One and a half miles northeast of here, the mining town of Belle Ellen was established by the Bessemer Coal, Iron and Land Company in the fall of 1895 and named for Henry F. DeBardeleben's daughter, Belle, and wife, Ellen. DeBardeleben was a noted industrialist of the era and principal stockholder in the company.
During its existence, several mines were opened at Belle Ellen. The Welsh mining engineer, Llewellyn Johns, was an early superintendent. The Number Two mine was operated with convict labor from 1908-1925. The last mine closed in 1950. In its heyday, circa 1912, the Belle Ellen population reached 1,500 with 409 workers at three mines. The railroad served as the principal mode of transportation. The town contained fraternal lodges, Baptist and Methodist churches, a commissary, post office (1903-1953), barber shop, depot and public schools for both races. The company sponsored a baseball team and brass band and provided a community physician. The last families left the area in the mid 1950s.