Nevada’s waterworks, which was also the town’s power plant, used to be literally a block west of Cottey at the turn of the 19th century. Imagine how smelly that was!
“Nevada Water Plant and Power House,” c. 1910, overlooking the reservoir toward the northeast:
1914 map of the waterworks and power plant: (Cottey’s Main Hall would be a block to the right.)
It didn’t move to its present location until the 1970s, I believe.
Former Nevada resident Randy had this to say on the plant and its water:
[T]he water used to be yellow, and you couldn’t see through a glass of it. The water purification plant was right behind PEO hall, and it often smelled of rotten eggs (sulfur). It’s apparently all better now. Towns used to have signs at the city limits that said “Water Supply Approved”. Nevada didn’t.