The community was established about 1800, known at the time as Tanner's Station. The Bullittsburg Baptist Church was founded outside the former hamlets of Utzinger and Gainesville/Idewild, east and north of Petersburg, in 1794.
Petersburg, in 1791, was a candidate for the site of the new state's capital. It lost by one vote.
Charles Clinton Fleek, recipient of the Medal of Honor for service in the Vietnam War. "Chalky", as he was known, attended the 5 classroom, Petersburg Elementary School which has since been demolished/converted into a local community center and branch of the Boone County Public Library.