Neosho and the Golden Rule Plan
The profile lauded Neosho for the energy and friendliness of its people and especially for its “Golden Rule” business plan. Often called the “Neosho plan” because it had first been implemented by the Advertising Club of Neosho twelve years earlier, the Golden Rule plan encouraged cooperation between the business people of a community and the farmers who lived in the surrounding countryside. One of the main features of the plan was a monthly “Sales Day” on which the businesses offered special bargains and a farmers’ exchange was set up at the local auction pavilion. People living in the rural areas came to town from miles around, either to take advantage of the bargains or to buy and sell livestock and farm goods at the pavilion. Since its inception in Neosho, the “Golden Rule Plan” had spread to towns and small cities all across the U.S.
The fertile lands around Neosho were said to be excellent for farming, dairying, poultry raising, and fruit growing; and the Newton County Harvest Show was cited as a testament to the success of these endeavors. Held in October of each year, Neosho’s harvest show was praised as one of the best county shows in the state.
“Neosho is also fortunate,” said the profile, “in having three main line railroads which enable the quick distribution of its products to the larger trade centers.” In addition, Neosho was the intersection of two highways, State Highway 21 to Joplin and State Highway 16 to Springfield.
The fact that Neosho’s bank deposits amounted to over two and a half million dollars was evidence of the town’s prosperity.
Neosho was not only well known for its thriving business community, but it was also becoming famous as a health and recreation resort because of its abundance of spring water and artesian well water. People flocked to Neosho from Oklahoma and other states to partake of the healing waters, and the water was also shipped out of Neosho in large glass-lined tank cars.
“Neosho has a modern tourist camp,” said the profile, “and many of the tourists testify to the fact that this is the prettiest town in the Ozarks.” Thousands of tourists came to Neosho every year to take in its scenic beauty or visit its points of interest, the U.S. Fish Hatchery being one of the main attractions.
Neosho had just completed a sewer system at a cost of $180,000 and was planning street paving projects, including the public square, at a cost of $75,000. The profile writer concluded by agreeing with a Neosho resident who’d recently returned from California and announced, “God Almighty has done so much more for Neosho and vicinity than man can possibly do for California.”