A long time ago, Batu Pahat was known as Pulau Island and Sungai Batu Pahat was known as Sungai Kundur. They were merely small settlements that was opened by high ranked and well known people such as penghulu's (village head man) and leaders. For example, during the Sultan Hussin's ruling in Singapore and Johor, two of the Melayu Daik's leaders and another leader from Simpang Kiri who was known as Rapang, who a descendant from Orang Besar Pahang had a meeting with Sultan Hussin. Both of them were bestowed as village leaders for the villages they came from by Sultan Hussin in 1834.

Due to the development of the small settlements, Batu Pahat grew rapidly and massively. Later in 1885 three English men named Stiple, Jackson and Watt opened a coffee plantation at the foothill of Bukit Penggaram near Pengkalan Jeram. The wholesaler that worked the plantation was a Chinese named Lim Soo Poon. He soon became rich and built 4 brick houses nearby Sungai Batu Pahat.

Efforts to open the Batu Pahat town was made in 1888 by Dato' Yahya bin Awaluddin who also known as Dato' Yahya Tinggi in some areas in Bukit Senangin, Kampung Tambak, on the right banks of Sungai Batu Pahat. But his efforts failed because of unsuitable geographical and economical factors. On the contrary, based on some of the old belief, some of the area cannot be opened as town because in the end the town will end up inflated (masuk angin). In the end, those places would be abandoned just like that. In the same year, another prominent called Dato' Yahya Rendah tried to open the town in the Senangar area but also failed because at that time some old men were superstitious of the old saying "you will end up dumbfounded".