Folklore mentioned the city was founded by a descendant children of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba people. The Prince left Ile-Ife in search of a place to settle just as many other Yoruba cities were founded by Princes. The heavy royal beads on his neck was to have broken with the beads running off, thereby deciphering this must be the place Olorun (God) wants him to settle at, hence the name "Àkún rę" (Beads broken), later becoming Akure.
Akure's King is known as the Deji of Akure and supported by five high chiefs under the domain. It was said one of the high chiefs caught a tiger , thereby adding an appellation to the city's name Akure Oloyemekun (Chief caught a tiger alive) or Oyemekun for short. The Oba's Palace is located at the centre of the town. it is a very old palace. the palace has over 15 courtyards with each having its unique purpose, Ua nla, Ua Ibura,Ua jemifohun, Ua Ikomo are some of the courtyards. for example, In the Ua ubura courtyards oaths are taken, and the ua Ikomo is for naming ceremonies. this expplains that each courtyard has a specific function that it serves. Presently a bigger and modern palace is being built behind the old palace. Oja Oba, which translates to mean the Oba's Market is just a stone throw from the Palace.
The city has a university, the Federal University of Technology Akure. It also has first class colleges like the prestigious Thomas Aquinas College.
It is the birthplace of writer Kole Omotosho.