Michael Clark, Artist
Mineral of the earth helped Vermilion County grow and prosper. In the early days it was salt that drew the first settlers. Beginning in the middle 1800’s it was coal. Mining began in the later 1800’s when coal was discovered in the bed of the Vermilion River. The first true strip mining in the country came in 1865 when Henry Cramer opened a bank in the Hungry Hollow area west of Danville. Underground mining began in 1870 when A.C. Daniels sunk a shaft for the Ellsworth Coal Company in what is now Vermilion Heights.