The Neosho River was truly the beginning of Neosho Falls, Kansas in 1857, but the flood in 1951 nearly destroyed the town. The constant flooding is now controlled by the John Redman Dam built north of Burlington, Kansas. 157 inhabitants still live in Neosho Falls. They have an active Senior Center and the Neosho River is well known for the excellent fishing provided by this beautiful Kansas river and camping park.
Considered one of the first settlers in Neosho Falls, Isaac W. Dow and Nathaniel Goss are the founders of Neosho Falls on the beautiful Neosho River, called by the French, La Grande. The 1757 map of Le Page du Pratz, names the Neosho the R. Blanche, or the White River. It was the site of the Osage settlement. The dual descriptive name of Grand Neosho was divided, the upper part retaining the name of Neosho and the lower part flowing into Oklahoma, as the Grand River. Several Indian tribes knew the Neosho river as the "six Bulls" river. The Neosho River was the birthplace of Neosho Falls due to the two founders, Goss and Dow, who left Waverly, Iowa, looking for a site to build a four mill. At the present site of Neosho Falls, the two weary horse and buggy travelers discovered a broad ledge of rock that went across the river, making a falls, and making the stream swifter. Here the river had made a gradual fall of around nine feet in over a two mile course. The men decided this was the place for their mill. This was the beginning of Neosho Falls, Kansas. The two founders of Neosho Falls had the town surveyed in 1860. At this time the two founders set aside a few acres a short distance northeast of the town site for a city park. In the beginning the park was named Goss's Park -Later changed to Riverside park. The most famous event to take place in this park was the Neosho Valley Fair in the fall of 1879. Many notable people attended this fair. Among them were President Rutherford B. Hayes, the nineteenth President of the U.S. It is estimated there were 30,000 people at the fairgrounds. For many years the park was not kept up or used and grew back to a wilderness. In the spring of 1972, the "Hayseeds", a camping club from Yates Center, decided to clean up this park as a project, and start a camping area. Later a camping club was formed at Neosho Falls called the "Channel Cats." Now many campers enjoy camping in this beautiful Park. The Neosho River is directly across the road west of the park which is added beauty to the park.
To: Woodson County