• Explore Neosho

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  • Our History

    Founded in 1839, Neosho, a thriving county seat (Newton County) of 11,835, located in the heart of the four-state region. The name, NE-O-ZHO or NE-U-ZHU, is of Indian derivation, meaning clear or abundant water. Clear springs still flow freely through Neosho, especially at Big Spring Park, just 3 blocks west of the square, where 890,000 gallons of water gush from the hillside each day. Once the site of Indian trading grounds and later a campground for Civil War troops, Big Spring Park remains a favorite rendezvous today. The most photographic scenes and a popular wedding spot in Neosho is Big Spring Park. The park features beautiful gardens, picnic tables, a floral clock and a children’s wading pool.

    Downtown centers around a 1936 courthouse with a shady, landscaped lawn accented with flower boxes. In fact, flower boxes and planters adorn many of the storefronts and sidewalks around the square, and most neighborhoods throughout town. It all started in 1955 when Neosho received a beautification grant and launched its flower box program. It blossomed into the nationally recognized “Flower Box City” it’s known as today. Neosho is home to the “World’s Largest Flower Box”. It is a railroad gondola car 66 feet long, 8 feet wide and 44 inches deep. The flower box is filled with flowers, shrubs, and trees and is a beautiful addition to Morse Park.

    Neosho has other claims to fame – most notably its famous sons George Washington Carver, the renowned botanist, and acclaimed artist Thomas Hart Benton. Carver was born at nearby Diamond and attended elementary school in Neosho. Thomas Hart Benton was born in Neosho to a local congressman. Several of Benton’s original lithographs are displayed in Neosho’s City Hall. His days as a youth in Neosho are captured in his famous mural in the Missouri State Capitol.

    Another historic highlight: Neosho’s National Fish Hatchery, which dates to 1888, is the oldest federal hatchery still in operation.

    Other historical sites include a five-panel mural on the main floor of the Newton County Courthouse. The mural is a chronological history of the county. Other historical murals include the Centennial Mural in the Municipal Auditorium and the Skaggs Tile Mural on the Mills Building in Big Spring Park.

    The Longwell Museum at Crowder College houses many artifacts and images of Thomas Hart Benton and contains over 5,000 photographs, manuscripts and records that chronicle the history of Camp Crowder, a World War II Signal Corps Training Camp at Neosho.

  • Flower Box City

    Neosho, nationally known as the Flower Box City, received a grant in 1955 to launch an experiment in city beautification, and has since concentrated on easy-care planters in every conceivable location. Flower boxes in front of business establishments, churches, schools and residential homes have spread Neosho’s fame.

    The project is so much an accepted part of the city’s thinking that many new residence and businesses have flower boxes incorporated as part of their landscaping plans.

    We are now proud to be home of the World’s Largest Flower Box. After acquiring a railroad gondola car, it was transformed into a flower box. It’s 66 feet long, eight feet wide and 44 inches deep. The community of Neosho came together and donated their time, energy, and funds to make this a reality. The flower box is filled with flowers, shrubs, and trees and is a beautiful addition to Morse Park.

    To this day, on a leisurely drive around Neosho, one would notice the abundance of Flower Boxes both at private residences and businesses.

    Herman Jaeger

    From Wikipedia: Hermann Jaeger (born March 23, 1844), who was a native of Switzerland, was a celebrated enologist and recipient of the French Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor for his part in saving the French wine industry from the deadly phylloxera louse.

    Jaeger came from a well-known and highly-educated family, and was the grandson of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, founder of the Swiss public school system. As a young man Jaeger took a job in a wine warehouse on Lake Geneva in Switzerland and then emigrated to the United States. In 1865, he settled east of Neosho, Missouri in the Monark Springs, Missouri area of Newton County. The following year he and his brother, John, planted a vineyard and became grape growers and wine makers.

    Intelligent and proficient in several languages, Hermann Jaeger worked to breed new varieties of grapes, many of which came from wild Ozarks grapes – grapes commonly called “possum grapes”. He also communicated with other grape experts around the world, sharing information about his work and learning from the works of others. He also wrote articles for scientific and grape journals, explaining the mysteries of grapes and his work on his farm.

    In the 1870s, when the vineyards of France, Spain, and Portugal were struck by the deadly phylloxera louse, a call went out around the world to find grapes that were resistant to the disease. Encouraged by Missouri’s state entomologist, Charles Riley and after some testing, it was determined that grapes bred by Jaeger were resistant to the louse. His work proved to be a savior for the great vineyards of Europe. Working with other scholars and grape growers, Jaeger supplied cuttings from his Monark Springs vineyards to help replant those lost in Europe. In 1893, for his contribution to the grape and wine industries of France, Jaeger was made Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur, the highest award that that nation can bestow on a civilian. He also made a lasting contribution to viticulture through his selection Jaeger 70, which is an ancestor of many of today’s hybrid grapes.

    In May 1895, Hermann Jaeger left his rural home, leaving a note instructing his family not to look for him. He disappeared and was never heard from again. His death was likely suicide. The home which John Jaeger built still stands. Several members of the Jaeger family are buried on the old farm or on land which once was home to Hermann Jaeger, a world famous grape grower and nurseryman

  • Newton County Historical Museum

    Newton County Historical Museum
    For 48 years the building at 121 North Washington St. in Neosho served as the Newton County’s third jail and the sheriff’s home. In 1937, the jail was moved to the top floor of the new courthouse on the city square.

    The old sheriff’s home was remodeled in 1937 into office rooms for the Social Security Office of the Federal Government. The old jail was used for storage. Twenty years later in 1956, the office moved to new quarters and this left the old building vacant. It was at this time that the old jail was torn off the back of the sheriff’s home to make way for parking spaces.

    In 1958, the Newton County Court made an agreement with the Historical Society that the sheriff’s home could house their Newton County Historic Museum. The museum opened on Memorial Day 1958.

    The museum utilizes both floors of the old jail building and contains several unique collections of farming implements, household utensils and tools from our pioneer period.

    The collection includes tools for construction of log cabins as well as the churns, flax wheels and other utensils used by pioneer wives. In addition there are tools used by blacksmiths, coopers, tailors, wagon makers and other craftsmen and tradesmen.

    For years the Historical Society gathered historical artifacts, compiled historical material and promoted the erection of historical markers to designate important events of the past.

    Newton County School No. 111
    On May 27, 1990, the Newton County Commission approved the establishment of the historical park on the 150 feet by 150 feet lot located at the corner of North Washington and McCord streets. The park was to include the museum.

    The park project began with the purchase of the old rural Cedar Creek School. On Oct. 16, 1990 the building was moved to the park site. The building had been erected in the Cedar Creek community before 1896. It was originally a two-story building constructed by the Anti-Horse Thief Association. The organization held their meetings on the second floor and gave the first floor to the community to use as a school.

    School desks, wall maps, teacher’s desk and chair, books, slates and other school items from rural Newton County schools were donated. Records and school pictures of the 110 Newton County schools are kept in a file cabinet in the schoolhouse.

    Log Cabin
    In 1991, the next historic building was moved into the park. It was a pioneer pre-Civil War log cabin. It was built in the 1850’s by the great-grandfather of a local business man, Clarence Bowler. His grandfather and father had both been born in the cabin.

    The cabin walls are papered with newspapers as the walls were in days gone by. Pictures of the Bowler family hang on the walls. The cabin is furnished with period furniture.

    All in all, the Newton County Historical Park shows a slice of life once common in Newton County. It puts the local historical culture on display.

    The park is located at 121 N. Washington – just a block off the square.
    Hours: 12:30 – 4:30 – Everyday.

    Downtown Square

    A large portion of downtown Neosho is listed as a historic district in the National Register of Historic Places, including the Second Baptist Church, built in the Victorian Gothic style of 1896. Neosho’s history is well-documented with historical markers, making a local heritage tour a simple matter.

    Other historical stops to make include viewing a five-panel mural on the main floor of the Newton County Courthouse. The mural is a chronological history of the county. Many people who see the mural return with children or grandchildren to search for the many animals hidden in the mural. Other interesting and historical murals include the Centennial Mural in the Municipal Auditorium, and the Skaggs Tile Mural on the Mills Park Centre Building in Big Spring Park.

  • George Washington Carver National Monument

    The George Washington Carver Monument is the first national monument to recognize the scientific accomplishments of an African-American in agricultural science and was established by an act of Congress on July 14, 1943. It is one of six national parks in Missouri and the first national monument in world history to be established for better racial peace and understanding. Visitors will enjoy a video presentation, museum, interactive Carver Discovery Center, and nature trails, as well as guided tours.

    The monument is located 2 miles west of Diamond, MO on V Hwy.
    Phone: 417-325-4151. Visit their website at www.nps.gov/gwca/.

    Hornet Spook Light

    From the Spook Light Wikipedia Article:

    The Spooklight, also called the Hornet Spooklight, is a mysterious visual phenomenon allegedly experienced by witnesses in a small area known locally as the “Devil’s Promenade” on the border between southwestern Missouri and northeastern Oklahoma west of the small town of Hornet, Missouri.

    Despite the fact that it is named after a small, unincorporated community in Missouri from which it is most commonly accessed, the light is most commonly described as being visible from inside the Oklahoma border looking to the west. The Spooklight is commonly described as a single ball of light or a tight grouping of lights that is said to appear in the area regularly, usually at night. Although the description of the light is similar to that of other visual phenomena witnessed throughout the world, the term “Spooklight” when standing alone generally refers to this specific case. Numerous legends exist that attempt to describe the origin of the Spooklight, one of which involves the ghosts of two young Native American lovers looking for each other.

    Neosho National Fish Hatchery

    Neosho National Fish HatcheryHistory
    Established in 1888, the Neosho National Fish Hatchery is the oldest of 65 hatcheries operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is one of the few fish hatcheries located inside the “city limits.” The hatchery was located on a 12 acre tract. In 1901, an additional 3.3 acres were added, and in 1964, 243.6 acres of old Camp Crowder were added.

    Water Supply
    The hatchery water supply is from four gravity flow springs, some over four miles away, that combine to supply 1,600 gallons per minute of 58 degree water. The chemical and physical properties of this water are ideal for rearing healthy fast-growing trout. An Oxygen Injection System is used to increase overall production capabilities.

    Rearing Facilities
    The rearing facilities consist of eight 3′ x 30′ tanks, sixteen covered 8′ x 80′ raceways, and eight earthen ponds. Three of the ponds are used for trout rearing from September to June.

    Fish Production
    The hatchery is currently receiving five shipments of rainbow trout eggs annually. The shipments vary in number from 65,000 to 115,000. Fish from these eggs are transferred to Lake Taneycomo, Missouri, and Ft. Riley, Kansas. Approxomately 80,000 pounds of rainbow trout are reared annually.

    The Hatchery is also involved in the production of various species of cool and warm water fish (paddlefish, striped bass and hybrid sturgeon)

    The hatchery is located at 520 E. Park St.
    Phone: 417-451-0554.  Visit their website at http://midwest.fws.gov/Neosho

  • Newton County Murals

    Visit the Newton County Tourism website at http://www.newtoncountytourism.org/ for information on Newton County Murals and area history.

    Thomas Hart Benton

    Thomas Hart Benton Home
    Neosho was the boyhood home of famed American artist Thomas Hart Benton. The son of a local congressman, artist Thomas Hart Benton was influenced strongly by the men and women he grew up among. His unique drawings of everyday people emphasized the working men and women so familiar to his childhood. A collection of original Benton Lithographs are on display at City Hall.

    Bicentennial Park

    From Missouri Department of Conservation Website: Bicentennial Conservation Area, located in southern Newton County, was once part of the old, World War II Camp Crowder Army Base. The U.S. Army selected the Neosho site for the base because of its proximity to water, railroads, and highways. Visitors to the area can still see foundations, fruit trees, open fields and other remnants of many of the hundreds of small farms purchased by the federal government for the 60,000-acre base.

    Camp Crowder was named for Judge Advocate General and U.S. Ambassador to Cuba Enoch H. Crowder. Thousands of soldiers went through basic training here before the camp was decommissioned in the mid-1950s, including Mort Walker, who immortalized the Camp as Camp Swampy in his syndicated comic strip, Beetle Bailey.

    Bicentennial Conservation Area, encompassing 721 acres, is approximately 90 percent forested. Primary species include white, black, post, blackjack and red oaks, hackberry, elm, black cherry, black walnut, and ash.

    The area hosts various wildlife species including large numbers of deer and squirrels. Turkeys have been stocked here.

    For more information call:  417-451-4158

    Big Spring Park

    One of the most photographic scenes in Neosho, and a popular wedding site is Big Spring Park. The park features beautiful gardens, picnic tables, a floral clock, and a children’s wading pool. Once the site of Indian trading grounds, Big Springs’ flow averages 891,000 gallons of water per day. Big Spring Park is located three blocks west of the historic town square.

    Morse Park

    Facilities at Morse Park include Trout Fishing Access, Picnic Areas, ADA Accessible Fishing Docks, Baseball/Softball Fields, Basketball Courts, a Disc Golf Course, a Skateboard Park, Ample Parking, Picnic Areas, scores of Playground Equipment, Rental Pavilion, Soccer Fields, Tennis Courts, Volleyball Courts, and an R-V Park is also available. Morse park is also equipped with onsite restrooms and ample parking.

    Neosho Freeman Family YMCA

    The Freeman Family YMCA is housed in a 41,000 square-foot facility in the Crowder area. This state-of-the-art facility is home to an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, gymnasium and racquetball courts, game room, exercise studio, and daycare center. For more information visit their website or their Facebook page.

    Neosho Municipal Golf Course

    Neosho Municipal Golf Course, laid out around Crystal Springs, challenges golfers from throughout the Midwest.

    "The Neosho Municipal Golf Course is a beautiful 18-hole facility with two distinctively different nine-hole layouts. The original nine-hole course was constructed in 1924 by famous golf architect Perry Maxwell, who designed golf courses such as Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    Whether you’re an accomplished golfer or a novice golfer, you are sure to enjoy the affordably priced golf that the Neosho Municipal Golf Course has to offer. Located just 15 minutes south of Joplin and open seven days a week, we are ready to serve your golfing needs.” -from the Neosho Municipal Golf Course website.

    You can find more information by calling the clubhouse at 417-451-1543.

    Neosho Municipal Pool

    The Neosho Municipal Pool located at 416 Fairground Road has an Olympic sized pool with a separate Kiddie Lagoon and a shady area for parents. There is truly something for the entire family.

    “The employees at the Neosho swimming pool want to serve the Neosho community by working to improve the swimming pool for the future. The Neosho pool is 14,800 square feet and is an asset to the community.

    We have a place for the young and not so young to have fun with exercise and learn valuable water safety. We also offer swimming lessons for several ages at affordable rates. The pool is also available for your next event; rent it today for a low rate!

    When you swim at the Neosho Pool you can rest assured you and your loved ones are in good hands.  Our lifeguards are certified by the American Red Cross in Life Saving & Water Safety as well as CPR and First Aid.  Additionally, our guards are WSI Certified to teach swimming lessons.” – From the Neosho Municipal Pool website.


    Since the first subscription schools opened in the 1840s, Neosho has taken great pride in providing first-class educational opportunities for everyone. Over the decades, change has been the keystone to a successful educational program.

    The Neosho School District is vast, ranging 242 square miles in Newton and McDonald counties in southwest Missouri. Pupil enrollment has increased steadily for a decade. The District enrolls over 4,656 students and the professional staff totals 544. To ensure that high-quality personnel is employed by the district, a systematic process and performance-based evaluation systems are utilized.

    A comprehensive program of studies totaling 191 units is offered at the high school, which is accredited by the North Central Association of Secondary Schools. Local graduation rates and ACT scores are typically above state and national averages. Long a source of local pride, the R-5 School District is recognized far and wide for its success in the classroom.

    For more information, the Superintendent of Schools will gladly respond to requests. Telephone (417) 451-8600 or visit http://NeoshoSD.org.




    Established in 1963, Crowder College was named for both Camp Crowder, an Army camp located here from 1941 through 1957, and General Enoch Crowder, a prominent Missourian, soldier, and statesman.

    It is the mission of Crowder College to offer students access to quality education. An “open door” philosophy allows Crowder students admission in college programs based on aptitude, interests, abilities and specific programs. Crowder College set a record high for enrollment in the Fall 2013 semester with 5,845 students.  Crowder’s enrollment has grown 240% since the year 2000.  

    Crowder College is accredited by the North Central Association and offers a wide array of associate degrees, professional certificates, career and industrial training, community education opportunities, interactive television, and online courses.

    Because of its nationally acclaimed work in solar and electric transportation, the college has been designated by the state as the Missouri Alternative and Renewable Energy (MARET) Center.

    The Transport Training division offers the only public truck driving training in the state. The Associate Degree Nursing program serves as a model of collaborative learning and its graduates have an impressive pass rate on the licensing exam.

    The Business Training and Development Center, another facet of Crowder College, has become a leader in the training and development field in southwestern Missouri. Both large and small companies benefit from the industry’s specific workforce training designed to increase productivity and decrease operational costs.

    Crowder, the smallest community college participating in the program, is the second largest provider of Customized Training funds in the state. Currently, the department works with manufacturing companies across a seven-county area, including Eagle Picher Technologies, K & S Wire, La-Z-Boy, MARCO Group, Premier Turbines, Talbot Industries (Leggett & Platt Division), Twin Rivers Foods, and Tyson Foods. A modern agriculture building and a cluster of student dorms are new additions to the campus. For more information visit www.crowder.edu.

    Private education is also part of the local academic scene. While some families are opting for home schooling, another option to the public schools is the Ozark Christian Academy and the Ozark Bible Institute. They have been part of the Neosho community for many years, educating children from kindergarten through a four-year college. Another option is Neosho Christian School. They educate children from kindergarten to high school. The Neosho Beauty College also plays a vital role in the education Neosho citizens.

    Other opportunities of undergraduate and graduate studies in our proximity include Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri; Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri; Northeast Oklahoma State in Miami, Oklahoma; University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas; Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, and many other private institutions around the area.

    Neosho citizens of all ages are “plugged into” education. From the earliest training in professional day care centers and pre-schools, to higher education at the local community college, education is changing the face of the community.


  • Health Services

    Excellent health care is one of the most important services a progressive community can offer its citizens and guests. Neosho’s extensive health care community is continually growing and changing to meet those needs.

    Freeman Neosho Hospital and its staff physicians are the anchor of local health care. Its 67-patient bed hospital offers emergency, surgical and intensive care services, as well as a full-range of diagnostics. Freeman’s 22,000 square-foot Medical Office building conveniently located across the street from the hospital.

    Another excellent facility for local health care services is the Mercy Clinic at Neosho. This 15,000 square foot “medical mall” offers primary care physicians and numerous specialty care services, ranging from pre-admission testing to cardiovascular and podiatry services. Both Freeman and Mercy in Neosho have strong links to regional hospitals in Joplin, giving local care centers many choices of doctors and nurses experienced in every phase of health care.

    Other services offered in Neosho include three occupational medicine services programs aimed at helping employers contain the rapidly escalating cost of workers’ compensation claims. This is accomplished by providing prompt treatment for work-related injuries and illnesses, and assisting with back-to-work programs. Home health services as well as out-patient physical therapy are also available in Neosho.

    Complementing the larger medical facilities are numerous independent medical personnel. These include dentists, chiropractors, optometrists and private counseling and the Newton County Health Department.

    Assisted living facilities, adult day care services and traditional nursing homes are located through the community. Large and small pharmacies provide drug and other health-related services. Home medical supplies, including prosthetic devices, are readily available.

    The Newton County Ambulance District, a taxpayer supported program, is a modern health care unit called upon daily for lifesaving services and routine medical transfers. An enhanced Emergency 911 number is also provided to residents of Newton County.

    Blood collection drives are held by both the American Red Cross (ARC) and the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks. The ARC also provides a wide range of health and safety services such as lifesaving, CPR training and disaster aid and assistance.

    Man’s best friends (and other creatures) are well cared for by several veterinary clinics. Most veterinarians provide kennel service, and humane society members are ready to assist with animal health and welfare.

    Happy and healthy citizens and their family members – a goal strived for daily in Neosho.

    Public Canoeing and Hunting

    “Since 1937, the Missouri Department of Conservation has been working to control, manage, restore, conserve and regulate the bird, fish, game, forests and all other wild resources in the state. Our goal is to create healthy, sustainable plant and animal communities well into the future.

    Hunting, fishing and trapping permits provided most of the funding in the first 40 years, but in 1976 an expanded program, the “Design for Conservation” was passed to set aside one-eighth of one percent sales tax directly to the agency. That consistent funding, plus a strong, nonpolitical structure and very supportive public helped Missouri become a leader in conservation efforts.” Source: Missouri Department of Conservation

    Float Missouri!

    “Take your family and friends on a float trip in Missouri and be a kid again. Around each bend a new world unfolds – the water, the sounds and the sights are all unique to our beautiful rivers and streams. Look down into the clear, cold water and you’ll see colorful rocks, worn smooth from the flowing water. Look up and tall bluffs tower majestically overhead. Eagles live up there and, if you are lucky, you might see one. Look downriver and there’s the next bend. Who knows what treasures are on the other side? You have to be there, floating the river, to find out!

    If you like to fish for trout or bass (who doesn’t?) then toss your favorite rod into the boat and float your bait or lure into the gentle currents. Our streams are not heavily fished and luck is usually with the fisherman.

    After a day on the water, streamside camping, cozy cabins and modern RV facilities will make your stay complete. Gather ’round an evening campfire and tell tall tales. A good night’s sleep is almost guaranteed.

    One thing for sure: you won’t find better floating, prettier scenery and nicer folks anywhere. Floaters keep coming back to Missouri rivers. That’s why our state slogan is ‘Where the rivers run.’ It could also be ‘Where the floaters float.’ Visit our waterways and find out why!” – Source: Missouri Canoe & Floaters Association

    Hickory Creek R.V. Park North College Street in Morse Park
    Neosho, MO 64850
    (417) 451-8070


    Big Elk Camp & Canoe / 5029 S. Bus. Hwy. 71 / Pineville, MO  64856 / (417) 223-4635

    Eagles Nest Campground and Canoe Rental / 53 Eagle Nest Lane / Noel, MO  64854 / (800) 843-7080

    Kozy Kamp / 71 Elk River Rd., PO Box 156 / Pineville, MO 64856 / (417) 223-4586

    River Ranch Camp & Canoe Resort / 101 River Dr. / Hwy 59 N / Noel, MO  64854 / (417) 475-6121

    Shady Beach Campground / PO Box 473, Hwy 59 N / Noel, MO  64854 / (800) 745-6481

    Two Sons Floats & Camping / 15806 Hwy 59 N / Noel, MO  64854 / (800) 693-1892


    Ables’ Sugar Island Camp & Canoe / PO Box 716 / Pineville, MO  64856 / (417) 223-4410

    Big Elk Camp &Canoe / 5029 S. Bus. Hwy. 71 / Pineville, MO  64856 / (417)223-4635

    Camp Tilden on Big Sugar, LLC / PO Box 532 / Pineville, MO  64856 / (877) 646-1418

    Eagles Nest Campground and Canoe Rental / 53 Eagle Nest Lane / Noel, MO 64854 / (800) 843-7080

    Kozy Kamp / 71 Elk River Rd. / PO Box 156 / Pineville, MO  64856 / (417) 223-4586

    River Ranch Camp & Canoe Resort / 101 River Dr. / Hwy 59 N / Noel, MO 64854 / (417) 475-6121

    Shady Beach Campground / PO Box 473, Hwy 59 N / Noel, MO 64854 / (800) 745-6481


    Eagles Nest Campground and Canoe Rental / 53 Eagle Nest Lane / Noel, MO 64854 / (800) 843-7080

    Kozy Kamp / 71 Elk River Rd. / PO Box 156 / Pineville, MO  64856 / (417) 223-4586

    River Ranch Camp & Canoe Resort / 101 River Dr. / Hwy 59 N / Noel, MO 64854 / (417) 475-6121

    Shady Beach Campground / PO Box 473, Hwy 59 N / Noel, MO 64854 / (800) 745-6481

    Two Sons Floats & Camping / 15806 Hwy. 59 N / Noel, MO / 64854 / (800) 693-1892