The name Kojonup is believed to refer to the "Kodja" or stone axe made by Indigenous Australians from the local stone.
The first European in the area was surveyor Alfred Hillman who arrived in 1837 and had been guided to "Kojonup Spring" by the local Aboriginals. The site was an important staging place on the road to Albany, and in 1837 a military post was established there for the protection of travellers and the mail.
By 1845 this outpost had grown to support a military barracks, built on the site of the freshwater spring. Today, the barracks still stands on its original site and houses the Kojonup Pioneer Museum. The barracks is in near perfect condition and is one of the oldest buildings in Western Australia. The first farms in Kojonup were set up by soldiers with settlement grants.
The appointment in 1865 of a mounted Police Constable marked the phasing out of the military presence at Kojonup. By the late 1860s the military had left and the Barracks became a focus for community gatherings, much as it is today.
The town's first Police Station was built in 1869 and the first hotel licence was granted in 1868.
In early 1898 the population of the town was 67, 32 males and 35 females.
The early economy of the town was initially dependent on cutting and transporting sandalwood and kangaroo hunting but by the mid-19th century the wool industry began to boom and by 1906 the shire had 10,500 sheep. By 1989 the shire had seen over 1 million sheep being shorn. To celebrate the importance of the wool industry the town built a one and a half scale model of a wool wagon; the project was officially opened on Australia Day in 2001.
In 1926 the Kojonup Memorial Hall was built at a cost of £5,000, it was officially opened by Major General Sir Talbot Hobbs.
Sporting facilities include a golf club with 18 holes, a tennis club, a skate park, a 50 metre outdoor swimming pool, football oval, netball courts, shooting range and hockey ovals.
There are a few services in Kojonup, including some accommodation, cafes, a library and an RAC qualified branch along the Highway.
Other attractions are Kodja Place, Black Cockatoo Café and its rose maze which show the town's history in a fun family way.
Population of Shire: 2,151 according to 2006 Census.