NEOSHO, Mo. — Long before European settlers came to Southwest Missouri, Native Americans lived in the Four-State Region.

In fact, the word “Neosho” is thought to be derived from the Osage Indian term for cold clear water.

Newton County Historical Society Park Director Deanna Booyer says they couldn’t have picked a more accurate name.

“There are ten springs within the city limits of Neosho, and probably that many or more in the very immediate vicinity. Big Spring is a huge one here in Neosho. Harrell Spring is the majority, the great feeder of the Neosho National Fish Hatchery,” said Booyer.

Booyer says those same waters that first brought Native Americans to Neosho continue to attract visitors to the town.