Fruitland was originally founded as Pleasant Hill in the 1810s by John Oliver Sr who settled his family on Indian Creek. His Estate was called Pleasant Hill.
The name Fruitland most probably came into being when, in 1869, Professor James Hutchinson Kerr, a Pennsylvania native founded the Fruitland Normal Institute, a school for training teachers. It is unknown why this name was chosen. However the name did not stick until around 1886 when mapmakers began using Fruitland as the formal designation of the area.