The former barrio of Basista, now the site of the town proper or poblacion was once the biggest and one of the progressive barrios located in the far south of the mother town, San Carlos (now a city).
As early as the year 1918, some of the most influential and prominent citizens of the then barrio of Basista came together and made the first attempt to petition the municipal government and the provincial board of San Carlos and Pangasinan respectively to grant the township of their barrios.
Prominent politicians during that time volunteered their help in making representations with the proper authorities, but their request was not granted. Some of those leaders were: General Mamaril, Don Valeriano Perez, father of the late speaker Eugenio Pérez, Buenaventura de Vera, Telesforo de Vera, Gregorio Malicdem, Cayetano Perez, Gaudencio Padua, Gregorio Valdez, Ramon Valdez, Don Roque de Vera, Domingo Resultay, Bernardo Resultay, Liberato Frias, Hipolito Cayabyab, Alejandro de guzman , Pascual Resultay, Raymundo de Guzman, Vicente de Guzman, Domingo de Guzman, Vicente Frias, Florentino Malicdem, Faustino Monzon, Cornelio de Guzman, Felix de Guzman, Juan Malicdem, Federico Cancino, Artemio Frias and several others.
On September 5, 1961, PresidentCarlos P. Garcia issued Executive Order No. 446 creating the town of Basista composed of 13 barrios out of the 28 that petitioned. Four years after, however, the Philippine Supreme Court declared the town's creation as without legal basis citing their ruling in the "Emmanuel Pelaez vs. Auditor General" that "municipalities created under Executive Orders are void". It was here that Republic Act No. 4866 filed by Congressman Jack L. Soriano was enacted into law and legally created Basista as a town of Pangasinan.