Oroquieta was called before as Layawan. The now city was then a barrio in the province of Misamis since 1861 to 1879. The early settlers were Boholano peddlers. Since much of the animals can be found along the river, the named the place Layawan, which means place of many stray animals.
After some years, Misamis was divided into two provinces, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental. In 1880, Layawan converted into a town and the name of the place was changed to Oroquieta. Some folks say that the the place was named after the famous barrio in Spain where Father Toas Tomas Casado, the first parish priest and General Domingo Mariones y Murillo, a hero in the battle of Oroquieta, were born.
Many years had passed, Oroquieta progressed by leaps and bounds until finally it became the capital town (cabecera) on January 6, 1930. As capital town, people of various neighboring provinces came and inhabited in the place where they earn their living through fishing, farming, merchandising and other forms of businesses. Soon afterwards its income increased simultaneously with increase in population.