Neosho, Missouri

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Neosho (officially City of Neosho[3]) (pronounced /niːˈoʊʃoʊ/; originally [niˈoʒo] or [niˈoʒu]) is the most populous city in and the county seat of Newton County, Missouri, United States. Neosho is an integral part of the Joplin, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Located in southwestern Missouri on the southern edge of the Midwest, Neosho lies at the western edge of the Missouri Ozarks. The population was 10,505 at the time of the 2000 census.

The name "Neosho" is generally accepted to be of Native American (most likely Osage) derivation, meaning "clear, cold water", referring to the natural freshwater springs found within the original city limits. Nicknamed "City of Springs", this uninterrupted availability of fresh water made the area ideal for settlement for the original inhabitants of the area as well as the settlers who founded the city. Much of Neosho's history revolves around these springs, including its onetime place as an agricultural center as well as the location for a National Fish Hatchery. Neosho is also known locally as "Gateway to the Ozarks" and, since the 1950s, "The Flower Box City".

Originally inhabited by indigenous Native Americans, Neosho was first settled by people of European descent around 1833[4] and incorporated in 1878.

Neosho has made a number of contributions to the cultural fabric of America by producing and inspiring several individuals who are notable in U.S. history including painter and Regionalist muralist Thomas Hart Benton, ragtime composer and pianist James Scott, and celebrated African-American inventor and botanist George Washington Carver. Neosho has also played a key role in several historic events, including Missouri's secession during the Civil War and serving as home to the rocket engine program responsible for carrying the first American into space and carrying the first men to the moon.

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