James Farquharson Macleod, 1836-1894, was born in Scotland, the son of Martin Donald Macleod and Jane Fry. The family moved to Upper Canada in 1845. James received his BA from Queen's in 1854 and was called to the Bar in 1860. He served under Col. Wolseley during the 1870 Riel Rebellion. In 1873 he accepted the position of Assistant Commissioner in the newly formed North-West Mounted Police, and the following year led a police column to southern Alberta and established Fort Macleod. In 1875 he sent troops to establish Fort Walsh and Fort Calgary. He served as Commissioner of the NWMP from 1876 until 1880. As Commissioner he successfully negotiated Treaty 7 in 1877. When he resigned in 1880 he moved to Pincher Creek and devoted himself to judicial duties. He was one of only three magistrates in the North-West Territories. From 1887 until his death he was a judge of the Supreme Court of the North-West Territories.
He married Mary Isabella Drever, 1852-1933, in 1876, and they had four daughters and a son, Helen (Cross), Jean (Montgomerie-Bell), Mary M. (Townshend), Roma (Sharpe), and Norman Torquil Macleod, 1880-1970. His older brother, Norman Torquil Macleod, 1822-1885, served as the first Indian agent in southern Alberta from 1880 to 1882. Colonel Macleod School in Calgary was named in his honour in 1955. Macleod Drive in Lethbridge, Alberta, Macleod Manor at Fort Macleod, Macleod Island, Alberta, Macleod Mall in Calgary, Macleod Plaza in Calgary and Macleod Trail in Calgary are also named after Colonel Macleod.
For further information see Roderick C. Macleod's entry, "James Farquharson Macleod", in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. XII. - Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 1990, p. 672-675; Macleod of the Mounties : The Story of a Scottish Canadian Hero who Preserved the Great North-West / Michael Craufurd-Lewis. -- Kemptville : Golden Dog Press, 1999; Roderick G. Martin's article, "Macleod at Law : A Judicial Biography of James Farquharson Macleod" in People and Place : Historical Influences on Local Culture / Constance Backhouse and Jonathan Swainger, eds. -- Vancouver : University of British Columbia Press, 2003; and Bill Waiser's entry, "James Macleod", in Encyclopedia of the Great Plains / James R. Wishart, ed. -- Lincoln/London : University of Nebraska Press, 2004, p. 456-457.