the same size as the original, and is in the same spot on top of the wall.

[Jon Morgan, 10/10/2015]

The original, more serious elephant statue was destroyed by jerks in late 2009.

Elephant memorial.

Grave Of Elephant Killed By Lightning

The site is just to the right (east) as you are driving on 5th street north from the business district. It is well hidden under a pine tree, about 20 feet off the road in this residential district. There is a small semicircular gravel pull-out. As slow as we were going, we drove right past it!

[Doc Adelman, 08/28/2009]

The elephant statue in this photo was destroyed by morons in late 2009. It has since been replaced by a much happier-looking elephant statue.

Elephant Norma Jean's Grave

It's not as easy to find the "Elephant Killed by Lightning" as everyone makes it out to be. Follow the map at tip 429. 164 goes into town - if you're heading North turn left on Schuyler (stop light) and then right on 5th. It is on 5th between Mercer and Clay, on the right-hand side. If you're heading West on 164 then go straight on Schuyler and turn right on 5th. It's cute to see.

[oceanmom62, 09/28/2008]
Spot Where Lightning Killed an Elephant

Please note that Norma Jean the elephant's gravesite in Oquawka, IL, has been newly landscaped, with the same Wade Meloan who helped place her gravestone still tending the shrubbery. The city has a festival in honor of Norma Jean in late August, with an elephant walk, white elephant sale and a bake sale featuring elephant ears. Norma Jean will not be forgotten.

[Tim Criss, 12/03/1998]

Nearby Offbeat Places

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In the region:
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