Initially nicknamed "poverty flats" by early residents because of the difficulty of establishing productive farms, the town was soon named Lewiston to honor William H. Lewis, the first LDS bishop appointed to administer the new Lewiston branch in 1873. The name "Cub Hill" was assigned to the first post office in order to avoid confusion with another town in Utah, but this name was only used for a short time.
A small business district grew around the original center of town, and a number of small retail businesses have existed there since the first store opened in 1875. These have included a cooperative mercantile institution, several dry goods stores, and blacksmith shops in the early period; and a succession of dry goods and clothing stores, food markets, taverns, cafes, and service stations in more recent years. In addition, Lewiston once supported a furniture store, a lumber yard, and an electrical supply company; it currently also supports a bank and a drug store.