Lexington was named by early settler William Penland for his hometown of Lexington, Kentucky. Lexington’s post office was established in 1885. The city was incorporated in 1903, and had a population of 185 at the 1910 census. The current census has the population at 238.
The history of Lexington is the history of a very interesting experiment in town building. Its inception was practically concurrent with the erection of Morrow County, and the animating purpose of its founder was to build a town which should contest with Heppner for the honor of being the seat of government of the new political division. The land upon which the town was built was the homestead of William Penland, the sheep king of the county, and a man of great resourcefulness and energy, backed by vast wealth. Although the place was but little over a year old when the contest came to its focus of settlement, so rapid had been its growth that it was a most formidable rival of the pioneer town. The prize was won by Heppner by only a narrow majority, so narrow indeed that it was and still is a matter of doubt in many minds as to whether Lexington was legitimately beaten or not.
Holly Rebekah Lodge: Initially constructed and operated as the “Leach Mercantile Store” the building was given to the Lexington Oddfellows and Rebekahs by Mrs. Leach when the store closed for business. Since that time it has provided facilities for countless reunions, bridal showers, and club meetings, and for a time housed a popular dance hall.
The Lexington Baptist Church is probably best known for having been swept off its foundations during the Heppner Flood of 1903 (which, after demolishing Heppner, roared on to wreak havoc in Lexington and Ione). Originally established in 1899 as the Methodist Episcopal Church, it gallantly rode the flood-tide down the street and crashed into the Congregational Church – the only other church in town. Retrieved, replaced and restored, it continues to serve the Lexington community today as the Community Bible Church at its original site.
The Telephone Exchange/Original Town Hall Building is Lexington’s lost child. Separated from its building site many years ago it waits, foundationless, on a corner of the neighbor’s property near the old Fire Station. It remains in remarkably good condition, considering the circumstances – probably due in no small part to its straight-grain red fir studs and rafters and its (now virtually unattainable) shiplap siding.
Lexington has also preserved a grist stone salvaged from its original flour mill. The stone is mounted on a concrete foundation located beside the current Fire Station on Main Street. The old school bell is also currently atop the Fire Station and will be re-located after construction of the new Fire Station is complete. Once the old Fire Station is torn down the Town is planning to build a small park where it once stood for visitors to enjoy a nice picnic and gather local lore and information.
The Morrow County Airport in Lexington is owned and operated by Morrow County. There is an Automated Weather Observation System. There is a 4300-foot main runway which will accommodate most intermediate size aircraft.
The Morrow County Airport is located one-half mile north of the city center, just west of Highway 207. The airport access road is located approximately one-half mile north of the intersection of Highway 207 and 74. The paved airport access road travels approximately ¼ mile from Highway 207 to the vehicle parking area.
The airport has been a base for agricultural spraying operators for many years, in addition to accommodating general aviation, business, medical and charter activities. The airport currently accommodates locally based single engine aircraft, including two turbine powered agricultural aircraft. In addition to local aircraft, the airport accommodates intermediate general aviation, business aviation, including turboprop, business jet, and helicopter operations.