In 1924 and 1925, the Missouri State Park system purchased 573 acres of land, including Bennett Spring and the hatchery.
This area formed the nucleus of today's Bennett Spring State Park. The area had been known as Brice, Missouri and was a place where farmers could have their grain milled.
While waiting for the mill to grind their grain the families would enjoy the natural beauty of the spring and fish in the cold, clear stream.
Around 1900 the Neosho National Fish Hatchery stocked Bennett Spring with rainbow trout. This stocking proved to be so popular with customers that a hatchery was built to maintain the fishery.
The goal of providing a quality outdoor experience for customers was the driving force then, just as it is today. The hatchery now provides approximately 400,000 rainbow trout to anglers each year.
A small number of brown trout are also stocked. These fish are stocked from March through October on a nightly basis in Bennett Spring State Park.
Downstream, the Niangua River also receives monthly commitments of trout year-round. These two areas can be accessed by driving west on Highway 64 approximately 12 miles from Lebanon, Missouri.
Visitors can enjoy the natural beauty and many outdoor activities today just as they did at the turn of the last century.