Before San Jose became a town, the barangays comprising the municipality remained in state of lassitude. Socially and economically, no significant signs of progress can ever be seen for many years. Illiteracy was high and health sanitation was very inadequate. These circumstances required the people to unite. Led by then ABC President of Tarlac town, Amado de Leon and Samuel M. Eugenio, then barangay captain of Mababanaba and current Vice-Mayor of San Jose, passed a petition creating themunicipalityofSan Jose, which was submitted to President Corazon C. Aquino. The municipality was to comprise 13 barangays.
As early as 1927, the creation of this western part of Tarlac town into a municipality was already conceived. During the same year, the late Don Benigno Aquino, Sr., together with Rev. Gregorio Aglipay, founder of the Aglipayan Church fêted the approval of the change of name of Cadaanan into Villa Aglipay, in honor of Monsgr. Gregorio Aglipay, and at the same time, declaring it officially as a barrio. On that occasion, Don Benigno Aquino, Sr. vowed for the creation of the community as a municipality in this western part of Tarlac, Tarlac with Villa Aglipay as the municipal site. This however, did not materialize because of the untimely demise of Don Benigno Aquino, Sr.
Later, this dream was to be pursued by Benigno Ninoy Aquino, Jr. As governor of Tarlac, he envisioned the same by making San Jose as the site of the Provincial Capitol and to make Tarlac town, a city. However, for political reasons, this plan was shelved. Events further dampened that vision when Martial Law was declared in 1972. Ninoy Aquino did not live to see the birth of San Jose when he was assassinated on his return trip to the country in 1983.
The petition creating San Jose into a municipality was made possible through the efforts of Hon. Jose G. Macapinlac, Mayor of Tarlac, Hon. Jose Cojuangco, Governor of Tarlac, and Hon. Jose V. Yap, Sr., Congressman, 2nd District of Tarlac. Soon House Bill No. 5619 was filed in Congress for enactment. The House of Representatives and Senate passed Republic Act No. 6842 creating the municipality of Jose on September 1, 1989 and October 3, 1989, respectively. The Act was approved and signed on January 5, 1990 by her Excellency President Corazon C. Aquino. Submitted to the people in a plebiscite, majority of voters ratified the Act, thus, making the municipality of San Jose, the 18th town of the Province of Tarlac. In administering the governance of the town, President Aquino appointed municipal officials led by Jose V. Yap, Jr. as Municipal Mayor, Samuel S. Eugenio as Vice-Mayor and 8 Municipal Councilors.
Today, the rustic hamlet of San Jose is striving to become an agro-industrial town. The local government and non-local government agencies are currently undertaking development plans to make certain its visions are realized. Citizen participation ensures the benefit, growth and sustainability of the town.
Dubbed as the eco-tourism park of the province, it is noted for its graceful mountains, hills, cascades and greeneries. It hosts the well-known Monasterio de Tarlac that enshrines the consecrated relic of the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ.