Cottonwood River

The Cottonwood River, one of the principal tributaries of the Neosho, is formed by the union of two branches known as the north and south forks. The north fork rises near the west line of Marion county. It first flows southeast, crossing the east line of Marion county about 12 miles north of the southeast corner, and thence northeast to Cottonwood Falls, Chase county.


The south fork rises in the northwest corner of Greenwood county and flows northward until it joins the north fork a short distance below Cottonwood Falls. The main stream then follows an easterly course until it falls into the Neosho a few miles east of Emporia in Lyon County.

The falls and bridge at the north side of Cottonwood Falls in Chase County is a nice place for a short break or picnic. The adjacent Bates Grove Park provides parking, tables and grills. Or pick up a meal to go at Emma Chase Cafe a few blocks away near the Chase County Courthouse.

The first dam at this site was constructed of cottonwood logs in 1860. It provided water power for a saw and grist mill. In 1906 the dam was expanded and used to generate electricity. The present dam is constructed from cut limestone which was later covered with concrete.

The first major bridge at Cottonwood Falls was a 150 foot long iron truss bridge constructed in 1872. The present bridge was constructed in 1914 by the Missouri Valley Bridge Company of Leavenworth, Kansas for $13,700. It is one of only 3 remaining reinforced masonry, earth filled arch bridges that were designed by Daniel B. Luten. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The community also has some interesting stores and galleries along Broadway between the bridge and courthouse.

Many of these pages have used information from Wikipedia as their basis. Other information has been added by site owners as it is found and as time permits . We also invite users to submit info to be added to the site.
Copyright Genuine Kansas 2007