The town was a "company town:" a community that was the home of miners working the surrounding coal mines. The mining companies in the area went out of business in the early 20th century and the town was sold. Later, the Sherwood Mining Company bought the area mines as well as the village of Etherly. The houses and buildings in the town were sold and moved, many to nearby communities such as Galesburg and Victoria. The town site was then dug for a strip mine. The Etherly Cemetery is all that remains of the town today.
- Mrs. Don Wheeler & Dean Cree (1976). Bicentennial Issue of Victoria History 1976. Wagoner Prit Company.
- Perry, Albert J (1912). History of Knox County, Illinois: its cities, towns and people, Volume 1. S.J. Clarke Publishing Company.
In 1894, a railroad was built from wataga, through nearly the center of the township, to a mining village called Etherly. It was supposed that there were extensive coal fields in Copely and Victoria township, and these improvements were made in order to develop these mines.
- Carlson, Jane (June 18, 2006). "Etherly drifted away". Register Mail. Retrieved February 14, 2012.
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