Turbotville was named when it was still within the boundaries of Turbot Township. It was originally called Turbuttville in honor of Lt. Col. Turbutt Francis, the principal land owner in this area in 1772. Lt. Col. Francis was granted 2,075 acres as compensation for his heroic service in the military.

The land was adjoining a tract he had previously purchased from Andrew Montour. Turbotville was incorporated as a borough in 1859. S. A. Savidge was the first Burgess.