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ABERDEEN, TX (COLLINGSWORTH COUNTY)

ABERDEEN, TEXAS (Collingsworth County). Aberdeen, in northeastern Collingsworth County, was a division headquarters of the Rocking Chair Ranch. The town was named for the earl of Aberdeen, one of the British owners, and planned in 1889 to be the nucleus of this ranching enterprise. A post office was granted in December of that year with Henry J. Nesper, a ranch foreman, as postmaster. M. M. French, an agent for the Rocking Chair, purchased the tract and formed the Aberdeen Townsite Company in January 1890. A hotel and a blacksmith shop were constructed on the site, and by 1891 Judge Edward H. Small was operating a supply store for the cowboys. Small also served as the local physician and banker, and later as postmaster.

When Collingsworth County was organized in 1890 Aberdeen was one of several contenders for the role of county seat, after the initial election between Pearl and Wellington was declared void by the state Supreme Court. With the support of the Rocking Chair's London management, Archibald J. Marjoribanks, the ranch bookkeeper and brother of the baron of Tweedmouth, eagerly promoted the townsite's advantages. A grocery store was established, several lots were sold, and money was donated for a school. The state legislature confirmed Wellington as the county seat, however, thus dashing local hopes and prompting French to deed the townsite back to the Rocking Chair company in June 1891. By 1900 financial failure of the ranch had put the land on the market. Settlement was slow because of inadequate transportation. Nevertheless, Aberdeen managed to survive as a community with a general store, a school, a church, and a population of twenty-five from 1930 to 1960. The post office was discontinued in 1942, and by 1963 the town had fallen into oblivion.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Clyde Chestnut Brown, A Survey History of Collingsworth County, Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Colorado, 1934). Arthur Hecht, comp., Postal History in the Texas Panhandle (Canyon, Texas: Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, 1960). Estelle D. Tinkler, ed., Archibald John Writes the Rocking Chair Ranche Letters (Burnet, Texas: Eakin Press, 1979). Estelle D. Tinkler, "Nobility's Ranche: A History of the Rocking Chair Ranche," Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 15 (1942).

H. Allen Anderson

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

H. Allen Anderson, "ABERDEEN, TX (COLLINGSWORTH COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hra01), accessed July 29, 2014. Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.