The Ozarks have always been abundantly blessed with springs, creeks, and rivers. Although Joplin’s neighbor to the south, Neosho, is hailed as the “city of springs,” Joplin was once home to the notable “Ino Spring.”
The Ino spring was located a half-mile west of Joplin near where two men, Frazier and McConey, had a brick ward in the early 1870s. The site became popular as Joplinites would drive out in the summer to cool off at the spring. The spring was described as a “stream of sparking water” that gurgled up from the side of a “slight uprising in the ground, not exactly a hill, but a knoll forming one side of a shallow gulley.” Joplin’s old-timers remembered the spring and it was tradition that “when the Indians roamed the prairie where Joplin now stands that they quenched their thirst” at the spring. By the turn of the century, it was “surrounded by numerous mining plants with immense pumps.”
The name of the spring came from the nearby “Ino” (I Know) Mining Company in upper Leadville Hollow. Reportedly the Ino mine was drained of water of almost 200 feet, but the little spring kept flowing. As Chitwood Hollow opened up to mining, it became known as the “Ino Spring.” Teamsters, lead and zinc haulers, coal haulers, and others stopped to water their horses at the spring as well as supplied water to the nearby Chitwood mining camp.
By the turn of the century, the citizens of Joplin were calling for pure water. In response, an unknown enterprising entrepenuer decided to haul water in from the Ino spring, despite competition from the Redell and Freeman “deep well wagons.”
It is unknown now if the spring still flows, we can only hope that it does.
Source: Joplin News Herald