This place has two names, Setul and Mantin. Setul is the name of certain plant called 'Setul'. Setul was the town with a police station. It is not at the present town of Mantin but at the 8th mile Seremban (junction to Lenggeng). The name Setul is still in use, in grants and licenses of land, e.g. Mukim Setul, not Mukim of Mantin. The town of Setul was transferred to Mantin. The present name of Mantin is well known for its tin mine owned by a Chinese towkay (prominent Chinese businessman), Kong Sang (广生号, actually a company's name). The Europeans called the place 'Mine Tin' while the Malays called it 'Mantin' for at this place tin (lombong timah) was plentiful. The residents of the place could not say 'Mine Tin' correctly and said Mantin instead
The earliest account of Mantin was related to Kapitan Seng Ming Lee (甲必单盛明利), the first Chinese chief who as killed in 1860 in a war between Chinese secret societies (Hai San and Ghee Hin) near Sungei Ujong (presently Seremban). His descendents fled to Mantin. Today (as of February 2009) the great-grand children of Kapitan Seng still live in Mantin.
Situated in a valley surrounded by hills, Mantin has been a favorite sanctuary and hiding place for war and crime refugees. In addition to Kapitan Seng Ming Lee's descendants, large groups of Hakka were said to have migrated here, especially from Titi, during Japanese occupation of Malaya during 1943.
Until 1903, the geographical location of Mantin in a valley has made it inaccessible to mainstream transportation. A railroad from Kuala Lumpur to Seremban was completed in 1903. The railroad passes through Batang Benar town, thus providing an access point at the western side of the town. At that time, British miners brought in large numbers of dredgers into Mantin, bringing about an economic boom. A Sikh temple and a Catholic church (St. Aloysius Catholic Church) was built around the turn of the century.
College University in Mantin
There are five Higher Education Institutes in Mantin, namely Kolej Universiti Linton (Linton College University), Institut Teknologi Pertama (Pertama Institute of Technology) Institut Jati (Jati Institute), Institut Sains Perubatan Mantin (Institute of Medical Science Mantin), and Kolej Legenda (Legenda College).
These colleges were listed under Legenda Education Group (Abbreviation: LEG Malay: Kumpulan Pendidikan Legenda). Legenda Education Group is located in a university township (Bandar Universitu Teknologi Legenda) near Mantin town in the state of Negeri Sembilan, at the crossroads between Kuala Lumpur in the north and Johore Bharu in the south. This university township is located about 50 km from Kuala Lumpur, and can be reached within 30 minutes from the Sungei Besi toll in Kuala Lumpur. Other adjacent townships are Bandar Baru Nilai (10 km) and Seremban (19 km). The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is located adjacent to the campus.
- S. Durai Raja Singam, 1957, Port Weld to Kuantan - A Study of Malayan Place-names
- 陳嵩傑, 1992, 尋根：森美蘭華族先民的足跡, 森美蘭中華大會堂、星洲日報聯合出版, pp .12-15
- Laurance KL Siaw, 1983, Chinese Society in Rural Malaysia - A Local History of the Chinese in Titi, Jelebu, Oxford University Press
- J. M. Gullick, A History of Negeri Sembilan, Monograph No. 33, ISBN 967-9948-27-7