Phillipsburg was first organized as a township in 1851, and at that time included Lopatcong, which was not set off until March 8, 1861, when Phillipsburg was incorporated as a town. An addition was made from Lopatcong to Phillipsburg in 1903.
Phillipsburg is on the site of an Indian village called Chintewink, which is still the name of one of its alleys. The present name is variously ascribed to an Indian chief Philip, who lived in the village, and to a family named Phillips who settled there later. It is one of the five towns in the county that had a name in 1769, the others being Oxford, Changewater, ‘Halketstown and Bloomsbury. In “Hallesche Nachrichten, published in 1787, we read (p. 111): “Phillipsburg was an Indian town as early as 1654. The name Phillipsburg is found on a map of 1749.” It also appears on a map published by Evans in 1755. The burden of evidence seems to favor the derivation of the name from that of an extensive land owner here named William Phillips, who was located in the neighborhood as early as 1735. His daughter Margaret married John Roseberry, and a son, William Phillips, was the most prominent man in Phillipsburg.