Flour milling was one of the earliest industries in Ohio's Western Reserve. With the opening of the Ohio & Erie Canal between Cleveland and Akron in 1827, farmers could easily ship grain to growing markets. By 1840, Cleveland represented the principle Great Lakes grain market, and Ohio became the nation's leading producer of wheat.
Alexander's Mill was built in 1855 by Andrew and Robert Alexander as a custom mill, grinding grist for area farmers. Thomas and Emma Wilson purchased the mill in 1900, and began milling and selling wheat, rye, flour, scratch feed, and shelled corn. With transportation improvements by the 1920s, the Wilsons could sell to larger commercial bakers and restaurants.