In 1873 the railroad opened this region of Nebraska to settlement. On October 13, 1877 a plat of land was filed for by Malcolm A. and Emma Showers. Showers laid out lots on Section 21, Elk Precinct. This land was to become the location of the town of Malcolm.
In the 1880's Malcolm consisted of a number of small dwellings, a blacksmith shop, a railroad depot, a grade school established by Malcolm Showers, a store owned by Showers and a store owned by Ira Bishop. Bishop was also in charge of the Post Office which his store contained.
As with most settlers life was not easy for early Malcolm residents. In February of 1880 a fire swept across the prairie engulfing the entire area between Middle Creek and Elk Creek. In the spring of 1880 severe cases of diphtheria took a toll of two to six children in some families. Some of the settlers gave up and returned to the East. During this same time period Indians and Gypsies were frequent callers.
Malcolm showers were responsible for establishing the first church in Malcolm. In September of 1885 Showers obtained two lots on which to build a Methodist Church. Malcolm Showers acted as the first minister in the church until the Reverent D.Y. Black took over that position.
In the 1890's Malcolm boasted a creamery run by a Mr. Nietz el, a barber shop, an implement business and stockyards. In later years, Malcolm also had a butcher shop, a hotel and a State bank.
On June 16, 1915 Malcolm became an incorporated village. The first village board members were L.E. Cozad, Fred F. Schmieding, R.L. Mahan, Al Otterman and F.S. Davey.
A Malcolm weekly newspaper was established in the year 1891 by the name of the Malcolm Messenger. The paper served the community until 1934. One feature of the paper was a large gossip column letting a person know what had happened in the life of the community and its members during each week.