Suitland is named after Colonel Samuel Taylor Suit, who purchased 300 acres of land on April 12, 1867. His English-style mansion was often the meeting place of such dignitaries as President Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes.
Colonel Suit, an active individual and entrepreneur, was a Maryland legislator, businessman, agriculturist, castle builder, founder of railroads and hotel owner. One of Colonel Suit's most enterprising projects was the construction of Suitland Road. This early road connection from the Washington, DC line into Suitland undoubtedly led to the early growth and development of the area.
By the end of the 1800s, the village of Suitland had a general store, post office, churches and six or seven houses. In 1909, local residents organized the Suitland Improvement Association and built a community meeting hall, used today by the Suitland Civic Association.
In 1937, Lovell O. Minear, owner and developer of Fort Lincoln Cemetery, built a substantial Colonial-style house in Suitland. After a few years, the house was acquired by the Federal Government and was the first building of the U.S. Census Bureau. This familiar landmark of the Suitland Federal Center is known as the Suitland house.
In 1941, the Federal Government purchased 19 parcels of land, some of which had been used as the Sky Haven Airfield. The Census Bureau and the Naval Intelligence Support Center were constructed on this site, now known as the Suitland Federal Center, that currently employs about 10,000 workers.