Shae Cohan photographed these sprites on August 26. Sprites are electrical discharges that occur above thunderstorms, typically at an altitude of 30 to 55 miles. The picture was taken from Macomb, although the storms in question were southeast of Springfield near Taylorville. (click image to enlarge)
The U.S. Weather Bureau was established by an act of Congress, and assigned as part of the Department of Agriculture. Weather observations and forecasts were previously issued by the Army Signal Service.