The City of Stayton was named for the pioneer Drury Smith Stayton, who originally wanted to call the town, Florence, after his daughter. The name Florence was already taken when the time came to incorporate, so the Postmaster Samuel D. McCauley decided to honor the founder and named the town Stayton.
Nell Stayton, the wife of Charles Stayton, said in 1952 in a news interview that their grandfather gave each of his children a build site and enough lumber to build a home. That's how the settlement began.
The "Town of Stayton" was officially created by the Oregon Legislature in 1891. On July 1, 1974, Stayton went officially from town to city. According to an atlas of Marion County, Stayton's popluation in 1897 was about 300, today it's 7,200.