Malita is the oldest community in the province. Malita’s existence dates back scores of years before its formal creation as municipality on November 17, 1936. Records show that Malita must have existed long before the passage of the Philippine Commission Act, the Laws of the Moro Province that mentioned Malita in Section 1 of Act No. 164 dated December 10, 1904. Through the said Act it is presumed that it existed as a barrio of Sta. Cruz long before the coming of the Americans to Davao. Executive Order No. 64 issued by President Manuel L. Quezon officially created Malita into a municipality. Marcelino Maruya, from whom the town of Don Marcelino was named after, was the first appointed municipal mayor.
Waves of migrants from the Visayan islands, most of whom hail from Cebu, came on what is now Malita long before it became a municipality. They were later followed by immigrants from Luzon. Even after the destruction brought by World War II by the belligerents, there are still waves of migrants towards Malita and other parts of then-Davao province. This increased its population until it later became the most populous municipality in the province.