The name Arapiles was coined by Major Mitchell on 23 July 1836, on the anniversary of the battle at Salamanca, near the Spanish village of Arapiles (1812) where his brother died. Mount Arapiles is a quartz and sandstone landmark on the Wimmera Plain, 230 metres in height.

The first European settlers in the area were the Wilson brothers, who arrived in 1844. In the 1870s many South Australian Lutherans took up broad acres in the area, and buildings in the town of Natimuk, at the base of Mount Arapiles, show a distinct Lutheran influence as a result.

The Shire of Arapiles formed in 1884 from a farming village by St Mary's Lake, near Mount Arapiles. It became a shire on 25 May 1888.

In 1892 an irrigation colony formed at the foot of Mount Arapiles, on James Keyte's land.

In 1894 Arapiles Village Settlement formed beside St Mary's Lake at Toonan.

The Shire of Arapiles issued a medal to commemorate the sesquicentenary of Victoria in 1985 (NU 20686).

On 20 January 1995 the City of Horsham, most of the Shires of Wimmera and Arapiles, and part of the Shire of Kowree, united to become the Horsham Rural City Council.

Blake, L. (1977). Place Names of Victoria.
Municipal Association of Victoria website, accessed 31/12/2003.
Victoria official web site, accessed 31/12/2003.

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