In the years prior to 1521, the native Muslims occupied the coastal plains of the Province known as Lanao del Norte. Datu Elme M. Mohammad, a datu and Prosperous fisherman by occupation believed to have come from Cabingan, Sulo who occupied more than half of these coastal plains. When the Spanish colonizers failed to conquer wholly the southern part of the Philippines, the Americans proved otherwise by effectively gaining the support and confidence of the Moslems. Through negotiations with the local Moslem leaders, people particularly from Cebu and Bohol were encouraged to settle in the parts of Mindanao, presently known as Kauswagan. The influx of migrants particularly from the Visayas who intermingled with small group of native Moslems without accompanying Moslems for it was only natural that the growing social milieu and diverse cultural heritage, customs, traditions and idiosyncrasies developed some tensions. But, on the whole, it has opened up previously uninhabited and richly endowed lands thereby sowing the initial seed for development. The place settled-in by most of the settlers was known to be “KIADALICANAN” but was later shortened to “DALICANAN” which literally means, “bend”. The settlers in this part were notably known to have come from Tudela, Misamis Occidental and said to have been led by the family of Restituto Cagas.
In July 1917, Dalicanan became the center of commerce and trade and was the most developed area. The Christian settlers renamed DALICANAN into KAUSWAGANmeaning “Progress” or “Improvement”. The Kauswagan later on became the set of Local Government and Dalicanan just a mere sitio. Kauswagan during this period was a barrio under the municipality of Iligan its mother town, 21 kilometers away to the north East Coast. August 1921 marked the first wave of settlers from Tabuelan, Cebu. Due to the increasing need of the growing population for education, the municipality was able to put up a complete primary school with seven (7) Grades in June of 1939 known as Kauswagan Primary School. In 1947, Pedro Pernia, Sr., Ricardo Capa and Rustico Pañares drafted the papers and complied with the legal requirements for town’s separation from Iligan, its mother municipality.
Then on April 25, 1948, by virtue of Executive Order No. 126 duly signed by President Manuel A. Roxas, it was created into a regular municipality. However, there was no existing government building to house the municipal hall at that time so a residential building owned by Eugenio Sombilon was utilized instead. Then councilor Jose Q. Balazo became the first appointed Municipal Mayor while Mr. Santiago Ramirez as the first appointed Vice Mayor and the first set of appointed councilors where; Captain Joseph T. Sanguila, Sr., Mr. Victoriano Rafols, Mr. Demetrio Balbez, Mr. Tanguraz Caorong, Atty. Francisco Tamargo and Hilarion Noro. After a few years, the Mohammad Family donated a one-hectare site for the construction of the municipal building. It was during the incumbency of Mayor Joseph Sanguila, Sr.,that a Masbate type building was constructed. But it was only During the incumbency of Mayor Valentine E. Tarroza, Sr. in 1975 that a Two Hundred Thousand worth Municipal building was put up.