In the early 1820s settlement began on the shores of the Mississippi River at Apple Tree Falls where apple trees growing on the river banks had inspired the name. Soon after settlement began the area was renamed Teskeyville in honor of a family of settlers who arrived in 1823. In 1857 when the Post Office arrived, the village was renamed Appleton.
The Teskey family came to Ramsay Township in 1823 as part of the Peter Robinson Settlers. This was a group of Irish emigrants who received support from the government to immigrate to Upper Canada. A similar group, the Lanark Society Settlers made up mostly of Scots, had arrived in 1820 and 1821. Both groups of settlers were mainly craftsmen hit hard by the depression following the Napoleonic War, many had been looms men, cotton weavers and tradesmen.