The first settlers arrived in 1844, with lumbermen following in 1858. The township was a portion of Pine Plains Township until 1859, when the Board of Supervisors set it off as a separate township. It is believed to have been named for the town of Lee, Massachusetts. Early settlements were Hoppertown in 1870 and Black River Station in 1871. On July 15, 1901 Hoppertown was renamed Pullman. No one seems to know why the name was changed or why Pullman was chosen. Some say it was in honor of George Pullman, the inventor of the railroad sleeping car.