Historical Marker # 1123 in Calhoun notes that McLean County was named in honor of a War of 1812 veteran who became a state legislator.
Born in North Carolina, Alney McLean moved to Kentucky when he was twenty years old. A surveyor in Muhlenberg County, he laid out the town of Greenville and was one of the founders and early political leaders of that community.
During the War of 1812, McLean raised several companies of Kentucky Mounted Militia and was a captain in General Samuel Hopkins' campaigns against Native Americans. He also fought at the Battle of New Orleans, which was a substantial American victory.
Like other 1812 veterans, McLean, who was also an attorney, used his military service to vault himself to higher political office. In addition to representing Muhlenberg County in the state legislature, McLean was a circuit judge and U.S. congressman. He died in 1841 and was buried in Greenville. When McLean County was formed in 1854, it was named in his honor.