Morrisville was named for Jeremiah Morris who donated three acres of land to the North Carolina Railroad in 1852 for a water station, woodshed, and other buildings in support of the railroad. The deed transaction is believed to be on November 30, 1852, which references Crabtree Creek.  Morrisville's original charter was ratified on March 3, 1875.

On April 13, 1865, one of the last skirmishes of the Civil War took place in Morrisville.

Morrisville has become one of the fastest growing towns in the state with the population topping 20,000 in 2012.