If you expect Kansas to be dry, flat, treeless and unprogressive, Neodesha will shatter every one of these stereotypes. Tucked in the beautiful Osage Cuestas (rolling hills) and blessed with 36 inches of rain and 14 inches of snow yearly, Neodesha is nestled in a lush countryside with excellent conditions for all sorts of sports, especially water sports. It sits in a virtual paradise for hunters and fishermen.
Coming from an Osage Indian word, Neodesha (Knee-o-da-shay’) means “where waters meet.” And the town is appropriately named as it sits between the Verdigris and Fall Rivers. The Big Osage Tribe and Little Osage Tribe hunted these grounds until a treaty on July 15, 1870 reassigned the Osage Tribes in Kansas to land in Indian Territory – Oklahoma. There they settled along the east bank of the Caney River, on land which eventually made them the wealthiest tribe in the nation after the discovery of oil thereon.
Neodesha proved to the nation’s budding oil industry that vast deposits of liquid energy lay under Kansas’ soil as well. In 1892, Norman No. 1, the first commercial oil well in the mid-continent field, was born. Neodesha was a booming town from the beginning, even before the oil discovery. In 1870 the trading post opened its doors for “hopeful” business from surrounding camps and the Indians. Settlers were enticed by the offer of FREE town lots for anyone who would BUILD on them. By 1871, the mushrooming settlement had a population of 1,043, with 200 dwellings, and 40 businesses (13 of them occupied by liquor saloons). In March, an order was issued for incorporation.
Today, with a friendly population of 3,000 and healthy community atmosphere, the peaceful, scenic surroundings provide the kind of place that you can walk downtown, or to the swimming pool, or to school knowing you are safe. A wealth of opportunity awaits business and industry. Comfortable, affordable housing, a wide variety of recreational programs, excellent health care, an outstanding educational system and cultural programs all combine to make Neodesha a great place to live.