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Neosho River

Neosho River
Neosho River near Neosho Rapids, Kansas
Country United States
States Oklahoma, Kansas
Source Near White City, Kansas
 - elevation 1,450 ft (442 m) [1]
 - coordinates  [2]
Mouth Arkansas River
 - elevation 489 ft (149 m) [2]
 - coordinates  [2]
Length 463 mi (745 km)
Basin 11,534 sq mi (29,873 km2) [3]
Discharge for USGS gage 07191500 near Chouteau, OK
 - average 8,954 cu ft/s (253.5 m3/s) [3]
 - max 154,000 cu ft/s (4,360.8 m3/s)
 - min 12 cu ft/s (0.3 m3/s)
Map of the Neosho River and its watershed
Fort Gibson Dam and Reservoir on the Grand River in Cherokee and Wagoner Counties, Oklahoma
Fort Gibson Lake and Sequoyah State Park on the Grand River in Cherokee County, Oklahoma

The Neosho River is a tributary of the Arkansas River in eastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma in the United States. Its tributaries also drain portions of Missouri and Arkansas. The river is about 463 miles (745 km) long.[4] Via the Arkansas, it is part of the Mississippi River watershed. Its name is an Osage word meaning "clear water."[5]


  • Course 1
  • Dams 2
  • Tributaries 3
  • Cities and towns along the Neosho River 4
  • Variant names 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7


The Neosho's headwaters are in Morris County, Kansas, and it flows southeast through Kansas. In Ottawa County, Oklahoma, the river turns south-southwest for the remainder of its course through Oklahoma. It meets the Arkansas River near the city of Muskogee, about a mile downstream of the confluence of the Arkansas River and the Verdigris River. The area of convergence of the three rivers Arkansas, Verdigris and Neosho is called "Three Forks."

In Oklahoma the Neosho ends at its confluence with Spring River at Twin Bridges State Park. From that point on it is called the Grand River. The Grand River flows south to the Grand Lake.


The Neosho has been dammed at several points along its course, in most cases by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In Kansas, a dam upstream of Council Grove forms Council Grove Lake, and a dam near New Strawn forms John Redmond Reservoir. There are also 12 dams in between John Redmond and the Kansas border.[6] In Oklahoma, a dam at Langley forms the Neosho's largest reservoir, the Grand Lake o' the Cherokees. A dam near Locust Grove forms Lake Hudson, (also known as Markham Ferry Reservoir), and a dam upstream of Fort Gibson forms Fort Gibson Lake.


In Kansas, the Neosho is joined by the Cottonwood River in Lyon County. In Oklahoma, it is joined by the Spring River in Ottawa County and the Elk River in Delaware County.

Cities and towns along the Neosho River

Variant names

According to the Geographic Names Information System, the Neosho River has also been known as:

  • Grand River, particularly past the confluence of the Neosho and Spring rivers in Oklahoma—see Grand River (Oklahoma)
  • Le Grande Riviere
  • Nee Ozho River
  • Neozhoo River
  • Ni-u-sho River
  • Niocho River
  • Nion-chou River
  • Noshow River
  • Osage River
  • Rio Blanco
  • Six Bulls River

See also


  1. ^ USGS topographic maps
  2. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Neosho River
  3. ^ a b "Water resources data for the United States, Water Year 2009; gage 07191500, Neosho River near Chouteau, OK" (PDF).  
  4. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed May 31, 2011
  5. ^ . "How places got their names."Muskogee Phoenix June 5, 2007. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
  6. ^
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