Alanson got its name on June 22, 1882, being named after Alanson Howard, a grandson of W.O. Hugart, president of the G. R. & I. Railroad Company, which first came to Alanson during this time. From Jan. 17, 1877 to June 22, 1882, Alanson was known as Hinman. Alanson got its first Post Office on Jan. 17, 1877, with Hollis Frayer as its first postmaster. Homesteaders began settling here in 1875.
Alanson resides in Littlefield Township which had a population of approximately 267 from about 1875-1880. Alanson's population was 300 in 1903, and 575 in 1910. Alanson incorporated as a village in 1905.