Hoisington was organized in 1886 and incorporated in 1888. Hoisington has always been a railroad town, this being a relay station and division point. Hoisington was first called Monon on the railroad and the keycall letters are still M.O. for Monon. The railroad shops in Hoisington were the largest buildings in central Kansas until World War II. These landmarks are still owned by the railroad.
When the main western line of the Missouri Pacific railroad was being built west from Kansas City, and the construction force had reached a point near what is now the townsite of Hoisington, a company of well known Kansas men began the laying out of the town that takes its name from the head of the Company, A.J. Hoisington, one of the pioneers of Barton County and for many years engaged in the newspaper business in Great Bend. A.J. was revered by all who knew him for his kindly deeds and unswerving manhood.