Runcorn was originally part of the wide area known as Coopers Plains. In 1861, Governor Bowen proclaimed the Brisbane (later the Eight Mile Plains) Agricultural reserve and this included the area of Runcorn. The Williams family settled in the area in 1868 and Reverend J. McLaren named his farm Runcorn a decade later. Other early settlers included Mrs. Hill and Mr. Story.
In 1885, the railway passed through the area and some further settlement ensued. Runcorn Bone Mill was started in 1886 by Messrs. Main, Clazy and Smith, and the fertilizer was used by farmers as far away as New Zealand. In 1888, a hundred pleasure seekers from Brisbane caught the train to Runcorn to explore and to visit the bonemill and Mr Williams’ Greenhill Nursery.
Generally the land was used for farming. Cotton was grown in the 1870s but this soon gave way to small crops. The population remained very small, merely some fruit and vegetable farming interspersed with the occasional chicken farm or dairy, several nurseries and the bonemill. The school was started in 1901, but in 1922, there were still only six houses between Warrigal and Nathan Roads. The Progress Hall was built in 1926 and three years later, the Courier Mail reported that at Runcorn and Kuraby there are many thousands of acres still in a state of Nature which are eminently suited for fruit growing and market gardening. Electricity came in 1933, but horse drawn ploughs were still used in the area until the 1940s.
In the 1960s, several housing developments began in the area, and the population of Runcorn boomed over the following two decades. The Crest Haven Estate was begun on land once owned by Herb Williams.
In the early 1990s, town house developments started in the area. The population grew from 5,245 in 1986 to 9,229 ten years later.