Kabacan got its name from the word “Ka-abacan” which means the source of abundance. People from far flung barangays used to come to the place and upon returning home they brought with them many commodities of their livelihood.
Gradual was the growth of the area under the domain of Datu Mantawil sometime in the early 1920’s and that influx of settlers from Luzon and Visayas arrived in 1930’s. This was made so when the Mclareen family sold its hacienda to Messer. Jose Yulo Alano, Rafael Alunan and party who organized a company under the corperate name of Rio Grande Estate. The company became the people’s place of business and social center. Recognizing his immense power and leadership over the area, the Provincial Governor of Cotabato organized Kabacan into a Municipal District with Datu Mantawil as its first mayor in 1935.
When the Second World War broke out and the Japanese Imperial Army occupied the country, the Rio Grande Rubber Estate was sold by the Filipino Incorporators to the Japanese Imperial Government. It became the site for the provisional municipal government with Cenon Doctolero as the appointed Mayor.
Immediate after the war, Kabacan again resumed its former Municipal District status with Datu Mateo Lumambas as its District Mayor.
Through Executive Order No. 82, dated August 18, 1947, Kabacan became a regular municipality.
Kabacan is a wedge-like community that denotes stability and prosperity for its 73,991 (2007 Census) people living in 24 barangays namely: Aringay, Bangilan, Bannawag, Buluan, Cuyapon, Dagupan, Katidtuan, Kayaga, Kilagasan, Magatos, Malamote, Malanduage, Nangaan, Osias, Pedtad, Pisan, Poblacion, Salapungan, Sanggadong, Simone, Simbuhay, Tamped, Lower and Upper Paatan. Barangay Simbuhay and Tamped are still accessible by water via Rio Grande de Mindanao. All other barangays are accessible to land transportation.
The historic EDSA revolution which happened in February 1986 changed the political history of Kabacan. Mayor Aurelio A. Pulido, Sr. was replaced by Dr. Dennis A. Sevilla (deceased) as appointed OIC Mayor. After a couple of months, Mayor Sevilla who was then a mayoralty candidate was relieved by the Ministry of Local Government and Mr. Elpidio A. Villanueva who was appointed as OIC Mayor, then shortly Dr. Benjamin Ferrer (deceased) took over as an acting Municipal Mayor and then replaced by. Mr. Mabini Manalo.
The first local election after the EDSA revolution on January 18, 1988, Hon. Tomas B. Baga, Jr. was elected mayor until June 30, 1998. The 1998 local elections, a retired member of the armed forces in the person of Hon. Wilfredo B. Bataga, Sr. was elected as Mayor. During the 2001 local elections, Hon. Luzviminda Jumuad- Tan was elected Municipal Mayor.
Kabacan is presently enjoying the fruits of love and hardship of the pioneers of the municipality. This is presently nurtured by the people in general and the political leaderships of the following elected Municipal Mayors who had shaped the municipality to what it is at present, to wit:
1. ESTEBAN S. ABELLERA 1948 – 1951
2. CATALINO C. GUZMAN 1951 – 1955
3. DATU MAMALUBA SIBANGAN 1956 – 1959
4. DIONISIO B. VERSOLA 1960 – 1963
5. ARMANDO S. LAGDA 1964 – 03/16/1976
6. AURELLO A. PULIDO, SR. 03/20/1979 – 11/1986
7. DENNIS A. SEVILLA 03/20/1986 – 11/1987(OIC)
8. ATTY. TOMAS B. BAGA, JR. 12/28/1988 – 06/30/1998
9. WILFREDO V. BATAGA, SR. 07/01/1998 – 02/ 15/ 2002
10. LUZVIMINDA JUMUAD –TAN 02/16/02 – 06/ 30/ 2007
11. GEORGE B. TAN 07/01/07 – 06/ 30/2013
12. HERLO P. GUZMAN, JR. 07/01/13 – Present
Kabacan was reclassified from second class to first class municipality by virtue of Memorandum Circular No. 01 – M (67)-05 of the Department of Finance dated February 21, 2005 under Department Order No. 20-05, prescribing the new brackets for the reclassification of provinces, cities and municipalities.