Coalfied was originally known as "Ruffner's Station" after Shack Ruffner, an early settler who built a mill in the area. The name "Coalfield" reflects the community's coal mining tradition. It was the site of Coalfield Camp No. 1 and Coalfield Camp No. 2. Coalfield still keeps to its rural roots, having only a four-way stop, a small grocery store that supplies basic needs, and a gas station.
A Morgan County public school, Coalfield School is located in the heart of the community. It includes all grades from kindergarten to grade 12. Enrollment is approximately 500, averaging 45 to 50 graduates every year. The school's mascot is the Yellow Jacket. Coalfield High is noted for its football program, previously coached by University of Tennessee star Gary Kreis.