Our Town Norfolk: History

In late 1865, three scouts were sent from a German Lutheran settlement in Wisconsin to find productive, inexpensive farmland.

They ended up at the junction of the Elkhorn River and it's North Fork and called it their new home.

Herman Gerecke became Norfolk's first mayor in 1886. Norfolk historian Sheryl Schmeckpepper added, "After that, we had a long line of Civil War veterans that were mayors."

Schmeckpepper loves Norfolk, so much in fact, that she wrote a book about it's history, "It was fun gathering the photographs and trying to decide which ones to use and which ones not to use and gathering the information."

The book contains information on how Norfolk got it's name, "The story has it that when the city fathers submitted the paperwork they suggested that they wanted to have their town named North Fork because it sits on the north fork of the Elkhorn River. Well, the story has it that in Washington officials here got things mixed up and thought they surely meant Norfolk as in Norfolk, Virginia or Norfolk, England most people call it Norfork."