Neodesha drills down on education and investments

Neodesha made national headlines three years ago when a native son offered to pay for college for the town's high school graduates. Clay Wirestone with the Kansas Reflector, lived nearby as a child and recently returned to see how that program and others have changed the town.


State News

August 22, 2022 - 1:34 PM

The well called Norman No. 1 was drilled on Nov. 28, 1892, in Neodesha and opened an new era of oil exploration. The site was reconstructed in 1961 and later moved closer to Main Street. Photo by (Clay Wirestone/Kansas Reflector)

When I was a child, Neodesha was the big city.

My family and I lived in nearby, even smaller Altoona. The city of Neodesha — population 2,275 — boasted a grocery store, library and a red caboose behind that library. This month, I drove back to Neodesha with my 11-year-old, on a mission to look both backward and forward.

The looking backward was obvious. My family had moved away from the area when I was 7 years old, and I hadn’t visited Neodesha since. What had changed and what had stayed the same? I looked forward to sharing my history with my son, although his eye-rolling as we arrived in town suggested he didn’t share that excitement.

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