The village took its name from Brush's Mills, which were located on the Little Salmon River. The mills were purchased by Mr. Henry N. Brush in 1835 and the hamlet was officially named Brushton on October 1, 1877.
From Frederick Seaver's "Historical Sketches of Franklin County, NY" (1918), p. 519: "The industrial enterprises of Moira were never numerous or large. The community is distinctively agricultural, but with two small unincorporated villages -- Brushton and Moira. Each is a station on the Rutland Railroad, and each is on an improved trunk-line highway. Almost with the first settlement in the town, Appleton Foote, as the agent of Gilchrist and Fowler, erected a saw mill at what is now Brushton, and a grist mill there in the year following, which was displaced by the present stone mill in 1823, built by Robert Watts, and later improved and enlarged by Henry N. Brush."
And Seaver, p. 518: "Henry N. Brush located at Brush's Mills (now Brushton) in 1835. He was a man of finished education, an engaging public speaker, and a man of strong parts. ... His holdings of land were large, and the business and industrial development of the eastern part of Moira were due largely to his activities. He died in 1872."
Brush's son, Henry Corbin Brush was born in Brush's Mills in 1838 and was the inventor of the Brush Trolling Spoon shallow-running submersible fishing lure.