Major Eldad Cicero Camp, a Civil War Union veteran, U.S. District Attorney, and businessman, never used convicts in his mines. Instead, he established contracts with experienced miners. Fraterville, the name of Major Camp's first mine and the surrounding town, means village of brothers.
The mine opened in 1870 and is located one mile to the southwest. Fraterville miners convinced their relatives to join them in their mining ventures. The miners had the opportunity to own their own land, build their own homes, be paid in cash fo coal they mined, and validated the concept of Fraterville as a village of brothers.