The Springs of Neosho

Published 08/29 2013 02:02PM

Updated 08/29 2013 02:05PM

Historic Big Spring Park in Neosho
Historic Big Spring Park in Neosho/

The Springs of Neosho

Big Spring:

Also known historically as Clark Spring; Big Spring is Neosho's largest spring and is located near the historic downtown in the city's main park, Big Spring Park. This spring issues at the base of a high bluff of Mississippian limestone from a series of cavernous openings developed along a bedding plane, and flows through the city park.

Bell's Iron Spring:

Also known as historically as Walbridge Spring, located 900 feet (270 m) east of the Big Spring and a block east of the courthouse square, Bell's Iron Spring played an important role in Neosho's development. Originally rising in the valley and capable of supplying a city of 50,000 people, though hidden from view for many years, this spring is currently the focus of an ongoing restoration project, which includes plans to re-expose the spring and redevelop the surrounding property as a public historic park. Due to the recent discovery of the presence of endangered Ozark cave fish in the spring, the city is working closely with Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Hatchery Springs:

Hearrell, McMahon, Bartholic, and Elm Springs supply water to the Neosho National Fish Hatchery. In 1888, Hearrell Spring, named after Lemuel B Hearrell, began supplying water to the newly built hatchery. In 1908, McMahon Spring was added to supply the hatchery's fish rearing ponds, after its condemnation under the governmental power of eminent domain. In 1964, after the closing of nearby Fort Crowder, additional water was supplied by Elm Spring and Bartholic Spring. With Hearrell Spring producing nearly the same volume of water as Big Spring, the combined flow of these four springs is about 2,000,000 gallons per day as it arrives at the hatchery.[16] While Hearrell Spring arises at the hatchery, water from the other springs is piped several miles by pipeline from their origins to the hatchery.

Other Springs:

  • Bethesda Spring – in the northeast section. Historically notable for its purported healing properties. The water is always about 75 °F (24 °C), soft and clear.
  • Birch Spring – a strong spring just south of the Bethesda Spring.
  • Brock's Spring – on the eastern line of Neosho.
  • Carter & Clark Springs – in the northern part of town. Considered by early residents to have medicinal qualities.
  • Hobo Spring – also known as Williams Spring, west of downtown.
  • McElhany Springs – forming a bold stream of freestone water in the western part of the town.
  • Mertin Springs – three springs north of the Bethesda spring, rushing from beneath the cliff and each producing a different water.
  • Morse Spring
  • Sevier's Springs – two soft water springs just south of Brock's Spring.

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