The first pioneers pole-boated up the Root River to the junction of Rush Creek, peering through 10-foot tall grasses to see what astonishing beauty the bluff lands had to offer. The early settlers gave Rushford its name on Christmas Day in 1854, during a chicken supper hosted by Capt. Dyer. The name stems from the nearby Rush Creek, which had tall Rushes growing along its banks. The area was once referred to as “Trail City” because seven Indian trails met at the creek.
Rushford has had a post office in operation since 1856, and the 1867 two-story Railroad Depot still stands at its original site, being restored as a Visitors Center for the local area.
As a result of the 2007 Midwest flooding, the city was flooded when Rush Creek overtopped the dikes. Rushford's spirit bounced back to produce a very bustling and thriving community.