The roots of Richland Farms go back to the Spanish conquistadors and missionaries. Compton lies on what was originally part of the San Pedro Ranchero. Shoshone tribes originally inhabited the area, and encountered the Spanish Missionaries in the 1770's. In 1784, Spain still commanded Mexico and parts of what is now known as California. Spain granted 75,000 acres of the San Pedro Ranchero to the soldier Juan José Dominguez.
By 1850, after the United States had won the Mexican-American War, the area become a U.S. territory, yet still remained in the hands of the Dominguez family. By 1865, the family sold 4,000 acres in the Compton region to Francis P.F. Temple and Fielding W. Gibson, at thirty-six cents an acre. The area became known as Gibsonville until the arrival of William Morton, who became one of the most successful farmers in the area. Reverend Griffith Dickenson Compton was more active in community affairs. Because of this, his civic leadership inspired the naming of the city, which became incorporated in 1888. Compton donated his land to the city and stipulated that part be zoned for agriculture. This zoned region became known as Richland Farms.