Premier from 1889 to 1891
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NEIL MCLEOD WAS BORN ON the family homestead near Uigg. His father came from Scotland in
1829 on the Mary Kennedy. His mother was the daughter of John MacDonald who came over
with the Selkirk Settlers and settled in Pinette.
McLeod's parents believed that he should receive a good education so after attending the local schools in the area he went on to Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, graduating in 1871 with a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts degree. He returned to Charlottetown and studied law in offices in the city and was called to the Bar of Prince Edward Island in 1872, one year prior to Prince Edward Island entering Confederation.
Neil McLeod first entered politics in 1879 when he was elected to the Provincial Legislature representing Charlottetown and Royalty. He won re-election in the general elections of 1882 and 1886. During this period he served in the Cabinet of Premier Sullivan as Provincial Secretary-Treasurer and later as a Minister without Portfolio.
In 1889, Premier Sullivan resigned in order to accept the post of Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island and in November of that year, Neil McLeod was asked to take over the reins of the Conservative government thus becoming the fifth premier of Prince Edward Island. Two years later in 1891 he led his Conservative Party to the polls and was defeated by the Liberal Party under Frederick Peters.
In 1892, Premier McLeod was named County Court Judge for Prince County and he retained that position until his death on October 15, 1915.
Although he served as Premier of the province for only two years, McLeod became known as a humanitarian through his many efforts in other fields of endeavour. He served for a number of years as a Trustee of the Provincial Institutions for the Mentally Ill and as one of the Commissioners of the Poor House.
Neil McLeod is buried in the People's Protestant Cemetery in Summerside.