Ponton’s Earthquakes, p. 118, describes an earthquake in Illinois preceded by “‘a luminous appearance, described by some as a meteor and by others as vivid flashes of lightning’” on October 8, 1857. Although felt in Illinois, the center of the event was in St. Louis, Missouri. Something “exploded terrifically in the sky,…and shook the ground ‘severely’ or ‘violently,’ at 4:20 a.m., Oct. 8, 1857.” Timbs’ Year Book of Facts, 1858-271, says that “'a blinding meteoric ball from the heavens’” was seen. The St. Louis Intelligencer of that date also describes the “large and brilliant” meteor. The New York Times reported that it sounded “'like thunder or the roar of artillery.’”
–Charles Fort, New Lands, p406 (The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover, c1974).