Among the earliest settlers on the site of Listowel was John Binning
who, tradition has it, became the community's first permanent settler in 1852.
Within four years D. D. Hay
, one of the most enterprising early settlers, had erected a sawmill and a settlement called Mapleton developed.
On June 1, 1856, a post office named Listowel was opened and the community, with a population of 200, contained taverns and a general store operated by W. H. Hacking
Ten years later the population had increased to 800 and the settlement became an incorporated Village.
The arrival of a branch line of the Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway hastened the Village's development and it became a Town with a population of 2,054 in 1875.