Early settler Malin M. Jackson developed 10 miles (16 km) of the Buckeye Canal from 1884 to 1886, which he named after his home state of Ohio's moniker, "The Buckeye State". The town was founded in 1888 and originally named "Sidney," after Jackson's home town in Ohio. However, because of the significance of the canal, the town became known as Buckeye. The name was legally changed to Buckeye in 1910. The town was incorporated in 1929, at which time it included 440 acres (180 ha).
The town's first mayor was Hugh M. Watson (1956-1958), who founded the Buckeye Valley Bank. Today, Watson Road is the site of the city's commercial center
A popular recreation destination in Buckeye is the Buckeye Hills Recreation Area. It is located 7 miles (11 km) south of downtown Buckeye on State Route 85 (at mile marker 144). A 900-acre (3.6 km2) Buckeye Lake.
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