- Aberdeen, South Dakota
official_name = Aberdeen, South Dakota
mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Brown County and the state of
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Brown
leader_name = Mike Levsen
area_magnitude = 1 E9
unit_pref = Imperial
area_total_km2 = 33.7
area_land_km2 = 33.6
area_water_km2 = 0.2
area_total_sq_mi = 13.0
area_land_sq_mi = 12.9
area_water_sq_mi = 0.1
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 24658
population_density_sq_mi = 1902.1
timezone = Central
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = Central
utc_offset_DST = -5
latd = 45 |latm = 27 |lats = 49 |latNS = N
longd = 98 |longm = 28 |longs = 53 |longEW = W
elevation_m = 397
elevation_ft = 1302
postal_code = 57401-57402
area_code = 605
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 46-00100GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1253581GR|3
website = http://www.aberdeen.sd.us/
Aberdeen is a
cityand the county seatof Brown County, South Dakota, USA, about 125 mi (200 km) N.E. of Pierre. Settled in 1880, it was incorporated in 1882. The population was 24,658 at the 2000 census. " The American News" is the local newspaper.
Geography and climate
Aberdeen is located in northeastern South Dakota, in the James River valley, approximately convert|11|mi|km|0 west of the river. The James River enters northeastern South Dakota in Brown County, where it is dammed to form two reservoirs northeast of Aberdeen. The city is bisected by "Moccasin Creek", a slow-moving waterway which flows south and then northeast to the James River.
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.0 square miles (33.7 km²), of which, 13.0 square miles (33.6 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.54%) is water.cite American Factfinder2|2|46013|county|2008-01-31|Brown County, South Dakota]
Aberdeen has been assigned the
ZIP coderange 57401-57402.
Before Aberdeen or Brown County was inhabited by European settlers, it was inhabited by the Sioux Indians from approximately 1700 to 1879. The first appearance of Caucasians was with the founding of fur trading posts during the 1820s; these trading posts remained operational until the mid 1830s. The first “settlers” of this region were the Arikara Indians, but they would later be joined by others. The first group of Caucasian settlers to reach the area that is now Brown County was a party of only four people, three horses, two mules, fifteen cattle, and two wagons. This group of settlers were later joined by another group the following spring, and eventually more and more settlers continued to migrate towards this general area which is currently
Columbia, South Dakota. This town was established June 15, 1879.
The majority of the settlers were Caucasian, the with the next largest group being Native American, a trend that has continued to this day.
Creation of the town
Aberdeen, like many towns of the Midwest, was built around the newly developing railroad systems. Aberdeen was first officially plotted as a town site on January 3, 1881 by Charles Prior, the superintendent of the Minneapolis office of the
Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad, or the Milwaukee Road for short, which was presided over by Alexander Mitchell. Mitchell, Charles Prior’s boss, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, from which the town of Aberdeen, South Dakota received its name. Aberdeen was officially founded on July 6, 1881, the date of the first arrival of a Milwaukee Railroad train. Aberdeen then operated under a city charter granted by the Territorial Legislature in March, 1883.
As Aberdeen grew, many businesses and buildings were constructed along Aberdeen’s Main Street. However, this would soon be a problem due to Aberdeen’s “unique” geography; Aberdeen is, after all, referred to as “The Town in the Frog Pond”. At first, this unique condition presented no problem to the newly constructed buildings because it had not rained very much; but eventually, citizens would see how inconvenient this problem would become. During dry periods, this Frog Pond caused no trouble and was unnoticeable; but when heavy rains fell, the Pond would reappear and flood the basements of every building on Main Street, causing many business owners and home owners much turmoil. When this flooding would happen, the city had only one little steam pump that was to be used to dry out the entire area that was flooded, which would take days, if not weeks – and more often than not, it would have rained again in this time period and cause even more flooding, even in the basements that had already been emptied of the water. And then, even once the water was gone from the basements, the city still had to deal with the mud that was also a result of the heavy rains. It was because of this Frog Pond that the city decided in 1882 to build an artesian ditch, which would later be upgraded and developed into an artesian well in 1884 to combat the heavy rains and keep the basements from flooding. Even though the artesian well was designed by the city engineers to prevent flooding and develop a water system, this was not how things happened; during the digging of the well, the water stream that was found underground was too powerful to contain due to all of the built up pressure, which caused the water to come blasting out with violent force and soon had the entirety of Main Street under, in some cases, four feet of water. The engineers realized the previous flaws of the artesian well plan and soon added a gate valve to the well to control the flow of water, giving Aberdeen its first working water supply.
By 1886, Aberdeen had three different railroad companies with depots built in the newly developing town; due to these three railroads intersecting here, Aberdeen soon became known as the “Hub City of the Dakotas”. When looking down on Aberdeen from above with a bird’s eye view, the railroad tracks converging in Aberdeen resembled the spokes of a wheel converging at a hub, hence the name “Hub City of the Dakotas”. These three different railroad companies are the reason why Aberdeen was able to grow and flourish as it did; however, only one of these railroads is still presently running through Aberdeen, the railroad today known as the Burlington Northern Santa Fe.
According to the census of 1900, Aberdeen had a population of 4,087; by the census of 1910, it had reached a population of 10,752, an increase of 163 percent. It was from these censuses that Aberdeen was predicted to reach a population of 50,000 by 1920. However, this was not the case; the population soon began to decline. The estimated population as of July 2006 is 24,071, a 2.4% decrease since 2000. [ [http://www.city-data.com/city/Aberdeen-South-Dakota.html Aberdeen, South Dakota (SD) Detailed Profile - relocation, real estate, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, news, sex offenders ] ] Community groups blame this decline on the flight of young adults and an increasingly aging population. [ [http://www.absolutelyaberdeen.com/investor3/regionalDev/ Absolutely! Aberdeen ] ]
Aberdeen is the county seat of Brown County. The original county seat of Brown County, however, was Columbia. During the days of the railroad construction, plans were laid to bring the railroad through Columbia, then the county seat. When word of this spread, land in and around Columbia soared in price due to speculation. When time came for the railroads to purchase land, the increase in land prices in and around Columbia led them to change their decision and instead route the rail lines through Aberdeen. However, once Aberdeen became a town in 1881, there was a long-running controversy concerning which town would be the county seat, which continued until 1890, when it was declared by the newly formed South Dakota state constitution in 1889 that a majority vote could move the county seat if the county seat in question had originally been established by less than a majority vote. The result of the vote declared that Aberdeen would be the county seat once and for all, so all of the records were once again transferred to Aberdeen’s courthouse; during the battle for county seat, the records had been moved from Columbia’s courthouse to Aberdeen’s courthouse (which was built from 1886 to 1887), and back again to Columbia’s in what seemed to be a never-ending cycle of the transferring of records. This was typically done in the form of nighttime raids from the two towns.
May 2007 Flood
During a 48-hour period beginning on the morning of Friday, May 4th and ending on the morning of Sunday, May 6th Aberdeen received convert|9.12|in|mm of precipitation. [ [http://blogs.keloland.com/blog/index.cfm?CommentID=505 KELOLAND.com Blogs ] ] This rain flooded city streets, making many of them impassible for a short time, and caused water damage to many homes. Within 2 weeks of the storm, over 300 families had requested assistance from disaster response agencies. [ [http://www.disasternews.net/news/article.php?articleid=3178 Hundreds seek help in SD after flood - Disaster News Network ] ] As of May 25, 104 houses had been condemned due to the damage; of these, 47 were declared unlivable. [ [http://www.aberdeennews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070525/FRONTPAGE/705250356/-1/RSS01&rssfeed=RSS01 AberdeenNews.com ] ] Brown County, which includes Aberdeen, was declared a disaster area. [ [http://www.aberdeennews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070527/FRONTPAGE/705270327/-1/RSS01&rssfeed=RSS01 AberdeenNews.com ] ]
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 24,658 people, 10,553 households, 6,184 families residing in the city. The population densitywas 1,902.1 people per square mile (734.4/km²). There were 11,259 housing units at an average density of 868.5/sq mi (335.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.61% White, 0.37% Black or African American, 3.17% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races.cite American Factfinder|city|4600100|general ] 0.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 53.7% were of German, 15% Norwegian and 8.5% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.cite American Factfinder|city|4600100|social]
There were 10,553 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.4% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the city the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 14.1% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 89.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.cite American Factfinder|city|4600100|age]
The median income for a household in the city was $33,276, and the median income for a family was $43,882. Males had a median income of $30,355 versus $20,092 for females. The
per capita incomefor the city was $17,923. About 7.6% of families and 10.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.6% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.cite American Factfinder|city|4600100|economic]
The Aberdeen School District 6-1 has five elementary schools. These are C.C. Lee, Lincoln, May Overby, O.M. Tiffany, and Simmons. The two middle schools are Holgate, which serves the north side of Aberdeen, and Simmons, which serves the south side of the city. There is one high school which is
Central High School (South Dakota). The [http://www.hubarea.com/ Hub Area Technical School] is located in the district. Aberdeen also has an alternative middle and high school. The Aberdeen School District’s enrollment for the year 2006-2007 was approximately 3,650 students, and the average class size was in the low to mid twenties. Due to a projected increase in enrollment and the modernization of facilities, Simmons Middle school will be significantly remodeled with the demolition of the original 1929 building and the addition of a new classroom and cafeteria building.
Aberdeen has several parochial schools, including the Catholic-affiliated Roncalli High School, Baptist-affiliated [http://www.aberdeenchristianschool.com/ Aberdeen Christian School] , and the [http://schools.privateschoolsreport.com/SouthDakota/Aberdeen/TrinityLutheranSchool.html Trinity Lutheran School] .
South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impairedis a state special school under the direction of the South Dakota Board of Regents. [ [http://sdsbvi.northern.edu/ South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired ] ]
Northern State University
Northern State Universityis a public school that was founded in 1889 and today occupies a 72 acre campus. 2,528 students, ranging from first year to graduate students, attended NSU for the 2006-2007 school year. The student to teacher ratio is 19:1.
NSU was originally called the Institute of South Dakota before changing its name to Northern Normal and Industrial School in 1901. It again took on a new name in 1939 when it became the Northern State Teachers College, and again in 1964, becoming Northern State College before finalizing at Northern State University in 1989. NSU offers thirty-eight majors and forty-two minors as well as other various degrees, and also has nine graduate degree areas for students wishing to further their education after achieving their undergraduate degree.
The mascot of NSU is the wolf.
Presentation College is a Catholic college on a convert|100|acre|km2|sing=on campus. PC has approximately 800 students as of the 2006 spring semester. PC offers 26 programs between the main Aberdeen campus and the other campuses located throughout the state. Most of the degrees offered are in the
health-carefield. The student to teacher ratio is 12:1. Presenation's mascot is the Saint, giving them the nickname the Presentation College Saints.
Aberdeen’s main healthcare provider is the [http://www.averastlukes.org/astl/index.aspx Avera St. Luke’s Hospital] . There are several nursing homes in the area, including Manor Care, Bethesda, Angelhaus, and Gellhaus Carehaus.
Arts and culture
The Aberdeen area is home to several cultural organizations. The Aberdeen Area Arts Council publishes a small monthly newspaper, ARTiFACTS, with information on area events.
The Aberdeen Community Theater was created in 1979 and performs at the Capitol Theater in downtown Aberdeen. The Capitol Theater was originally built in 1926 and donated to the Aberdeen Community Theater in 1991; since then more than $963,000 has been spent on renovating and preserving the historical aspect of the Capitol Theater. Today, the Aberdeen Community Theater performs five mainstage productions and three youth productions per year. The NSU Theater Department puts plays during the school year. The ArtWorks Cooperative is a partnership of artists who work to market their artwork in a gallery setting. The ArtWorks Cooperative sells artists’ work as well as provides an environment that will benefit the artist in terms of artist-to-artist communication, and public interest.
There are four galleries in Aberdeen: Presentation College’s Wein Gallery,
Northern State University’s Lincoln Gallery, the Aberdeen Recreation & Cultural Center (ARCC) Gallery and the ArtWorks Cooperative Gallery located in the Lakewood Mall.
ports and recreation
Family Aquatic Center
Completed in the summer of 2007, this complex includes a zero entry pool, competition lap pool, lazy river, numerous water slides, play sand area, and a concession area.
Aberdeen is presently home to 24 public tennis courts throughout the city -Melgaard Park (4), Northern State University (12), and Holgate Middle School (8). At one point in the past, the city of Aberdeen had 27 tennis courts giving it the most tennis courts in the country per capita.
Aberdeen is home to three golf courses. These are Lee Park Municipal Golf Course, Moccassin Creek Country Club, and Rolling Hills Country Club. Lee Park and Moccassin Creek are both 18 hole courses. Rolling Hills is a combined nine hole course and housing development which opened in 2005.
Aberdeen has a skate park located between East Melgaard Road and 17th Ave SE at Melgaard Park. The equipment installed includes a quarter pipe, penalty box with half pyramid, bank ramp, spine, kinked rail and a ground rail.
Aberdeen is home to two disc golf courses.
Kuhnert Arboretumand the Richmond Lake Disc Golf Course.
Richmond Lake Recreation Area
The Richmond Lake Recreation Area is used by all types of outdoors enthusiasts. Three separate areas in this park cater to the needs of campers, swimmers, naturalists, boaters and anglers. Campers stay in the South Unit, while the convert|200|acre|km2|1|sing=on Forest Drive Unit is a great place for wildlife viewing. The Boat Ramp Unit provides access to the more than convert|1000|acre|km2|0|sing=on lake.
;Camping/CabinsRichmond Lake Recreation Area's small campground offers a quiet camping experience. The park also features a wheelchair accessible camping cabin.
;TrailsThe park's extensive trail system features over convert|10|mi|km of trails, including both accessible and interpretive trails. Hikers, bikers and horseback riders can observe the abundance of prairie plants and wildlife of the area up-close.
;BoatingThe park has multiple private and public boat ramps as well as an accessible fishing dock. Richmond Lake has a population of walleye, northern pike, bass, perch, crappie, bluegill, catfish, and bullheads within its waters. An entrance fee is required to gain access to the water and park itself.
Wylie Park Recreation Area
Wylie Park Recreation Area features a water slide, go kart racing, sand volleyball courts, access to Wylie Lake, camping area, picnic areas, and is connected to Storybook Land. Wylie Lake is a small man-made lake, open in the summer months for swimming, lying on the beach, and paddleboating.
Storybook Land is a park with attractions from several different children's storybooks. The park contains a castle, as well as a train that takes visitors through the park. There are two barns which contain petting zoos. Newly added is the Land of Oz, that features characters and attractions from L. Frank Baum's "Wizard of Oz." Baum was a resident of Aberdeen in the 1880s, but was run out of town by the residents due to his racism and social differences.
Minor League Baseball
Aberdeen has been home to three minor league baseball teams since 1920. The Aberdeen Boosters, a class D league team, played in 1920, the Aberdeen Grays, also a class D team, played from 1921 to 1923. The class C
Aberdeen Pheasantsfrom 1946 to 1971, and 1995 to 1997. The Pheasants were the affiliate of the former St. Louis Browns (current Baltimore Orioles). Aberdeen was a train stop to the majors for such notable players as Don Larsen(perfect game in the World Series), Lou Pinella(AL rookie of the year with Kansas City Royalsin 1969), and Jim Palmer, Baseball Hall of Famepitcher for the Baltimore Orioles.
There are many Christian churches in Aberdeen, but few houses of worship for other religions. There are several Roman Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, and Methodist churches in the area, as well as one synagogue.
Aberdeen is the center of government for Brown County. City government is overseen by a mayor/city manager and eight council members. The city council is composed of Mayor/City Manager Mike Levson and council members Todd Campbell, Nancy Aman, James Kraft, Jeff Mitchell, Tom Agnitsch, David Bunsness, Clint Rux and Lloyd Hodgin. Each council member serves a five year term. County government is overseen by five commissioners. Each county commissioner serves a five year term. The county commissioners include Dennis Feickert, Tom Fischbach, Nancy Hansen, Deb Knecht, and Mike Wiese. Aberdeen is home to Brown County offices including clerk-magistrate, county auditor, landfill office, register of deeds, county treasurer, coroner, emergency management, highway superintendent, public welfare, state’s attorney, and a few others. The state senators from Brown County include Al Hoerth and Jim Hundstad, and the state representatives included H. Paul Dennert, Burt Elliot, Al Novstrup, and David Novstrup. However, all of these legislators' terms end in December 2008.
*Avera Saint Luke’s Hospital: 1,379 employees
*Aberdeen Public School District: 650
*Wyndham Worldwide: 400
*Aman Collection Service Inc.: 450
*Hub City Inc.: 382
*South Dakota Wheat Growers: 310
*Northern State University: 298
*Kessler’s, Inc.: 260
*Midstates Printing/Quality Quick Print: 300
Aberdeen Regional Airportis currently served by Northwest Airlines. It offers flight service to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
There are two major US highways that serve Aberdeen. One is US Highway 281 that runs from the
North Dakotaborder and goes to the border with Nebraska. The second highway is US Highway 12 that runs across South Dakota from the Minnesotaborder to the Montanaborder. US Highway 12 is the major thoroughfare in Aberdeen. US Highway 12 is signed in the city of Aberdeen as 6th Avenue South. US Highway 281 was recently realigned onto a new bypass that was constructed around the western area of the city.
;TaxiAberdeen Taxi service provides general taxi service in Aberdeen. Aberdeen Shuttle provides shuttle service to and from the airport along with general taxi services.
Jefferson Linesis a bus service from Aberdeen that connects to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Fargo, North Dakota, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
;Car rental There are four car rental services in Aberdeen; Hertz, Avis, Payless & Toyota Rent-A-Car. Hertz and Avis Car rental are located in the terminal. Payless Car Rental is located in Aberdeen Flying Service. Toyota Rent-A-Car is located at Harr Motors across from the airport.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railwayconveys freight and grain through Aberdeen.
* [http://www.aberdeen.sd.us/parks/wylie.html Wylie Park]
* [http://www.aberdeencvb.com/storybook.html Storybook Land] theme park
* [http://www.brown.sd.us Brown County Fair] Held annually in August
* [http://www.dacotahprairiemuseum.com Dacotah Prairie Museum]
* [http://www.feelthethunder.com/aberdeen.htm Thunder Road]
Notable residents and natives
Bruce Baillie, experimental filmmaker and founding member of Canyon Cinema
L. Frank Baum, famous for his book " The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"
John Cacavas, Hollywood film score composer
Tom Daschle, former U.S. Senatorand Senate Majority Leader
Justin Duchscherer, MLB pitcher for the Oakland Athletics
Terry Francona, current Boston Red Soxmanager
Matilda Joslyn Gage, suffragist, Native American activist, abolitionist, freethinker, and author
Mary GrandPré, illustrator
Joseph Hansen (writer), American mystery writer
Josh Heupel, quarterback for the 2000 National Champion Oklahoma Sooners
*David C. Jones, USAF General and former Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff
Roland Loomis, key figure in the Modern PrimitiveMovement
Brigadier General LaVerne G. Saunders, WWII USAF General
Julie Sommars, actress
* [http://www.aberdeen.k12.sd.us/ Aberdeen Public Schools]
* [http://www.aberdeenchristianschool.org/ Aberdeen Christian School Website]
* [http://www.aberdeenroncalli.org/ Aberdeen Catholic School System (Roncalli Schools)]
* [http://www.aberdeen.sd.us/ Aberdeen government website]
* [http://www.allaberdeen.net/ allAberdeen.net - Aberdeen, South Dakota events]
* [http://www.alistaberdeen.com/ A-List Magazine - Local magazine]
* [http://www.aberdeennews.com/mld/aberdeennews/ Aberdeen News - Local newspaper]
* [http://aberdeenareaartscouncil.com/ Aberdeen Area Arts Council]
* [http://www.northern.edu/wild/act.htm Aberdeen Community Theater]
* [http://www.sdartworks.com/index.php Artworks Cooperative]
* [http://sdsbvi.northern.edu/default.htm SDSBVI]
* [http://www.trinityaberdeen.org/ Trinity Lutheran School]
*Aberdeen Catholic School System. anonymous. n.d. Aberdeen Catholic School System, Aberdeen, South Dakota. 27 November 2006
*Aberdeen Christian School. anonymous. n.d. Aberdeen Christian School, Aberdeen, SD. 26 November 2006
*"About PC." Presentation College. n.d. 30 November 2006
*"Academics." Presentation College. n.d. 30 November 2006
*"Programs." Hub Area Technical School. n.d. 27 November 2006
*"RHS Activities & Athletics." Roncalli High School. n.d. 27 November 2006
*"Roncalli at a glance: "Brief History and outline of the Aberdeen Catholic School System." Aberdeen Catholic School System. n.d. 27 November 2006
*"Saints Athletics." Presentation College. n.d. 30 November 2006
*"Schools." Aberdeen Public Schools. n.d. 28 November 2006
*"Area Art Events October Through December." ART"i"FACTS: Aberdeen Area Arts Council. Oct. 2006: 3
*"Art" WORKS "Cooperative". Aberdeen, South Dakota: "Art" WORKS "Cooperative", 2006
*"Clip & Save." ART"i"FACTS: Aberdeen Area Arts Council. Oct. 2006: 2
*Empowering all STUDENTS to Succeed in a Changing World. Aberdeen, South Dakota: Aberdeen School District 6-1, 2006.
*Got a minute or two?. Aberdeen, South Dakota: Aberdeen Christian High School, 2006.
*Hub Area Technical School. anonymous. n.d. Hub Area Technical School, Aberdeen, South Dakota. 27 November 2006
*Lindner, JoEllen. "Admissions." Presentation College. n.d. 30 November 2006
*Northern State University Theater. Aberdeen, South Dakota: Northern State University, 2006
*Unlimited Opportunities Endless Possibilities, Presentation College. Aberdeen, South Dakota: Presentation College, 2006.
*Avera St. Lukes. "Avera St. Luke's: We're Caring for Life." Aberdeen, South Dakota.
*Avera St. Lukes. "Healthcare Directory and Wellness Guide." Aberdeen, South Dakota.
*American News. "Access Aberdeen." Aberdeen, South Dakota 2006.
*Keast, Bret. "Tomorrow Plan: Planting Seeds for a Better Tomorrow." Aberdeen, South Dakota, Future Land Use Plan 2005.
*Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce. Aberdeen, SD. n.d.
*Don Artz. The Town in the Frog Pond. 1991. Memories, Inc.
*Dacotah Prairie Museum. Aberdeen/Brown County, South Dakota Historical Highlights. n.d.
*SD Governor's Office of Economic Development http://www.sdreadytowork.com/CountyProfileReport/EntireReport.aspx?CountyID=3
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