Leduc was first established in 1899, when Robert Telford, a settler, bought land near a lake which would later bear his name. It was on that piece of land where the new settlement would take root. Telford previously served as an officer for the North-West Mounted Police, and later became Leduc’s first postmaster, first general merchantman, and first justice of the peace. The establishment of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway, later acquired by the Canadian Pacific Railway, opened the region to settlement. The first train stopped at Leduc in July 1891.
Two versions describe how Leduc got its name. According to popular local legend, it was decided in 1890 when a settler (McKinlay) setting up a telegraph office needed a name for the new settlement and decided that it would be named after the first person who came through the door of the telegraph office. That person was Father Hippolyte Leduc, a priest who had served the area since 1867. In another, more official, version, the Lieutenant Governor of the North-West Territories, Edgar Dewdney (1835–1916), decided that Telford Place should be renamed at the time the railroad terminal was established in 1891, and picked the name of the missionary priest.
Leduc was first incorporated as a village in 1899, and went on to become officially a town in 1906. It became a city in 1983; by that time its population had reached 12,000.
The town continued to grow quietly over the decades and Alberta’s historical oil strike on February 13, 1947, occurred near the town at the Leduc No. 1 oil well