The area was settled by Col. Stephen Van Rensselaer Ableman, who came from Albany New York, in 1851. The village and surrounding area were originally known as Excelsior, which is the motto on the official New York seal. The area was also known as Ableman Mill, for the Saw Mill which was later converted to a Grist Mill.
Col. Ableman was a land speculator and was instrumental in getting the railroad through the area. The original Railroad Depot was named Ableman by the railroad to honor the Colonel, while the first Post Office had the name Rock Springs on it for a short time.
The village, when formally platted, was named Ableman. The name lasted until 1948 when it was changed to Rock Springs.