Alpha is a small, unincorporated portion of Beavercreek Township.
A description written about the village in 1908 makes the following statement: “The population is about 200; the valley is peaceful, productive and beautiful.” That description might aptly be applied today to the village.
Alpha received its name because it was the first settlement in Beavercreek Township. It seemed appropriate to those early settlers to use the first letter of the Greek alphabet to name the village.
In spite of the fact that the stagecoach and later the D&X Traction Line and even the railroad went right through town, the village really didn’t grow.
It all began in spring 1799 when Owen Davis and with his father-in-law, Benjamin Whiteman, brought their families here from Cincinnati. They traveled along the Pinkney Road, which was not really a road, more of a pathway through forested land.
This portion of the Ohio Territory offered land for sale at reasonable prices along with multiple rivers and creeks and rich farm land.
They selected the land that it was near the Beaver Creek and Little Miami River which could provide water power for mills. They erected the first flour mill on Little Beaver Creek in 1797. Other mills would follow as more settlers came.
Whiteman and Davis began to clear the land and then erected a log house for Davis which became the meeting place for the first court when Greene County was established.
“At the house of Owen Davis on Beaver Creek on Tuesday, the tenth day of May, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and three, William Maxwell, Benjamin Whiteman and James Barrett, Esquires produced commissions under the hand and seal of his excellency Edward Tiffin, governor of the state of Ohio appoint them associate judges of the court of common pleas of the county of Greene.” And so, Greene County began.
Benjamin Whiteman was given the concession to repair the block house near the Owen Davis cabin in Beavercreek Township on August 1803. This structure was to be converted into a jail.
The first session of the Supreme Court in Greene County as well as the Grand Jury met in Alpha. The Grand Jury had almost no cases to decide so they adjourned “forthwith.” Onlookers were disappointed that there was nothing to see and someone picked a fight, the case was heard and the instigator was fined.
In the 1880s, several industries were in the village, including a flour mill, distillery, oil mill, saw mill and a woolen factory. By 1918, Alpha was the largest town in Beavercreek Township.
The Dayton and Xenia Turnpike (Dayton-Xenia Road) was built around 1858 from Dayton to Alpha and completed to Xenia a few years later. At one time this was a toll road.
The Alpha Seed and Grain Mill was one of the larger industries in the community for many years. During WWII, a great deal of construction was being done at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Many of the contractors used horses in the work and required considerable amounts of grain to feed them. The railroad provided easy shipping from the Alpha Mill to the site.
The residents of Alpha consider it a prime location. It is off the highway only a short distance and the quiet community is peaceful.
Another community in Beavercreek Township is known as Trebein, Trebeins, or Trebein Station.
Never incorporated, the area has gone by many names. It was located on the Pinkney Road, which was a blazed trail from Cincinnati. It was first known as Pinkneyville and later as Frost Station and then Beaver Station when the trains came through the area. The first industry was a flour mill erected by Adam Emory on the banks of the Little Miami around 1805.
The mill, which was one of the major industries, was sold to F.C. Trebein around 1880, so the community took on that name.
Perhaps the best known individual who resided at Trebein was Col. John Paul who built a saw mill in the village. He was one of the 36-member committee which organized the Ohio Constitution in 1802, shortly before Ohio became a state.
He was a businessman and a politician who heard rumors of where the county seat might be and purchased several hundred acres of land surrounding the forks of Shawnee Creek. When that land was selected to be the county seat, he donated an acre and a half to the county for its first public building (where the present court house stands). Some refer to him as the “founder of Xenia.” He served as the first clerk of courts in the county and was a member of the first Ohio Senate before he moved to Indiana.
Another small community on the township is Zimmerman, once known as Zimmermanville. This was located at the crossroads of the Dayton and Xenia Turnpike and the Bellbrook-Fairfield Road. The community was named for Jacob Zimmerman who erected the first house. He operated a store and tavern there.
Shoup’s Station was about a quarter mile south of Zimmerman. Solomon Shoup was the miller who constructed a mill on the Little Beaver Creek near what is now the intersection of North Fairfield Road and U.S. 35 West.
Beavercreek Township is now the home of the city of Beavercreek. No longer are mills operating along the rivers. There are many industries and businesses in the area to serve a wide range of individuals from all over the Miami Valley.
Remembering Keith Sheridan
Keith Sheridan’s parents moved to Yellow Springs in the early 1940s. Following graduation from John Bryan High School, he attended The Ohio State University but had to leave when his father’s health was bad. He worked as a regional representative for the DeWine Seed Company before purchasing Cedarville Feed and Grain in 1969. After earning his Ohio auctioneer’s license and his real estate sales license, he established Keith Sheridan & Associates. He was a staunch supporter of 4-H and the Greene County Fair as well as many other organizations. He was probably best known for being one of the most able auctioneers in this part of the country.
— Joan Baxter
Joan Baxter is a Greene County historian and resident.