The early inhabitants of this town were the semi-primitive people called "Mundos" and "Ambaks". When traders and settlers from Panay started moving in, the natives were driven to the mountains. The new settlers were called "Tagahigad" and when the Spaniards came the place was called "Ginigaran" from the word "higad" but it was later spelled and pronounced as Hinigaran.
The town was founded in 1765 and Captain Basilio Mongcal was appointed as the first president in 1806. Among its first settlers were the families of Mongcal, Lagtapon, Cosio,Sario, David, Orin, Pido, Pabalinas, Luntayao, Javier, Vargas, Lucasan, Grijaldo, and Dano-og—some of whom were from Panay.
The Spaniards established the seat of the "pueblo" in Jacinto and Zamora Streets, and the town was governed by "Capitanes Municipales", Tenientes Absolato" and Cabeza de Barangays". When revolt against the Spanish Government broke out, Capitan Bibiano Gelvosa and his followers fought bravely against the Spaniards. He was the last "Capitan Municipal" when the Americans arrived.