ABERDEEN, Ohio -- This weekend on July 3 and 4, citizens of Aberdeen will mark the bicentennial year of the village's incorporation.
The village across the Ohio River from Maysville has been an integral part of the early settlement of this region since the first pioneers traveled west exploring America.
The village has stayed basically the same size over the years, surviving the great floods of the 1900s and the American Civil War that tore families, friends and the country apart.
As the date draws near to celebrate the village's 200-year history, here's a review of how the village began and some of the people that were instrumental in its establishment.
Within each of Ohio's counties are townships, of which Aberdeen is part of the Huntington Township.
Established in 1806, Huntington Township was still part of Adams County when created. Huntington Township was taken from Massie Township and named for Samuel Huntington, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Aberdeen's main roads are U.S. 52 and Ohio 41, which was part of Zanes' Trace, the first continuous road through Ohio beginning in Wheeling W.V. to Maysville.
In 1888, the township was described as ..."ranking fifth in wealth as well as in area in the county and is second to none in fertility of soil...the southern part of the township have very fine bottom land; the interior and northern is hilly, especially along the streams and nearly the entire township is naturally well drained...along the river there are some very fine stone quarries, where a good quality of building stone is obtained in abundance...numerous evidences of the work of the Mound Builders are found..."
Aberdeen was laid out by Nathan Ellis on July 5, 1816; the plat was recorded July 12, 1816 by J. Darlington, the recorder of Adams County.  James Powers' addition was laid out in 1832 and John Beasley laid out his first addition in 1841, his second in 1845 and his third in 1850, at which time the village became incorporated.
Nathan Ellis, James William Edwards, Ellis Palmer, Benjamin Beasley, John Gray, William Hutchinson, James Parker, Evan Campbell, John Evans, John W. Games, William Gilbert, William Hiett, Sam Daniels, James Hugh Powers, Thomas Cunningham, Ebenezer Davis, the Flaugher brothers, William Anderson, John Hiett, John Haush, James Helm and many others were all among the early settlers to the area.
Nathan Ellis was born in Wales in 1749 and came to America in 1750. In the late 1700s he made his way to Ohio, purchasing land in what is now Aberdeen. He was the first Justice of the Peace of Aberdeen, and he owned and operated a ferry boat.  He died in 1819, and is buried on the hill overlooking Aberdeen.
The first powered ferry boat between the two towns was owned by Maysville businessmen. After the ferry went out of business, Campbell and Helm ran a ferry for several years. Helm owned the third ferry and ran it until after the "Rebellion" (Civil War?). William Linton bought him out and in 1879, Power built a double-engine boat and went into the ferry business.  Linton rebuilt his boat and named it Frank S. Owens, and in 1882 Power bought and sold it.  Power's boat, The Gretna Green, was still in operation in 1888.
In 1817, the first school was built on U.S. 52 (from photos, it appears to be the building standing today across from the former Aberdeen School).  The brick three-story building was also known as the town hall and in the 1950s, it was owned and occupied by the Aberdeen Masonic Lodge.
From 1856 to 1857, a large schoolhouse was built on Mountain Street, below Main Cross Street; the school had 310 students and four teachers.
The Methodist Episcopal Church, now the United Methodist Church, on Main Cross Street was built in 1845; the Baptist Church was built in 1852 on Mountain, between Market and Locust Streets; the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, below Market Street was built a few years prior to 1888.
Other tidbits of information are:
-- Aberdeen was known as the Gretna Green of America in the 1800s because of two "marrying" squires, John Shelton and Massie Beasley.  The squires performed marriages for couples that didn't have a license.  Shelton was elected Justice in 1816 and is credited with marrying more than 4,000 couples: he died in 1869. His successor, Beasley, held the position until his death in 1892; he is credited with marrying 7,228 couples between 1870 and 1892.
-- Many homes and businesses along the riverfront were damaged or destroyed during the floods of 1907, 1913, and 1937.
-- When the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge opened in 1931, a bus operated between Market Street in Aberdeen to Market Street in Maysville and the fare was .10 cents each way.
-- The Huntington Park Subdivision was incorporated into the village limits in 1957 and Dundee Valley was added in 1970.
-- The Yellow Ribbon Fair, which was a horse show, was held on property on Ohio 41. Held in October, it was the last fair of the season.  The fair got its name because the premium awards were marked with yellow ribbons.
-- A covered bridge once spanned Fishing Gut Creek north of Aberdeen where it intersects with Ohio 41. That bridge was replaced with another covered bridge in 1874.  IN 1881, it was replaced with an iron bridge.  At the mouth of the creek, west of the village, a covered bridge was built in 1890; and it was replaced in 1910 by a suspension-type iron bridge, which was abandoned in 1932 and cut up for scrap in 1942.
-- In 1963, Huntington Township residents voted to consolidate with Manchester Schools in Adams County. The Aberdeen school closed in the 1989-1990 school year and students were bused to Manchester.


Marla Toncray, marla.toncray@lee.net,  June 28, 2016,  Maysville Ledger Independent, since deleted from their web site.