The Jerilderie district originated with the gazettal of the final licences to landholders in the 1870s. Before this time annual licences were issued. The pioneers of that time established cattle stations and it was not until the 1860s that sheep were found better suited to the area.
The birth of the town of Jerilderie itself is traced to the establishment of a house and store by John Carractacus Powell in 1854. He was apparently encouraged and assisted by the Kennedy Family to establish his home and business in what is known today as Powell Street, Jerilderie. The Kennedy family were the pioneers who first took up the property known as Mary's Creek Run, the station which surrounded the site of the town of Jerilderie. After John Powell first built, in 1859 William Davidson arrived in Jerilderie and he chose the site of the official village to settle on, being the "Cape" region. He had evidently noted the survey of 1852. William Davidson then constructed a brick kiln, the bricks from which he erected a house, hotel and blacksmith shop.
Thus Jerilderie had two establishments, about three kilometres apart, and the business rivalry was keen in each endeavour to capture trade from the travelling public.
Whilst the rivalry continued between Powell and Davidson, a Mr Cadell settled at a site opposite the existing Police Station and erected a store to compete with Powell and Davidson.
The Post Office opened on 1 October 1862 but was spelt Jereelderie until 1890.
No other development occurred for some years, but following an application from Mr Powell in 1863 a surveyor was instructed to survey and report on the Jerilderie Village site. As a consequence of this report the Village of Jerilderie and suburban boundaries were Gazetted on 14 March 1865. The village contained an area of , bounded generally by West, Coonong, East and Jerilderie Streets.
With the continual growth of the town and the development of the sheep and wool industry over the years, there became the need for control and development of local facilities and services such as roads, bridges, water supply, etc. Hence in 1889 the area was introduced to official Local Government with the proclamation of the Jerilderie Municipal Council. The Municipality was originally formed in 1885 from previously formed Progress Association but did not gain official recognition and charter until 1889.
Whilst the town had its Local Government authority, the landholders outside the Municipality found the need to work for the establishment of a Shire Council, and as a result of this need the Wunnamurra Shire Council was realised in 1906.
Both the Jerilderie Municipality and the Wunnamurra Shire continued on their works for the following years up to 1918 when the Shire of Jerilderie was formed from the union of the two Councils.