John E. Olney, dealer in general merchandise, was born in Windham County, Conn. At about the age of eighteen, he removed to New York City; there employed as clerk. In 1861, he came to Decatur, Ill., and there carried on the grocery business. In 1869, came to Norfolk, when he, with Col. Mathewson, now deceased, engaged in general merchandising and milling. This partnership continued until January, 1881, when he withdrew from the mill and became sole owner of this store. He owns and occupies one of the finest, if not the finest, retail store in the State. This structure is of brick, two stories and basement, completed December, 1880, at a cost of about $16,000. This store is 32×128 feet.