About McLeod County

Population: 34,898
Area in Square Miles: 503
Senate District: 18
House District: 18A
Congressional District: 7
AMC District: VII

Comprising townships taken from Carver and two from Sibley, but without the coveted six mile strip from Renville, McLeod County was created by the territorial legislature March 1, 1856, and was organized March 11, 1856.

It was named for Martin McLeod, a Scotsman, who was one of the first settlers to locate in this area. He was described as "a man of Nobel Form", commanding presence, culture, intellect, dignity and eloquence. J.H. Stevens, and perhaps a dozen others, founded a settlement thirty miles from the nearest white neighbors and called it Glencoe. Glencoe was made the county seat as it still is today.

The first session of the then called "Commissioner's Court" was held in the Office of Bell (attorney at law) and Chapman in Glencoe. John McLeod, James Phillips and W.B. Wilson were the first board members of the Commissioner's Court. Other Officers were: Honorable Lewis Branson; Judge A.J. Snyder as the first clerk of Court; Sheriff L.G. Simon as Probate Judge; A.J. Bell, District Attorney; and J.B. McKean, Coroner.

The first action of the county board was to lay out a school district to be called the Glencoe School District No. 1.

The next order of business was the establishment of three election precincts. One was the Glencoe Precinct; two the Hutchinson Precinct; and the third was called the Lake Addie Precinct.

The first court was held February 27, 1860.

The first preacher was Rev. Henry Elliott, a Methodist.

The first marriage was John H. Chubb and Eva M. Maittey on July 23, 1856.

The first child was Ella W. Hoover, January 1, 1856.

The first saw mill was a steam saw mill built by Glencoe Townsite Company.

The first road was the Hutchinson road.

McLeod County today has an area of 311,388 acres and contains 503 square miles, having 460 miles of township roads, 405 miles of county roads and 95 miles of state trunk highways. It is comprised of 14 townships and 9 cities and a total population of 34,898.

The first Courthouse was erected in 1896 at a cost of $9,967.18. In 1900, the first addition was made at a cost of $39,778.00 with a remodeling cost of $13,255.00 in 1910. The third addition was made in 1936 at a cost of $447,484.35. The original building site was acquired by a gift from the city of Glencoe and additional land was purchased later.