Leigh is located in Colfax County in northeast Nebraska. Nebraska Highways 15 and 91 serve the community. Leigh is 86 miles northwest of Omaha, Nebraska, and 90 miles southwest of Sioux City, Iowa.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, approximately 405 people live in Leigh and approximately 10,515 people live in Colfax County. Approximately 123,886 people live within Colfax County and the contiguous counties of Platte, Stanton, Cuming, Dodge, Saunders, and Butler.
Colfax County boundaries were defined in 1869, and county government was set up in Schuyler. In 1873 Stephen Miller hauled lumber from Schuyler for a one-room house at the present site of Leigh. In 1874 a post office was set up at the Miller home, with Mrs. Miller as the first postmistress, and School District 39 was established. In 1875 A. M. Walling and family acquired the Miller homestead, and the post office was transferred to Wallings, with Mrs. Walling serving as postmistress. The name was changed to Leigh, Mrs. Walling's maiden name. Soon after, a general store, now the restored House of Yesteryear, was erected.
By 1880 Leigh had a blacksmith shop, 10 dwellings, and a population of 54. Yankee Road, south of town, was the dividing line -- homesteaders of English ancestory settled on the east, those of German descent to the west, and Czech and Irish immigrants filed claims to the north and south.
The first train arrived on newly laid rails in 1886. The Leigh World, published weekly since, was established that year.
On March 7, 1887, Leigh became an incorporated village. Prior to 1900, five village trustees were elected each year, after which an alternating system of election was set up.
A municipal water works system for public use and fire protection was constructed in 1899. A 2,680 foot well was dug in 1912 to serve the community. By 1908, gas lamps were used for lighting streets and homes in Leigh. The first electric light and power plant was installed in 1915 and a second unit was added in 1922.
Peter Claussen, life-long resident, represented the 18th District in the Bicameral (1935-36) and in the Unicameral Legislature (1957-66).