Neosho Falls: In the throes of abandonment in 1951

Neosho River determined the fate of nearby town, especially when the Flood of '51 ravaged Main Street.

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July 7, 2020 - 9:39 AM

Muns Hardware Store, one of the finest retail establishments in Neosho Falls, exemplified the extent of the 1951 floodwaters. The store lost nearly its entire stock. Photo by EXCERPTED FROM THE CHRONICLES OF ALLEN COUNTY: 1945-2000

I was standing by the river in Neosho Falls, watching dragonflies and listening to the murky water spill over the dam in a continuous rush.

It’s a sound from the source of Neosho Falls’ life, as well as its ultimate demise.

July 13, 1951, a day later christened “Black Friday,” the river crawled from its banks, and drowned the entire region beneath murky waters 16.5 feet above the floodplain.

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