Maps dated 1654 by a Dutch engineer show an Indian village called "Chinterwink". Phillipsburg was first found on a 1749 map named after Indian Chief Phillip, whose tribe made this rich fising and hunting ground their home.
Phillipsburg was settled prior to Easton. In 1752, William Penn wrote, "I think we should secure all the lands on the Jersey side of the water". His intent was to slow Phillipsburg's development while making Easton (Pennsylvania) prosper. Some locals today joke this was the catalyst to our town's intense sports rivalry.
In fact, Phillipsburg did not flourish despite completion of the Morris Canal (1830) and construction of the Trenton Iron Company Furnace (1848) until 1854 when the Bel-Del and Jersey Central Railroads were completed along the river bank below. The town was incorporated soon thereafter - March 8, 1861.
From 1860 - 1870 population rose from 1,500 to 5,960. By 1885 population was 8,000+.
The 1887 History & Directory of Warren County notes, "the business portion of Phillipsburg is confined chiefly to Main Street". It states the town already famed for its beautiful architecture, excellent school & churches. Prominent doctors, bankers, lawyers, artisans, merchants, town leaders and railroad businessmen lived and maintained offices along this area of South Main Street, which the townspeople has already affectionately called "millionaire's row".