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Lachlan McIntosh was born on July 30, 1897 in Bottineau, North Dakota. He emigrated to Canada in 1906 and received his formal education at Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan. He took up farming after finishing high school and took an active interest in farm organizations. In 1917 he became a member of the Saskatchewan Grain Growers Association. McIntosh became a district representative for the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool after its inception in 1923. He married Jessie Ann Jones of Prince Albert, on September 25, 1940. They had one son named James.
He was a councillor of the Rural Municipality of South Qu'Appelle. A member of the C.C.F., McIntosh was elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature as a member of the CCF representing Prince Albert during the general election of 1944. He was re-elected in 1948, 1952, 1956, and 1960. He was appointed Minister of Public Works on July 10, 1944, a portfolio he held until November 13, 1944, when he was appointed Minister of Co-operation and Co-operative Development on November 14, 1949.
His next appointment came on February 26, 1945 when he became Minister of Agriculture on January 8, 1946. On August 4, 1948 he became Minister of Municipal Affairs until November 21, 1961 when he was re-appointed Minister of Co-operation and Co-operative Development. He held this post until he died on March 17, 1962.