Cattle farmers from the Cape started trekking inland in the late 1700s, but were harassed in the Karoo by severe droughts and hostile conditions. It was in about 1862 that Mr. Stefanus Greeff acquired the farm Zoute Vlakte. Today the town uses this farm as a source of water. In 1879 Greeff acquired “Vischuil aan de Buffelsrivier” with the specific purpose of starting a settlement. The first plots were sold on April 1, 1880.
Those in Krige and Meiring Streets were sold as plots for irrigation for the sum of £ 30 each. Few could imagine that 100 years later the four rows of houses along these streets would be destroyed in the flood, one of the severest ever seen in the Karoo.
The first village that grew from this settlement was named Buffalo, but with the arrival of the railway line, the name eventually changed to Nassau to avoid confusion with East London’s Buffalo River. The name was changed to Laingsburg in honor of John Laing; Commissioner of Crown Lands at the Cape, whose decision to move servitude made the creation of a town a reality.