Established in 1902, McLean grew from a water well and switch on the Choctaw, Oklahoma, and Texas Railroad. It was once known as the "uplift city" because of a ladies undergarment factory, and it was a former site of a World War II German prisoner of war camp. McLean is now trade center for surrounding farms and ranches.
A restored 1930s Phillips 66 station lies on an old westbound U.S. 66 road and is considered one of best re-created sites by the Old Route 66 Association. Murals along Main St. (old U.S. 66) depict the history of city and area.