McCleary Home >
McCleary was a rural community initially known as Wood Lake on the Brown County/Watonwan County border. In 1896 the McCleary Post Office was established, being named after James Thompson McCleary, the Minnesota Representative for the area 1893-1907. The post office opened at the Wood Lake Creamery, which was established in 1894. George Jauss was McCleary’s first postmaster and operated one of the two stores in the community. McCleary remained very rural and within a few years, the stores, post office, and creamery closed because of a lack of patrons, leaving the Salem Lutheran Church, in Watonwan County as the last remnant of McCleary until it closed in 1998.